The issue of abortion is gaining ground in politics around the world, especially this year, and this is also evident in the upcoming Italian elections. Giorgia Meloni, president of the Brothers of Italy party and the front-runner for the post of prime minister, recently said that her party wants to assure that women have the right not to have to choose abortion.
The Brothers of Italy’s (FdI) stance on abortion began to attract more attention in August, after reports in the FdI-led Marche region that half of women who opt for abortion there are seeking a solution outside the region. Italian Left (SI) candidate Elisabetta Piccolotti has called for an inquiry into the matter by the health ministry, following reports that the province has introduced fetal heartbeat monitoring for women opting for abortion.
Speaking at a press conference in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome, Green MEP Eleonora Evi compared the Marche region in central Italy to Hungary following the announcement of measures to protect fetuses by Interior Minister Sándor Pintér.
Regarding the matter, the Italian Catholic bishops’ daily L’Avvenire asked how listening to an eight-week-old human heart could cause such fear.
According to data from health advocacy groups, more than 64% of obstetrician-gynecologists in Italy refuse to perform abortions for reasons of conscience. In the region of Marche, the figure is as high as seventy percent.
In Italy, it is possible to terminate a pregnancy up to 90 days after conception, similar to the law in Hungary, which allows abortions up to 12 weeks. Giorgia Meloni said she respects the law and does not plan to abolish it if she becomes prime minister. However, she wants to apply the law in a way that helps women decide to keep their babies.
In Hungary, abortion has also recently been at the center of public debate after the interior minister signed a decree requiring women who terminate their pregnancies to listen to the fetus’ heartbeat before having an abortion. The measure has sparked protests from many, with some saying that it is cruel to make women listen to the heartbeat of the fetus when they are about to have an abortion.
Chancellery Minister Gergely Gulyás also spoke on the issue at his weekly Government Info press conference on Saturday. He said that the abortion law had not been tightened in any way, that it had not been changed for years, and in that sense women’s right to choose remained unchanged. He went on to say that the College of Health Professionals had formulated guidelines and that the government would adopt them. “This is what has happened now. This does not affect women’s freedom of choice,” he said.
Featured photo via Giorgia Meloni’s Facebook page