Anti-abortion groups in family planning clinics: Women on Web prepares for an increase of help requests from Italy

Women on Web, a non-governmental organization that has supported over 120,000 people worldwide to access medical abortions since 2005, prepares for an expected increase of help requests coming from Italy following the anticipated changes of protocols in family planning clinics. The possibility for anti-abortion associations to receive European PNRR funds to work in public clinics will inevitably have a negative effect on abortion access in Italy.


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According to the Ministry of Health, mandatory certificates for half of Italian women who had abortions in 2021, were issued in family planning clinics. They are established as the primary health facilities where women go once an unwanted pregnancy is discovered. Making these spaces hostile environments for women and people with an unwanted pregnancy will likely multiply the stress and stigma they experience, negatively affect the quality of care they receive and ultimately hinder some to access local abortion services at all.  

To this day many regions have failed to implement medical abortion as part of their standard care, despite updated guidelines by the Ministry of Health from 2020. Other barriers to access abortions are already high. These include doctors refusing to perform abortions, mandatory counselling, and negative treatment by medical staff.  

“From our nearly 20 years of experience working in abortion care and listening to thousands of personal stories we learned that all kinds of people have unwanted pregnancies and end up looking for safe and private abortion services – regardless of their religion or political views. With this decision the Senate turns itself against all women, all families, their own people, and clearly against high quality health services and human rights standards.”, comments Venny Ala-Siurua, Executive Director of Women on Web. 

In Italy, Women on Web’s conducts research on the local barriers to access abortion to support advocacy for high quality abortion care on people’s own terms. The data helps to understand people’s interactions with the formal health sector and motivations to seek online abortion services. Women on Web offers online information in 15 languages 7 days a week. Every year Women on Web responds to over 600 messages coming from Italy. 

Women on Web is available for comments, interview requests and information on medical abortion in Italian and English. Please contact We look forward to hearing from you.


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