Through Selective Hiring at Public Hospitals, Vatican Restricts Italian Women’s Access to Abortion Services

Since 1978, Italy has had a law stating that every woman is guaranteed access to abortion within 90 days of getting pregnant. But that’s a paper promise, because guess what? Thanks to the vise grip the Catholic Church has on health care in Italy,

Nine out of 10 obstetricians and gynaecologists working in public hospitals in some districts are now publicly refusing

… to perform the procedure, reports the Independent.

And so,

In one case this year, 28-year-old Valentina Magnanti was left to give birth to a severely-malformed child in a hospital toilet in Rome because none of the doctors would treat her. The woman’s request for medically induced abortion had been granted. But after taking the drugs needed to induce the termination process, the hospital was unable to find willing medical and nursing staff to complete the procedure.

One women’s advocate pointed out the cause of the problem: it has to do, she says, with

the influence of the Catholic Church on reproductive health, particularly in and around Rome where many major hospitals — although funded by the state — are owned and run by the Church, which determines hiring policy. Pope Francis came out in support of [anti-abortion] objectors earlier this year, giving fresh impetus to anti-abortion groups.

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Ohio Religious Conservatives Look to Challenge Roe v. Wade with “Heartbeat” Abortion Ban

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio House Health and Aging Committee passed an abortion ban that would ban the procedure whenever a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The bill contains language to account for situations that would endanger a pregnant woman’s life, but makes no exception for rape or incest victims.

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Catholic Bishop: Since There Aren’t Any Pro-Life Candidates to Vote For, Let’s Write in Mother Teresa’s Name

I know Catholics love to put their faith in non-existent beings… but this seems especially futile even for them:

The leader of Rhode Island’s Catholics is suggesting that voters could write in Mother Teresa’s name or sit out the Nov. 4 election because the candidates aren’t “terribly promising” on the abortion issue.

In a piece posted online Wednesday in The Rhode Island Catholic diocesan newspaper, Bishop Thomas Tobin said that writing in Mother Teresa or Pope Francis in protest would send a signal that voters want anti-abortion candidates.

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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 24: Monica Snyder, Secular Pro-Life

Our latest podcast guest is Monica Snyder of the group Secular Pro-Life, a group that seeks to unite pro-lifers, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. She has worked with the group since its inception in 2009.

We spoke with Monica about where she fits in among both the pro-life and secular worlds, how she was rejected from volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center because of her beliefs, and why merely focusing on contraception access may not be a viable strategy for her organization.

This episode is sponsored by Be Secular. Readers of this site can get a 10% discount on products by using the promo code “Friendly”!

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There’s an Alabama Supreme Court Justice Laser-Focused on Overturning Roe v. Wade (and It’s Not Roy Moore)

There’s a fundamentalist Christian judge on the Alabama Supreme Court who has every intention of being a judicial activist. He believes the Bible matters more than the Constitution when it comes to law.

And he’s not Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Nope. There’s another guy just like him, though, and journalist Nina Martin writes about how Judge Tom Parker may be the “biggest threat to abortion rights in a generation”:

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