19-year-old woman dies during abortion in Italy

Last week, the Italian Health Ministry announced that a 19-year-old woman had died during an abortion procedure at Cardarelli Hospital in Naples. The young mother - Gabriella Cipolletta - died after going into hypovolemic shock during the abortion after losing too much blood. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that Ms. Cipolletta discovered she was pregnant when she went to the doctor to be treated for a skin infection.

Upon hearing the news, she was initially prepared to continue with the pregnancy and have her baby.  However, Ms. Cipolletta’s doctor advised her to terminate her pregnancy  - telling her that the treatment for her skin infection could adversely affect her baby.   The director of the hospital as well as the Italian Health Ministry have both launched investigations into this incident.    

While these investigations might eventually place the blame at the feet of one person or set of circumstance, it is doubtful that they will recognize the ultimate cause behind this terribly tragic event.  The fault rests with a society that accepts and promotes abortion and a medical culture that de-values human life and urges mothers to end the lives of their unborn babies.   

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the case was a ‘double tragedy’.   

“It is deeply disturbing that this young woman felt pressure to undergo an abortion because of the possibility that her baby had a disability, and that both mother and baby have now been killed. This is a double tragedy, compounded by the fact that it will be ignored and swept under the carpet by the media,” she said.   

Ms Uí Bhriain said that there had been “no front-page headlines or, in fact, any reporting at all”  by the Irish media on the case. “Why do they want to keep women in the dark about abortion?” she asked.   

Abortion activists frequently defend abortion as a safe procedure, and demand it be seen as a standard part of women’s healthcare.  In their eyes, it is similar to having a tooth removed.   

They ignore that abortion can be incredibly harmful to women and that Ms. Cipolletta is, sadly, not the first woman to die as a result of an abortion. In 2013, a woman living in Ireland died after undergoing an abortion in England.   

Twenty weeks into her pregnancy, Aisha Chithira obtained an abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic in London which led to an horrific death.  Several hours after the procedure, she died in a taxi of a heart attack caused by extensive blood loss.  She was rushed to Wrexham Park Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.    

In 2012, a young mother called Tonya Reeves died after severe complications due to a botched second-trimester abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago. The abortion provider was recently ordered to pay two million dollars in compensation to Ms. Reeves’ family. The deaths of these women are heartbreaking for so many reasons.  Not only should we mourn this tragic loss of human life but also the fact that these, and so many other women, feel compelled by circumstances or the influence of others that abortion is their only real option and they are forced to place themselves in a dangerous situation.  We owe it to these women, as well as to their babies and the countless other victims of abortion, to ensure that all women know there is a better alternative to abortion and to keep in place laws which protect both mothers and babies.

back to news