"Spirit" of Abortion Law Being Violated, Says L'Osservatore

Family Consultation Centers Seen as Failing in Their Task

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 22, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper says that the implementation of a law allowing abortion hurts the very people the statute was purportedly designed to help: women.

The Nov. 21-22 Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano addressed the question amid the debate in Italy over a petition by Lorenzo Cesa, secretary of the Union of Democrats of the Center party, to establish a parliamentary investigation commission to ensure the application of the 1978 abortion law.

«The law, born to legalize abortion, should have as its tendentious objective the preventing of abortion itself,» the newspaper stated, as it recalled what promoters said of a 1981 referendum that confirmed the earlier law.

«But the law as it has been applied in the main until now, in its totality, has violated the ‘spirit,'» the newspaper said. «It has been thought that the only way to prevent the voluntary interruption of a pregnancy was contraception. Thus, family consultation centers, rather than being centers of life, in the main have become, unfortunately, distributors of abortion certificates.»

Health Minister Francesco Storace has proposed a plan to reform the family consultation centers so that pro-life volunteers could be present in them. The proposal was much criticized by the press and by political figures.

L’Osservatore Romano found surprising «the criticism of the presence of Pro-Life Movement volunteers in the consultation centers,» as it is «a possibility already provided by the law.»

Even more surprising are those opposed «to the examination of the application of a law,» the newspaper said, referring to the criticisms against Lorenzo Cesa by political leaders.

«The defense of life is the measure of civilization and democracy,» the paper stated. «And it is the measure of genuine freedom.»

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