Italy law allows pro-life activists into abortion clinics

Italy law allows pro-life activists into abortion clinics
Italy law allows pro-life activists into abortion clinics

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has repeatedly said she has no intention of changing the abortion law, known as Law 194, but critics say she is attempting to make it more difficult to terminate pregnancies. — Reuters pic

ROME, April 24 — The Italian parliament has passed a measure by Giorgia Meloni’s hard-right government allowing anti-abortion activists to enter consultation clinics, sparking outrage from opposition parties.

The measure adopted by the Senate late yesterday allows regions to permit groups “with a qualified experience supporting motherhood” to have access to women considering abortions at clinics run by the state-funded healthcare system.

The government says the amendment merely fulfils the original aim of the 1978 law legalising abortion, which says clinics can collaborate with such groups in efforts to support motherhood.

Pressure groups in several regions led by the right are already allowed access to consultation clinics, and the measure may see more join them.

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But Elly Schlein, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), slammed the measure as “a heavy attack on women’s freedom”, while Five Star Movement MPs said Italy had “chosen to take a further step backwards”.

Meloni has repeatedly said she has no intention of changing the abortion law, known as Law 194, but critics say she is attempting to make it more difficult to terminate pregnancies.

Accessing safe abortions in Italy is already challenging due to the high number of gynaecologists who refuse to perform them on moral or religious grounds. — AFP

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