AOGOI on clandestine abortions: “The only weapon is prevention: more counseling, more responsible and free contraception”
Elsa Viora, AOGOI president: “Even in public centers, repeated 26.6 percent of abortions. Prevention policies cannot be based on the'purchase of contraceptives at the total expense of citizens”
“When it comes to clandestine abortions, the numbers are inherently haphazard, precisely because these terminations of pregnancy are performed illegally and covertly. It is not for us gynecologists to go into the conclusions that can be drawn from the alleged disproportion between clandestine abortions performed and criminal proceedings against those suspected of inducing these abortions. On the other hand, it is the primary responsibility of Italian gynecologists to remind everyone that the real ground on which clandestine abortions can be countered and reduced is that of prevention: particularly through counseling for women who have already resorted to the termination of pregnancy, and then through policies to promote informed and responsible contraception, which cannot pass, as unfortunately happens in Italy today, through the purchase of contraceptives at the total expense of citizens.”. Thus Dr. Elsa Viora, President of the Association of Italian Hospital Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AOGOI) on the data that emerged during the question time to Minister Lorenzin on illegal abortions in Italy.
The AOGOI also recalls that the percentage of women who repeat IVG surgery in public centers is 26.6 percent, for a total cost of repeat IVGs of about 29.9 million annually. “It is therefore clear,” President Viora continues, “the importance that in all centers that practice IVGs, a contraceptive program based on the specific needs of the woman should be proposed immediately after the termination of pregnancy, and that whatever contraceptive method is chosen should be provided immediately after the procedure. This is to avoid the repetition of abortions in general, but also the risk that, subsequently, some of the women intercepted by public services may choose to resort to clandestine abortion.”. With these very objectives, the AOGOI carried out a multicenter study and promoted a training and awareness project aimed at operators of Italian centers that practice interruptions of pregnancy.
Finally, from a strictly clinical point of view, it can be said that effective abortion prevention could be based on increased use of long-lasting, subcutaneous or in utero-implanted contraceptives, which provide prolonged efficacy of 3 to 5 years: “Those who request termination of pregnancy,” explains Dr. Viora, “are veterans of a failed contraceptive method: precisely in these cases it may be more effective to recommend long-lasting, reversible contraceptive systems (Larc), which WHO data indicate as the safest contraceptive systems and which guarantee the highest adherence rate. With a view to prevention,” the AOGOI president concludes, “these methods can be used in the immediacy of IVG, without causing any discomfort to the woman.”.