Around 5,000 pro-lifers protest in Rome against abortion

Around 5,000 pro-lifers protest in Rome against abortion

Around 5,000 pro-life protesters marched through the streets of central Rome on Saturday to demonstrate against the laws on abortion and euthanasia.

The protest was called by the 'Pro Vita & Famiglia' association,which “defends the right to life from conception to natural death and promotes the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman,” according to its website.

“We know that there are those who consider us, who are against this law, to be troglodytes, backward, but we are against law 194, against abortion, we are pro-life,” said Marco Andreoni, one of the protesters.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who campaigned on a slogan of “God, fatherland and family,” has prioritised encouraging women to have babies to reverse Italy’s demographic crisis.

In 2023 each Italian woman was having on average only 1.2 children, down from 1.44 children in 2010. The rate needs to be 2.1 children if a country's population is to be kept stable and neither increase nor decrease.

In 2010 Italy's population was 59.2 million, according to EU figures, whilst in 2023 it was estimated to be slightly lower at 58.8 million.

Abortion has been legal since 1978 and Meloni has insisted she won’t roll back the law and only wants to see it fully implemented.

But recently passed legislation now allows anti-abortion groups to have access to women considering abortions at public health centres where they go for counselling.

For those on the political right, the amendment merely fulfils the original intent of the 1978 law legalising abortion, which included provisions to discourage the procedure and support motherhood.

For the left-wing opposition, the decision chips away at abortion rights that opponents had warned would follow Meloni’s 2022 election victory.

Some divisions have also emerged over the wording of the final declaration of the recent G7 summit, with disagreement over the inclusion of a reference to abortion.

The final statement, released on June 14, omitted the word “abortion” but did reference the need to promote “reproductive health and rights."