A senator in Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party caused outrage across the political spectrum yesterday by proposing a law limiting free abortions to one per woman, after which they would be charged.
Under Antonio Gentile’s law, after their first free abortion on the state health service, financially comfortable women would have to foot part and then all of the bill, varying from €2,000 to €3,000 (£1,400-£2,000).
Mr Gentile, who has the support of about 20 senators of Forza Italia and its post-fascist coalition ally Alleanza Nazionale, said the proposal was to discourage multiple abortions on the health service and encourage contraception. He told La Repubblica newspaper that young Italians "do not appreciate the value of contraception". He plans to present the law to parliament in September.
"If the government accepts the proposal, the health minister will be able to send out a circular to the regions so they apply the new rules," Mr Gentile told the newspaper La Repubblica.
The proposal has angered politicians from other parties and women’s rights advocates barely a week after the Vatican reiterated the Catholic church’s stance that a woman’s mission is to stay at home and breed.
Stay at home and breed – that is one of the most dishonest representations of a Vatican document I think I have ever seen.
Update: SecretAgentMan writes the Editor in Chief of The Guardian Unlimited in response to the characterization of the Vatican document mentioned.