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Sainthood prospect for mother who died refusing abortion

A 41 year old Italian woman who died last week after refusing cancer treatment that would have required her to have an abortion, is being compared with pediatrician Gianna Beretta Molla (pictured), who died in 1962 and was canonised last May.

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano compared Rita Fedrizzi's decision to that of St Gianna, who died after refusing to end her pregnancy despite warnings that it could kill her. Beretta Molla was made a saint by John Paul II last year and has become a symbol for opponents of abortion.

Fedrizzi, 41, who refused the abortion and cancer treatment, found out she had cancer about the same time she learned she was pregnant, the Vatican paper said.

"She was aware that if she gave birth she wouldn't have had any hope of surviving," the Vatican newspaper wrote. "Despite that she went through with her choice, the choice of welcoming new life even at the cost of her own death."

Besides Federico, born after six months of her pregnancy, she left two children, ages 10 and 12.

"Rita's choice, which I always shared, was a choice of faith," her husband, Enrico Ferrari, told the Italian news agency ANSA.

"Whenever someone recommended abortion as the only way to escape (death), she would say, 'It's as if they're asking me to kill one of my other two children to save my skin.' She welcomed Federico as a gift, the husband was quoted as saying.

Fedrizzi was buried in Pianello del Lario, near Como, on Tuesday.

Vatican Hails Woman Who Refused Abortion (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 27/1/05)

Saint Gianna
Gianna's choice (The Tablet 22/5/04)

Pope to canonise mother who said no to abortion (CathNews 20/2/04)

Cancer mum in line for sainthood (The Australian/The Times 28/1/05)
Vatican praises woman who refused cancer treatment to save child (Catholic News Service 26/1/05)
L'Osservatore Romano highlights heroism of "courageous" Italian mother (Catholic News Agency 27/1/05)
Como, muore per dare alla luce il terzo figlio (
Rinuncia alle cure salva il bimbo ma lei non ce la fa (Avvenire)

28 Jan 2005