Tue | Dec 6, 2022

Italians march for abortion rights after Meloni victory

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2022 | 12:11 AM
People stage a protest on ‘International Safe Abortion Day’ to ask for more guarantees on the enforcement of the abortion law that they claim is seriously endangered by the high rate of doctors’ conscientious objection in the country, in Milan, Wedne
People stage a protest on ‘International Safe Abortion Day’ to ask for more guarantees on the enforcement of the abortion law that they claim is seriously endangered by the high rate of doctors’ conscientious objection in the country, in Milan, Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Banner reads “no more advice, we want more protections”.

ROME (AP):

Italians marched through Rome, Milan and other cities Wednesday to protect access to abortion, which many fear will be under threat by a far-right party expected to form the next government after leading in parliamentary elections.

Waving banners reading ‘My body – My choice’ and ‘Safe for All’, more than 1,000 people marched from Rome’s Esquilino neighbourhood, and at least that many from Milan’s Central Station.

The marches were part of nationwide actions aimed at sending a message to Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy Party that protesters won’t stand for any changes to the 1978 legislation, known as Law 194, guaranteeing access to abortion. The protests coincided with International Safe Abortion Day.

Many cited curbs on abortion in many US states after the US Supreme Court struck down landmark legislation that had guaranteed access to abortion for decades as an indication of trends internationally.

Meloni “continues to say that she doesn’t want to touch Law 194, but that she wants to guarantee a woman’s right not to abort″, said protester Donatella Marcelli. ”I don’t believe what she says about choice.”

Organisers said they feared Meloni’s party will launch “a triad of ‘God, homeland and family’ ” policies – a reference to her political manifesto.

That could impose “rigid gender roles and assign women the task of reproduction and growth of a white, patriarchal and heterosexual nation”, organisers said in their announcement of the rallies against the agenda of Meloni, who would become Italy’s first far-right premier of the post-war period and its first woman in that office.

The elections also swept away veterans of successful battles for civil rights, including divorce and abortion, as well as lawmakers still struggling for freedoms like same-sex marriage.