A new work by contemporary pop artist and activist aleXsandro Palombo appeared in Milan on Monday. It portrays Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Democratic Party (PD) Secretary Elly Schlein naked and pregnant. It is a contribution to the ongoing surrogacy debate in Italy.
In Power Is Female, in the central Piazza San Babila, the two party leaders are featured standing back to back cradling their pregnant bellies.
On Schlein’s there is a label in English reading ‘My uterus, my choice’. Meloni’s, meanwhile, says ‘Not for rent’.
“Giorgia Meloni and Elly Schlein share a historic opportunity, namely to be at the top together and to discuss directly without worrying about male interference on issues that concern the female sphere,” said Palombo.
“This opportunity may strengthen the path toward gender equality, emancipation and self-determination,” he added.
Surrogacy is a hot topic
Surrogacy has become a hot topic in Italy. Meloni’s right-wing government instructed city mayors to stop registering the children of same sex couples using a procedure based on the transcription into Italian civic registers of the foreign birth certificates of children conceived via surrogacy. Surrogate pregnancy is illegal in Italy, while assisted fertility is only available to heterosexual couples here.
One member of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) party called surrogacy “worse than paedophilia”. The party filed a bill that would prosecute Italians who resort to using surrogate mothers abroad where it is legal, making it a “universal crime”.
Schlein has pledged to fight what she has described as an “unprecedented attack on the rights of boys and girls” who are children to same-sex parents. She also said she is “personally in favour” of surrogacy.