Italian Parliament Passes Measure Allowing Anti-Abortion Groups in Family Counseling Centers

Italy passes law allowing anti-abortion groups access to family counseling centers, sparking concerns over reproductive rights and the country's shift towards restricting abortion access.

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Quadri Adejumo
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Italian Parliament Passes Measure Allowing Anti-Abortion Groups in Family Counseling Centers

Italian Parliament Passes Measure Allowing Anti-Abortion Groups in Family Counseling Centers

The Italian Parliament has passed a measure allowing anti-abortion groups to operate in family counseling centers, introduced by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's right-wing party on April 18, 2023. The law, which was already approved by the lower Chamber of Deputies, allows regions to permit groups "with a qualified experience supporting motherhood" to have access to public support centers where women considering abortions go for counseling.

This development has revived tensions around the issue of abortion in Italy, 46 years after it was legalized. The left-wing opposition argues that the law chips away at abortion rights, while Meloni's government claims it merely aims to fully implement the original intent of the 1978 law legalizing abortion, which includes provisions to prevent the procedure and support motherhood.

Meloni has insisted that the law will not roll back the 1978 law but rather provide women with more information and options. "It is about guaranteeing a free choice by providing all the information and opportunities," she stated.

Why this matters: The new law in Italy comes as other European countries, such as France and Malta, have moved to expand or ease abortion access. Italy's left fears the country might follow the path of the U.S. in restricting abortion rights, making this a significant development in the ongoing global debate over reproductive rights.

The move has faced opposition from medical professionals and the left-wing, who see it as undermining women's reproductive autonomy. They argue that the law allows medically unqualified groups to interfere in the counseling process and that the amendment was passed without proper parliamentary debate. Despite these concerns, the Italian Senate has approved the measure, reflecting the complex intersection of politics, religion, and reproductive rights in the country.

Key Takeaways

  • Italy passes law allowing anti-abortion groups in family counseling centers.
  • Law revives tensions around abortion, 46 years after it was legalized.
  • Left-wing opposition argues law chips away at abortion rights, govt. claims it supports choice.
  • Italy's move contrasts with other European countries expanding abortion access.
  • Law faces opposition from medical professionals and left-wing, but is approved by Senate.