Pressure on women is increasing in Italy: Abortion opponents allowed to enter clinics
In Italy, Meloni's far-right government has approved legislation allowing abortion opponents to enter abortion counseling clinics. While the opposition criticized this step as a "step backwards", access to the right to abortion is becoming increasingly difficult in Italy.
Pressure on women is increasing in Italy: Abortion opponents allowed to enter clinics
Italy's far-right government has approved legislation allowing abortion opponents to enter abortion counseling clinics.

Italian opposition parties said women's rights had been dealt a severe blow with this step by the government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Giant billboard toppled! Giant billboard toppled!

The legislation, which forms part of a package of initiatives to be financed by the European Union's post-pandemic recovery fund, was put to a vote of confidence in the lower house yesterday, The Guardian reported. The package is also expected to pass easily in the Senate.

The move follows arrangements to fund pressure groups to infiltrate clinics that provide women with a certificate confirming that they want to terminate their pregnancies.

These regulations have already been adopted in several right-wing-led regions.

Some regions, such as Marche, ruled by Meloni's Brothers of Italy, have also restricted access to the abortion pill.

Abortion was legalized in traditional Catholic Italy in 1978 under Law 194.

Although Meloni has promised not to change the law, access to safe abortion is becoming increasingly difficult in Italy due to the large number of gynecologists who refuse to terminate pregnancies for moral or religious reasons.

According to 2021 data from the Ministry of Health, around 63 percent of gynecologists refuse to perform these abortions.

Five Star Movement lawmakers said Italy had "chosen to take another step backwards" with this regulation.

Before the vote, Jacopo Coghe, spokesman for Pro Vita, Italy's largest anti-abortion organization, told Italian media that the group had no intention of entering abortion counseling clinics.

However, arguing that the clinics' main function is to "help women find concrete alternatives to abortion," Coghe said they should return to their original function.

The group is often behind controversial anti-abortion poster campaigns.

"A VERY SERIOUS STEP"

Luisa Rizzitelli, women's rights activist and Italian coordinator of One Billion Rising, a campaign to end violence against women, said:

"This step may seem like a small thing, but symbolically it is very powerful and serious. "The government is sending a clear signal that they want to do everything possible to convince women to change their minds. This should not happen."