San Marino – a landlocked republic in central Italy – countdown to a referendum on legalizing abortion.
The small state of 33,000 inhabitants will decide on September 26 if it allows terminations of pregnancy up to twelve weeks of pregnancy.
It is one of the only places in Europe where termination of pregnancy is illegal.
Attempts to legalize abortion over the past 20 years have been rejected by successive, mostly conservative governments.
“It is not true that abortion does not exist in San Marino,” said Rosa Zafferani, member of the UDS (Union of Women of San Marino). “Women are going to have abortions outside our country. They do it illegally because abortion is a criminal offense here. It is all shameful.
But warehouse worker Rocco Gugliotta, 41, believes it shouldn’t just be the mother who makes the decisions.
“A couple is made up of a mother and a father. Why is it always necessary that only the mother decides? Does the father have no decision-making power?
“The pregnancy should go without an abortion. If you really don’t want the baby, there is the option of getting him adopted.”
If the “yes” campaign wins, abortion would be legal within the first three months. After that, it would only be allowed if the life of the mother was in danger or there were fetal abnormalities that could harm the woman physically or psychologically.
Women in San Marino were only given the right to vote in 1964. Divorce was not introduced until 1986.