Tensions rise across Italy due to Meloni’s anti-abortion measures

  ROME -- Following Italy’s new anti-abortion measures which were passed last week, women from both sides have spoken out on the topic which has been at the centre of political debate for days. 

  In a highly charged political and personal speech in the chamber in Montecitorio, MP Gilda Sportiello, of the Five Star Movement, vehemently criticised the new measures introduced by Meloni’s administration. 

  “I am a mother, I chose to be one, 14 years ago I chose to have an abortion.” Sportiello proclaimed in a speech which has since gone viral on social media.

“And, do you know why I am saying it here, in the highest place of democratic representation in this country? Because no woman who wants an abortion should be attacked. When I look in the mirror, I do not feel guilty nor ashamed.” 

  Sportiello continued to call out the “sordid propaganda made on people’s bodies.” 

“We are women who choose what we want in our lives, whether to be a mother or not. No one grants that to us or gives us the opportunity. You should be ashamed!” 

“If the 194 already provided for the presence of anti-abortion associations in the clinics, can you explain to me why you had to make an amendment to remember that? Evidently, this was not at all expected.”

  Several opposition parliamentarians have also spoken out on the issue, condemning the majority amendment. 

  However, tensions continue to mount on both ends of the debate. On Saturday, the vice-director of TG1, Incoronata Boccia, declared on live TV: “Abortion is murder. We are mistaking a crime for a right.” 

  The statements which were aired during the programme ‘Che sarà’ on Rai 3 quickly gained criticism both on social media and from politicians, notably Senator of the Italian Republic, Cecilia d’Elia and MP Chiara Braga. 

  “This is Meloni’s Rai. This is not public service.” member of the Democratic Party, D’Elia, took to ‘X’ to denounce Boccia’s comments which attack “a state law, and women’s choice.” 

  Echoing these sentiments, Braga, the head of the Italian Democratic Party, added: “What prompts a woman to call a right that is in the constitution in France a crime remains a mystery.

“A mystery for which she, journalist Incoronata Boccia will answer to her conscience, but for which the Rai management must also be held accountable.”

 “Can someone who offends women and laws still hold the position of deputy director of the country’s main TV channel?” Braga asks, “There is a problem in the largest Italian cultural company that goes from censorship to offending the laws of the State. Shameful and unacceptable.”

  During the programme, Boccia reiterated that “we are afraid to say abortion is murder, even politics is afraid to say so.” She finally went on to recall the speech made by Mother Theresa in 1979: “When she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize when asked what the most imminent danger was, she answered not war, but abortion.”

  Abortion was legalised in Italy in 1978, under Law 194. During her electoral campaign in 2022, Giorgia Meloni affirmed that she would neither “cancel” nor “change” the 194 law.