Payment to prevent abortion proposed

Women could be paid not to have abortion in northern Italy


The proposal by a far-right councillor in Piedmont of a €4,000 payment to stop women having an abortion, sparks condemnation.

A far-right councillor, of the Brothers of Italy, submitted a proposal where pregnant women in the northern Italian region of Piedmont could be paid €4,000 not to have an abortion. Maurizio Marrone, regional councillor for social policies, proposed the region gives €400,000 to anti-abortion associations. This in turn would make the money available to 100 women to entice them not to abort.

Marrone said he would have liked to set aside more money for the scheme. Last year, he allowed anti-abortion groups to set up counters in clinics by the local health authority, Asl, and hospitals in Piedmont.

“It was not enough for Marrone to allow this, but now he announces €400,000 to associations that define abortion as the primary cause of femicide,” said Marco Grimaldi, a politician with the leftwing party, Free and Equal.

Economic difficulties

Marrone’s proposal sparked condemnation from both opposition parties and women’s groups. The politician’s argument was that “In Piedmont, 100 more children will be born”. “Children who would not have otherwise come into the world because of their mothers’ economic difficulties.”

Another Piedmont councillor, Sarah Disabato, immediately condemned the scheme describing it as a “substantial gift to anti-abortion propaganda”. “It is being disguised as aid for women who choose to have an abortion due to economic problems,” she said.

Non Una di Meno, a feminist alliance, expressed disgust, but not surprise, at the initiative. The alliance accused Marrone of using women and their bodies for “squalid electoral and political positioning purposes”.

“Motherhood is a choice,” the alliance wrote on Facebook. “A false promise of economic support won’t convince us, on the contrary, it represents a mockery and is manipulative towards those who are in economic hardship.”

Abortion in Italy

Italy legalised abortion in 1978 under legislation called Law 194. However, women struggle to access safe abortions. This is due to the high number of gynaecologists who refuse to terminate pregnancies for moral reasons.

Seven out of 10 doctors in Italy are “moral objectors”. In addition, anti-abortion activists infiltrate hospitals to try to prevent abortions from taking place.

However, despite the Pope calling for couples to have children easier this year, calling it “selfishness” on the part of couples who choose not to have children but have pets instead, the birth rate in Italy continues to fall.

The current birth rate for Italy in 2022 is 7,154 births per 1000 people, a 1.62% decline from 2021. The birth rate for Italy in 2021 was 7,272 births per 1000 people, a 1.61% decline from 2020.

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