Forty-three years after neighboring Italy, a small part of San Marino voted on Sunday, September 26, to legalize abortion. According to provisional results released by the Interior Ministry, 77% of voters in this microstate agreed to offer women with a strong Catholic tradition the free option to have abortions for up to twelve weeks. Threats to the life of the mother or defects in the fetus indicate these results associated with 33 of the 37 polling sections.
The poll, conducted among 35,411 voters, saw the revival of San Marino Woman (UDS), a feminist association from 1970 to 1980, in 2019. Until then, abortion is a crime punishable by up to three years in prison for the woman and up to six years for the doctor who performed it. But in reality, San Marino women go to Italy to have abortions, thus breaking the law.
San Marino was one of the last states in Europe – along with Malta, Andorra and the Vatican – to completely ban abortion even if there was a risk of rape, sexual intercourse, fetal disease or maternal risk. Another anti-abortion stronghold, Gibraltar, relaxed its laws after a referendum in June.
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