.- The Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano singled out an Italian mother for her decision to forego medical treatment doctors said she needed to save her life but that would have resulted in the death of her unborn child. The official Vatican newspaper compared Rita Fedrizzi with the beloved and recently canonized St. Gianna Beretta Molla, who died in 1962 after contracting cancer while she was pregnant with her fourth child. St. Gianna was herself a doctor and decided to forego cancer treatment that would have caused her to lose her baby. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2003 and has become a symbol for all those who defend the life of the unborn.
Similarly, Fedrizzi, 41, died after opting out of treatment for the cancer she was diagnosed with at the same time she had become pregnant, because it would have meant the death of her unborn child. The L’Osservatore Romano wrote that Fedrizzi “was aware there was little chance of survival if she gave birth. Nevertheless, she was firm in her decision to receive a new life, offering up her own.”
“Rita’s decision, which I always shared with her, was a decision of faith,” her husband Enrico Ferrari told the Italian news agency ANSA, adding that, “each time someone recommended she obtain an abortion so she could survive, she would say that that was like ‘asking me to kill one of my other two children in order to save my own skin’.” Federizzi is survived by her husband and three children, 10, 12, and 3 month-old Fernando, for whom she gave up her life.