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WOMEN IN ITALY RALLY TO DEFEND ABORTION

They oppose a push by conservatives to change the law.

Hundreds of women rallied in Rome and Naples on Thursday to protest the police interrogation of a woman after she underwent an abortion and to oppose a campaign push by some conservatives to change Italy's abortion law.

State television said at least one woman was detained by police after protesters scuffled with officers in Rome.

Health Minister Livia Turco emerged from her office earlier in a show of solidarity with demonstrators.

Turco has denounced an incident earlier in the week in which police rushed into a Naples hospital to interrogate a woman who had aborted a 21-week-old fetus minutes before. The woman, 39, said she had the abortion after learning that the fetus had a grave genetic defect. News reports said the fetus was seized as evidence.

The police investigation came amid a drive seeking to limit the point in a pregnancy when abortion should be allowed. Proponents of limits say medical advances mean that 21-week fetuses can sometimes survive.

Abortion after three months is allowed in Italy when a pregnancy is deemed a grave danger to a woman's mental or physical health.

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