Protests in Rome Over New Legislation Allowing Anti-Abortion Activists in Clinics


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Protests have erupted in Rome after Italy tabled new legislation allowing anti-abortion activists to enter abortion clinics on the grounds of ‘involving non-profits with experience providing maternity support in family planning clinics.’ The measure, passed by Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, forms part of a package of initiatives funded by the European Union’s post-Covid recovery fund.

Controversial Amendment and Criticisms

Controversial Amendment and Criticisms

The law was approved by the lower house of parliament last Thursday by a margin of 140 votes to 91 and will be voted on by the Italian Senate today. Meloni claims that the measure will provide women with information around financial assistance and welfare arrangements. Women obtaining an abortion in Italy, which was legalized in the country for the first 90 days of pregnancy in 1978 under the name ‘Law 194,’ must obtain a certificate outlining the health risk of her pregnancy from a health authority, including family planning clinics. Critics heavily criticized the amendment, stating that it will make it easier for anti-abortion activists to intimidate women who are considering getting an abortion. Politicians have also taken aim, with the lead candidate for the European elections for the European Socialists Party Nicolas Schmidt commenting that the proposal is “a slap to the fundamental right to access safe abortion.”

Meloni’s party maintains it does not want to revoke Italy’s abortion law but instead wants to allow “collaboration by suitable groups and voluntary associations to help overcome the reasons why a woman might decide to terminate a pregnancy.”

Access to abortions has become increasingly difficult in Italy as a high number of gynecologists refuse to perform the procedure. The proposal follows several measures already adopted by several regions of the country, such as the Brothers of Italy-led eastern region of Marche, which has restricted access to the abortion pill.

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