An Italian woman has revealed how shocked she was to discover that her aborted fetus was buried in a grave with her name on it without her consent.
Marta Loi, from Rome, read about so-called “fields of angels,” sections of cemeteries where the remains of fetuses are buried, and wanted to investigate what happened after her own termination.
She called the hospital and was told that the remains had been buried in the Flaminio Cemetery, Italy’s largest cemetery, under a cross bearing her name, despite Marta specifically asking not to have a ‘physical memorial site’.
The tomb was also marked with a cross, even though Martha is an atheist.
Marta Loi (pictured), from Rome, found her aborted fetus buried in a grave under a cross, a Christian religious symbol, despite being an atheist
Speak to the BBCMarta said: “After my second trimester termination of pregnancy, I found a grave with my fetus buried under a cross, a religious symbol that I do not identify with because I am an atheist and carried my first and last name. ‘
Marta initially wrote a lengthy social media post to share her story after her discovery last year, which made dozens of other women realize they had also been named on the graves of their aborted fetuses.
Speaking of the grave, Marta continued: ‘I had made a clear choice, I didn’t want to have a physical memorial site. But despite my decision, that physical place exists. ‘
Italian law states that a fetus must be buried after 20 weeks, often in mass graves, but that a religious burial must be specifically requested by the woman.
According to Italian law, abortions are only allowed after 12 weeks if there is a threat to the life or health of the pregnant mother.
Marta was told by the hospital that she would find her fetus buried in Flaminio Cemetery, Italy’s largest resting place, under a cross with both her first and last name, despite not wanting a grave.
They were legalized in Italy under Law 194 in 1978, following protests from the Italian women’s movement in the 1970s, but the same law gives health workers the option to refuse the abortion if they are a ‘conscientious objector’.
Although abortion is legal in Italy, 71 percent of gynecologists are registered as conscientious objectors because of their religious or moral beliefs, said Science Direct
The mother’s names are passed on by hospitals for administrative purposes only, but the woman’s names were shockingly marked on the graves without their consent.
Marta described the graves as a “blatant violation and violation” of the rights of the women who “did not know this was happening.”
At Flaminio Cemetery, they have now begun to replace the women’s names with numbers to protect their identities.
Christian and Catholic physician Giuseppe Noia (above) claimed that 80 percent of women who intend to abort “ changed their minds ” after making the “ science clear ” to them
Under Italian law, a fetus must be buried after 20 weeks, often in mass graves, but the woman must specifically request a religious burial.
She also said she hopes Italy can provide abortions for women in both a safe and ‘dignified way’, and that she will support them throughout the process.
She added, “I hope the state and its institutions will guarantee women’s right to choose and access abortion in a dignified manner and that women will be supported from start to finish.”
Christian and Catholic physician Giuseppe Noia claimed that 80 percent of women who intend to abort have “changed their minds” after explaining the “science” without any pressure.
He went on: ‘Mother Teresa once told me: Abortion is the greatest enemy of peace.
“In my experience, 80 percent of the women who come here with the intention of aborting have changed their minds because I have explained things to them.”
MailOnline has contacted AMA, which manages the Flaminio Cemetery, for comment.
What Are Italian Abortion Laws?
Italy legalized abortion in 1978. Every woman in Italy has 90 days (12 weeks) from the date of conception to request termination of pregnancy.
By law, the termination must be for health, economic, social, or family reasons.
A pregnant woman should get proof of the pregnancy condition from her local doctor (GP) or from a maternity clinic, who will then make arrangements with the hospital.
An abortion may only take place in a public hospital. It is free for women with an Italian health card; foreign women have to pay for the procedure. There are no special abortion clinics in Italy.
After 90 days, termination is only allowed if there is a threat to the life or health of the pregnant woman.
To perform an abortion for medical reasons, the health or life of the mother must be in danger if she brings the child to the end, or there must be a problem with the fetus.
In these cases, termination can be carried out up to 20 weeks after conception.