San Marino, 27 September 2021 – after 156 years abortion is no longer a crime in San Marino. An overwhelming result is that of the referendum on the decriminalization of voluntary termination of pregnancy. Over 77 percent of San Marino citizens voted yes, against 22.7 per cent of those against. Now the Great and General Council, the San Marino parliament, will have six months to write the new law that will replace the one of 1865. The overall turnout has just exceeded the 41 percent, average between 60.3 percent of San Marino residents on the Titan who went to the polls and 5.69 percent (just 708 voters) of San Marino residents abroad, mainly in Romagna and Marche. “It is a result that satisfies us a lot – commented Karen Pruccoli, president of the San Marino Women’s Union which holds the referendum – It is the culmination of a battle that began 18 years ago”.
Until yesterday in San Marino abortion was still a crime punished with jail. Always and without exception. “From three to six years for every woman who has an abortion – states the penal code of the small republic – and for every person who helps and who procures the abortion”. Over the years the San Marino women have gone abroad to have an abortion, in the hospitals of Emilia Romagna. A few days ago, Istat data for the years between 2005 and 2019 were also presented. On average, about twenty abortions in the hospitals of the provinces of Rimini, Forlì-Cesena and Pesaro-Urbino. The peak in 2013 with 30 abortions, 12 in 2018 and 7 in 2019.
It was a harsh election campaign for the referendum. Studded with crossed accusations. Starting with those unleashed by the manifesto of the ‘One of us’ committee, opposed to the referendum. “I am an anomaly. Is that why I have fewer rights than you?”, The words written on the poster and next to a boy with Down syndrome. “The exploitation of this message is totally inappropriate and I completely distance myself from it,” wrote the Minister of Information, Teodoro Lonfernini, exponent of the San Marino Christian Democrats, the party that sided with the ‘no’. “We will also move in the appropriate places – had threatened the president of the Special Olympics San Marino, Barbara Frisoni -. Beyond what each of us will decide to vote, I am disgusted and disappointed. That poster is purely instrumental, in bad taste” . A choice defended by the Committee against the referendum. “The chosen image is not an offense but a defense – they had desire – it is not an affront but a sincere confrontation, it is not exclusion but the problem of a full acceptance of who someone considers ‘an anomaly’, able to justify even late abortion. The term anomaly is contained in the referendum question “. The bishop of the diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro also intervened in the referendum campaign.
“Whatever the outcome, we will commit ourselves with consistency to bear witness to the Gospel of life for a culture and a policy favorable to the family”, wrote Monsignor Andrea Turazzi, the small State between Emilia Romagna and Marche had remained one of the very few in Europe in which pregnancy a pregnancy was considered a crime. Abortion has been legal in Italy for 43 years. “Italy regulated it in 1978 and San Marino then turned the other way” said Karen Pruccoli during the electoral campaign.
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