The abortion law and the Constitutional Court

The recent ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, which removed the “right to abortion” as a federal prerogative and left the legislative faculty to individual states, has caused much discussion, for better or for worse. Many believe that this event is of enormous importance: some hope it, others fear it. In my opinion, it is certainly an excellent opportunity to remember and rethink the parallel Italian history.

In 1978 the infamous Law 194 on the voluntary termination of pregnancy was enacted by virtue of a precedent judgment of the Constitutional Court, number 27 of 1975.

There are two crucial passages from which serious reasoning and perhaps real change could start again.

The first: «There is no equivalence between the right, not only to life but also to health, proper to who is already a personlike the mother, and the safeguarding of the embryo that person has yet to become“.

Distinguish in straight tip which human being is a person (because an adult) and which one is not (because not yet born), appears, without bothering big words such as “Nazi” or the like, as something inhuman and certainly “not very Christian”. Perhaps today there is sufficient and widespread political and public opinion sensitivity to judge unacceptable that statement of the Constitutional Court. This could be a good starting point for serious reasoning that is widely shared.

The second: «But the Court also believes that it is the legislator’s obligation to prepare the necessary precautions to prevent abortion is procured without serious investigations on the reality and gravity of the damage or danger that could result to the mother from the continuation of gestation: and therefore the lawfulness of abortion must be anchored to a after evaluating the existence of the conditions to justify it“. The same law 194 of 1978, which derives from the sentence in question, in reality does not provide at all “serious assessments on the reality and severity of the damage or danger that could arise to the mother from the continuation of gestation” and therefore remains anti-constitutional in this sense. However, and here the fundamental parallel emerges with the USA, today in Italy, thanks to the so-called regional federalism, the individual Regions could (formally) and should (morally) introduce local laws or regulations in order to define how to ensure and objectify those “serious investigations», In compliance with the same law 194 and above all with the aforementioned sentence.

This could be a good starting point for a real change in the way the state addresses the issue of maternity protection and “termination of pregnancy”.

Always remembering that abortion, in the literal sense, is not a fact or a procedure, abortion is a person, an unborn person (ab-oriri), a still very small and therefore very fragile person who is dead, as we all die sooner or later, before being born. And so, in what reason calls “unborn children”, the Christian faith and the hope of mothers and fathers see a multitude of children “born in Heaven” (cit. Gagliardini).

Roberto Festa

Source: ProVita & Famiglia NewsOctober 2022

The abortion law and the Constitutional Court