San Marino votes overwhelmingly to end abortion ban

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About 77.30% of voters approved the measure that would make abortion legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The vote would make it legal for a woman to have an abortion beyond 12 weeks if the pregnancy is life-threatening to the woman, or if fetal anomalies and malformations arise that pose a serious health risk to the woman.

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According to the public broadcaster San Marino RTV, the microstate’s interior secretary, Elena Tonini, hopes to draft a law as soon as possible based on the vote.

The vote in the northern Italian enclave of 33,000 people comes as authorities in countries such as Poland and the US state of Texas tighten abortion laws. Earlier this month, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that punishing abortion is unconstitutional.

Until now in San Marino, women who had terminated their pregnancies were at risk of three years in prison. The term is twice as long for anyone who has had an abortion.

San Marino women want a abortion as usual went to italy, where they could only get one privately, at a cost of around 1,500 euros ($1,765).

Elsewhere in Europe, the Mediterranean island of Malta, and the micro-states of Andorra and Vatican City, another Italian enclave, still ban abortions.

In Europe’s last referendum on abortion, the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar voted in June to ease extremely strict restrictions. Ireland legalized abortion in a high-profile referendum in 2018.

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Social progress in San Marino has been slow. Women did not gain the right to vote until 1960, 14 years after Italy was besieged, and were allowed to hold political office as early as 1974. Divorce was legalized in 1986, almost 16 years after Italy.

Additional reporting by Reuters.


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