Italians head to the polls on 9 and 10 April to elect a new parliament
Italy goes to the polls on 9 April and abortion has become a hot political issue.
Many women feel that the right to choice is being challenged by the Church, a big change in this relatively liberal Catholic country.
Feminists are outraged at what they say is the Church's growing interference in politics and in women's lives.
In Crossing Continents, Rosie Goldsmith meets those on both sides of the debate - priests, politicians, doctors and feminists.
And she hears stories from the women caught in the crossfire.
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 30 March, 2006, at 1102 BST.
The programme was repeated on Monday, 3 April, 2006, at 2030 BST.
Presenter: Rosie Goldsmith
Producer: Anna Raphael
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles
Editor: Maria Balinska