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Italy's abortion move not linked to NRRP says EC

Italy's abortion move not linked to NRRP says EC

Element tacked on decree has no connection to plan - Commission

ROME, 19 April 2024, 14:23

ANSA English Desk



There is no link between an Italian government amendment allowing pro-life activists access to abortion clinics and a decree enacting the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) it is contained in, the European Commission said Friday.
    The move to let anti-abortion campaigners into the clinics has been contested by pro-choice groups and has raised an outcry among liberal parties.
    The amendment, filed by Premier Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, follows a previous FdI proposal, not enacted, to make women awaiting abortions listen to fetus's heartbeats.
    Premier Giorgia Meloni has said the new move does not breach the 1978 Law 193 legalising abortion in traditionally Catholic Italy, because that law also envisaged encouraging women to find alternatives to terminating their pregnancies.
    On Friday, when asked about the abortion debate in Italy, an EC spokeswoman said "the NRRPdecree contains measures that concern the governance structure of the NRRP, but there are other aspects that are not covered and have no connection with the NRRP, such as the law on abortion".
    Meloni said after an EU summit in Brussels Thursday that it was the Left that wanted to change Italy's abortion law, not the government.
    "Those who want to change Law 194 is the Left, not us. We only want to guarantee free choices", she said, saying women should be offered alternatives as Law 194 also laid down.
    Meloni has also hit back hard after a Spanish minister criticised the Italian government measure that would allow 'pro-maternity' associations access to abortion clinics.
    "When you are ignorant on a subject you must at least have the good sense not to give lessons," Meloni said in response to comments by Spanish Equality Minister Ana Recondo.
    Recondo had said that: "allowing organised pressure against women who want to interrupt a pregnancy means undermining a right recognised by the law.
    "It is the strategy of the far right: to threaten to strip rights, to rein in parity between women and men," she said on X.
    Italy's Pro Vita & Famiglia pro-life and family group said Tuesday it would not enter the abortion consultancies, where women receive certificates to have an abortion, despite the government's plans.
    Abortion has been legal in Italy since 1978 but it is hard to get in practice with around half the country's doctors conscientious objectors on moral or religious grounds, rising to almost 90% in some regions.
    Provision of abortion pills is also difficult.
    Meloni suggested that the Left wanted to make abortion easier to access.


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