Monday, August 27, 2007


Italian Hospital Aborts Healthy Twin and Leaves Handicapped Sibling
Mother returns and has Down syndrome child aborted

By Elizabeth O'Brien

MILAN, Italy, August 27, 2007 ( - A fierce abortion debate has erupted in Italy after a mother pregnant with twins reported doctors to the authorities for aborting her healthy unborn baby while leaving the handicapped one alive.

Italian news agencies recently discovered that a hospital killed the "wrong" child in a pair of unborn twins in June. According to media reports, after the 38-year old woman discovered the so-called "mistake", she returned and had the second one, who was suffering from Down syndrome, aborted. She then reported medical staff, who are currently under investigation by the police.

The hospital termed the child's death a "misfortune," saying that the twins had switched places in between a previous ultrasound and the actual abortion. The woman was eighteen months pregnant when the children were aborted.

Calling on the Italian Health Minister to investigate the affair, leading Christian Democrat Luca Volonte decried the abortion as "infanticide arising from a contempt for human life," the Guardian Unlimited reports.

Senator Paolo Binetti, who is close to the Vatican says, wrote in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, "The time has come to re-examine the abortion law." He said, "What happened in this hospital was not a medical abortion but an abortion done for the purposes of eugenics."

"They wanted to kill the sick fetus and save the healthy one and what didn't work properly in this business was the selection," wrote Binetti.

Ever since 1978 abortion has been legal on demand in Italy up to the third month of pregnancy. Pro-lifers are using this present case to fiercely argue against Italy's abortion laws, pointing out the contradictions and dangers within the present policy.

In March doctors in Florence's Careggi teaching hospital attempted to abort a perfectly healthy baby after two pre-natal diagnosis tests indicated that the child had a defective esophagus. The doctors botched the abortion, performed on the 22-week child, and subsequently discovered that the still-living baby was perfectly healthy. They managed to resuscitate the child temporarily (See

Another abuse occurred this February when an Italian judge ordered that a thirteen-year old girl abort her unborn baby, despite her desperate pleas to save its life. Under Italian law, the parents or guardians of a minor can force her to abort her child, as happened in this case (See