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Pre-Born Italian Babies Get Lifeline From Government

Updated: May 17

Former abortion policies being wiped out by Prime Minister Meloni.

Italy is bulldozing former pro-abortion policies.

The conservative government headed by baptized Catholic Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is dismantling those policies introduced by previous leftwing governments.


On Tuesday, Italy’s parliament passed a measure allowing pro-life workers to enter abortion consultation clinics and counsel women against the killing of unborn babies.


The new law permits abortion counselling centers and clinics to “also avail themselves, without new or greater burdens on public finances, of the involvement of third sector entities who have qualified experience in maternity support.”

No Freedom Without Options 

“Translated, this means that pro-life associations, if the local regions allow it, will be able to have their own space in clinics, places where the only solution offered for an unwanted pregnancy is always abortion,” legal philosopher Tommaso Scandroglio explained in the Italian Catholic media La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.


“If we use the grammar of pro-choice, one of the foundations of abortion is the woman’s freedom, her self-determination. But there is no freedom without options,” Dr. Scandroglio remarked.


“The anti-life culture, well-represented by politicians critical of the present amendment, in reality does not want women to be free, but rather slaves to abortion,” he lamented.


Leftists Blast New Law

Opposition parties, who have already been protesting the government’s decision to make surrogacy a "universal crime" [document in Italian], complained that women’s rights in Italy have been dealt a “heavy” blow by the new legislation permitting pro-lifers to enter abortion mills.


Conservative regions in Italy, such as the Marche, which overwhelmingly support Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, have also succeeded in restricting access to the abortion pill.


Deputy Prime Minister, Antonio Tajani, said that the government had no intention of “criminalizing those who are against abortion” and had “always allowed freedom of conscience on issues of this kind.”


Elly Schlein, leader of the leftist Democratic party (PD), slammed the measure as a “heavy attack against the liberty of women,” while PD deputy, Silvia Roggiani, blasted the decision as “obscurantist and patriarchal” and “trying, in every way, to erode women’s rights.”


“The rightwing blitz in parliament with this amendment is very serious,” Schlein complained, noting that the law seeks to “bring anti-abortion associations into clinics, to psychologically and in an unacceptable, violent way, influence women who need access to voluntary termination of pregnancy.”


Luisa Rizzitelli, a women’s rights activist and the coordinator in Italy for One Billion Rising, which campaigns to end violence against women, hailed the measure as “symbolically very strong and serious.”


It “might seem like a small thing, but the government is giving a clear sign in that they want to do everything possible to persuade women to change their minds,” Rizzitelli said. “This shouldn’t be happening.”


"Fundamental Right" to Abortion

The legislation by the Meloni government comes days after the European Parliament passed a resolution declaring “safe and legal abortion care” as a “fundamental right” to be included in the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.  


The resolution, which is symbolic and not legal, described abortion as essential to “upholding human dignity” and “intrinsically linked to combating sexual and gender-based violence and achieving gender equality and a wide range of other human rights.”


Despite 336 votes in favor, 163 against and 39 abstentions, the European Parliament faces opposition from traditionally-Catholic countries like Malta, Poland, and Italy, to legislating the right to abortion.  


Catholic Countries Restrict Abortion

“Countries with less restrictive abortion laws generally have lower abortion rates than countries with highly restrictive abortion laws,” the resolution stated, citing Poland as a country that “has further restricted access to legal abortion care.”


“In Malta, abortion is de facto banned and criminalized; whereas the July 2023 reform saw a worrisome shift in the Maltese Parliament, removing rights and adding even more risks and barriers than before to access to abortion care,” the resolution stated.


Doctors can only terminate a pregnancy if the mother’s life is at immediate risk and before “fetal viability,” in the Catholic bastion. Doctors are also required to refer the mother to a medical panel of three consultants.


The EU resolution did not use the word “mother” even once in its resolution but, in a nod to transgender rights, referred to “girls and all persons who can be pregnant” and “pregnant persons.”


The Vatican and the Episcopal Conference of Italy have remained silent as a body on the new Italian law and the European Parliament resolution.


Ban on "Universal Surrogacy"

In April 2022, homosexual couples responded with outrage after Italian parliamentarians closed ranks to make surrogacy a "universal crime" [document in Italian] — punishable in Italy even if couples "rent a womb" abroad.


Italy already has a 2004 law punishing anyone who "carries out, organizes or advertises the marketing of gametes or embryos or the subrogation of maternity" with "imprisonment from three months to two years and with a fine from 600,000 to one million euros."


The law on artificial insemination, however, does not prohibit Italian couples from seeking medically-assisted procreation in a foreign country like Ukraine. Legislators are seeking to close the regulatory loophole feeding a global industry estimated at over $6 billion annually.


Surrogate parenthood is an “inhuman” practice that treats children as “supermarket products,” Prime Minister Meloni said last Friday at an event in Rome, urging parliament to pass a bill to prosecute those who go abroad to purchase children.


“No one can convince me that it is an act of freedom to rent one’s womb, no one can convince me that it is an act of love to consider children as an over-the-counter product in a supermarket,” Meloni emphasized.


In March, Pope Francis published his declaration Dignitas Infinita condemning surrogacy as a violation of both mother and child.


“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis stressed. “In this practice, the woman is detached from the child growing in her and becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others.”

Dr. Jules Gomes, (BA, BD, MTh, PhD), has a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of Cambridge. Currently a Vatican-accredited journalist based in Rome, he is the author of five books and several academic articles. Gomes lectured at Catholic and Protestant seminaries and universities and was canon theologian and artistic director at Liverpool Cathedral.


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