Italy’s prime minister proposes aid for women in financial straits who reject abortion

July 11, 2024 Catholic News Agency 3
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaks during a conference on “The General State of the Birth Rate” in Rome on May 12, 2023. / Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNA

ACI Prensa Staff, Jul 11, 2024 / 08:00 am (CNA).

The government of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is also president of the Council of Ministers of Italy, has proposed a “maternity income” bill to provide financial assistance to pregnant women in need who reject abortion.

This initiative, promoted by Sen. Maurizio Gasparri of the Forza Italia political party, offers aid of 1,000 euros (about $1,082) for five years to Italian women who decide to continue with their pregnancy despite their financial difficulties.

The bill aims to reduce abortions motivated by the financial hardships of pregnant mothers, based on Article 5 of Italy’s Law 194.

Gasparri said this is “not only moral but also financial” support for women who decide not to end the life of their children in the womb. “Let’s defend life!” he wrote on X when announcing the measure.

The proposal — scheduled to be introduced next week — provides for an increase of 50 euros ($54) per month starting with the second child and 100 euros ($108) up to the age of 18 in the event that the child has a disability.

To finance it, a maternity income fund would be created with 600 million euros ($649 million) annually starting this year, and mothers who wish to apply for it must have an Indicator of Equivalent Economic Situation (ISEE) of less than 15,000 euros ($16,230) and be Italian citizens residing in the country.

In April, Meloni approved a package of measures to curb abortion in the country.

Among the measures, the Italian Parliament allowed volunteers from pro-life associations access to abortion centers to guarantee assistance to mothers who wish to abort their unborn children.

Abortion was legalized in Italy in 1978, under Law 194, which Meloni has pledged not to change, although she stated that her pro-life measures aim to “guarantee women the possibility of choosing an alternative, offering an active role by public institutions in order to remove the financial causes that can push a woman to abort.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.