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Home English Italian govt likely to appeal reproductive ruling

Italian govt likely to appeal reproductive ruling


(ANSA) - Rome, August 29 - While the Italian government
said Wednesday that it would likely appeal a human rights ruling
against its restrictive reproductive law, opponents of Law 40
cheered the ruling and called for the law's demise.
One day earlier, the European Court of Human Rights said
parts of Law 40 that forbid families from screening embryos for
ailments were too restrictive and violated the rights of an
Italian couple that wanted to screen for cystic fibrosis
Italian Health Minister Renato Balduzzi said that the
government would most likely appeal the ruling out of concern
that it could be misinterpreted.
"There are passages in the judgment...which can give rise
to worrying interpretations," Balduzzi told Vatican Radio
But, he added, it might also be possible to revise the law
if the government saw strong public demand and a better balance
could be found between legal rights and concerns about eugenics.
Eugenics involves a highly unpopular branch of science that
advocates weeding so-called "undesirables" from the gene pool.
The Strasbourg ruling has given the Italy government the
opportunity to create a better law, said Roberta Agostini,
spokesman for the National Conference of Democratic women.
Law 40, passed eight years ago with strong cross-party
Catholic backing, was poorly conceived with a strong ideological
bent "that has not held up to the appeals that many couples have
presented," she said.
"This ruling is an opportunity to rewrite in a radical way,
taking into account the case law, and deleting absurd and
controversial parts in order to respect the rights of women and
The remaining elements of the Italian law still stand,
including a ban the use of embryos for scientific research.
Italy has three months to appeal the decision of the human
rights court, which also ordered 17,500 euros in compensation
for the couple that launched the challenge.
Italy's caretaker government has no legitimate right to
appeal the Strasbourg ruling because it was appointed to deal
with the economic crisis, not reproductive matters, said Aurelio
Mancuso, president of Equality Italy.

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