user preferences

Church & State: together against the freedom of women

category italy / switzerland | gender | opinion / analysis author Friday February 25, 2005 22:29author by nestor - FdCAauthor email internazionale at fdca dot it Report this post to the editors

Statement by the Council of Delegates of the Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici regarding the forthcoming referendum to repeal section of a new law on Medically Assisted Procreation

Church & State
together against the freedom of women


The whole affair of the Referendum for the partial repeal of Law No.40/2004 regarding Medically Assisted Procreation (MAP) has been a disaster from the very start. Now, Italy's constitutional court has decided, as we feared, that Italians are not to be given the chance to totally repeal this prohibitionist, fundamentalist law which is aimed at stopping women from making decisions about their own bodies and at setting limits to the principle of female self-determination.

Those who are happy now that an end has come to the (non-existent) reproductive "Far West" where the unregulated female desire for maternity caused scandal, and who prefer a bad law to no law at all, do not openly say that what they actually want - and which is in effect introduced by this law - is for women to be firmly placed back into a minority position with strict controls over them. Neither do they say that the important thing is the principles that are enshrined in this law, not their actual application - something which is difficult anyway in a Europe without borders where economic possibilities alone make the difference between who will and who won't be affected by this new freedom-killing Italian law.

The first question to be decided by the referendum, and which was presented by only 12 female parliamentarians, seeks the repeal of the article which sets the rights of the woman against the rights of the embryo. A "Yes" vote on this point would avoid a serious conflict between women's rights and the rights of unborn children, blocking what is clearly an attempt at cancelling the effects of Law No.194 [1].

A "Yes" vote for the three other questions to be decided by the referendum, which are supported by the moderate left and the secular elements of the governing coalition together with the medical lobby and pro-genetic research associations, would serve to mitigate the worst effects of this monstrous law, effects which make it truly unmanageable and indigestible.

But rather than aiming at the protection of the freedom of choice and the protection of women's health, they seem mostly designed to protect the medical sector and the lobby of pharmacological research by companies who offer commercial health services.

The request for the protection of the physical and mental health of women, who can choose to obtain access to fertility treatment, does not hide the perception that we are faced with hideous blackmail - that of giving up the rights of all women in order to protect the health of some.

We believe, in fact, that even if there is a "Yes" vote on the four questions in the referendum, this law will continue to place limits on personal freedom. By denying access to fertility treatment by anyone other than established heterosexual couples, the law continues to violate the right to health. The World Health Organization has defined infertility as an illness, but this law contradicts this definition in no uncertain terms and will only result in the impossibility of self-determination by denying the freedom for all women, irrespective of their sexual orientation or family status, to benefit from fertility treatment. Furthermore, the law provides for special records to be kept of all those who are born thanks to this form of treatment, a provision which only serves to provide further serious cause for concern.

The establishment of regulations regarding MAP and genetic research cannot be done through a law imposed by the State, a law which is the fruit of compromises hatched out by priests and doctors. Regulation must be determined on the basis of shared practices developed by those centres which carry out fertility treatment and must guarantee access to all and be secular in its outlook. It must respect the reproductive choices, individual or joint, of every one of us.

As experience in Italy with regard to abortion shows, rules imposed by laws from above with which many disagree are frequently disregarded, even at a heavy personal price, by individuals who rightly believe they should have the power to decide for themselves and for their own lives. While it may be true that, as at other moments in the recent past, women have not been able to express their clear opposition, it by no means follows that they are unaware of the dangers that this law presents, even if its worst aspects are softened somewhat by the referendum.

Therefore, while our immediate action can only be to respond positively to the referendum, in full awareness of the game being played by the institutional politicians with our freedom, we must remember that the final word on the matter must come from agreement from the grassroots, which must question the need for a law which claims to decide our lives for us and which puts a limit on our rights, first and foremost the rights of equality and of the health of women and men.


Council of Delegates
FEDERAZIONE DEI COMUNISTI ANARCHICI
Florence, 29th January 2005



Note:
1. Law No.194 is the law which currently regulates the right to abortion. Law No.40, by introducing the concept of the rights of the embryo is, in effect, the first step towards making abortion a crime of homicide.

Related Link: http://www.fdca.it/fdcaen
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Revolutionary Trade Unionism: The Road to Workers’ Freedom

Latest News

Italy / Switzerland | Gender | en

Thu 24 Apr, 01:37

browse text browse image

mife.jpg imageMorals in a pill 19:59 Tue 13 Apr by Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

textMifepristone, the Vatican and the women of Italy 18:48 Sun 09 Aug by FdCA Ethics & Gender Policies Commission 0 comments

textDefending the right to abortion in Italy 20:31 Wed 27 Feb by FdCA - "Nino Malara" Branch, Genoa 0 comments

textRome, 24 November: National Demonstration against violence on women 19:17 Thu 22 Nov by Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

text8th March - Self-determination of our freedom 18:52 Mon 06 Mar by Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

textReflections on the failure of the IVF referendum 17:44 Wed 15 Jun by FdCA 1 comments

textYES! Law N°40 is a rip-off 20:42 Thu 26 May by FdCA 0 comments

Opinion and Analysis

Sorry, no stories matched your search, maybe try again with different settings.

Press Releases

imageMorals in a pill Apr 13 FdCA 0 comments

textMifepristone, the Vatican and the women of Italy Aug 09 Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

textRome, 24 November: National Demonstration against violence on women Nov 22 FdCA 0 comments

text8th March - Self-determination of our freedom Mar 06 FdCA 0 comments

textReflections on the failure of the IVF referendum Jun 15 Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 1 comments

more >>
© 2005-2014 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]