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Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic StateA Comparative Study of State Feminism$
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Dorothy McBride Stetson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242665

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199242666.001.0001

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Debates and Controversies on Abortion in Italy

Debates and Controversies on Abortion in Italy

(p.181) 9 Debates and Controversies on Abortion in Italy
Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

Marina Calloni

Oxford University Press

The debate over legalization of abortion dominated politics in Italy in the 1970s, part of a broader challenge to Catholic domination over families and women. Subsequent debates have revolved around efforts to overturn legal abortion. Unlike other countries, the abortion issue split the radical feminists from the rest of the movement that had to turn to allies in the parties and unions of the left to promote women's rights to abortion. The early debates occurred before Italy had established women's policy agencies. Only in the 1990s, when the issue of in vitro fertilization stimulated pro‐life deputies to protect the foetus through restrictive laws, could the movement count on even marginal state support for keeping the 1978 compromise law on the books.

Keywords:   abortion law, alliances, Catholic church, in vitro fertilization, Italy, pro‐life deputies, radical feminism, women's movement, women's policy agencies

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