Wednesday, 9 June, 2010

Women considering abortions offered USD 4000 to keep their babies

Pregnant women in the north of the country who can prove economic difficulty will be given €250 a month for 18 months.

The government-sponsored policy was a key campaign promise of Roberto Formignoni, the centre-Right governor of the Lombardy region, who was elected in regional polls in March. Despite heavy budget cuts, Mr Formignoni said €5 million had been set aside to fund the scheme, which would apply to women who earned less than €23,000 a year and had other children to support.

The move was dismissed by pro-choice activists as propaganda. Critics questioned how women would cope once the anti-abortion "bonus" ran out after a year and a half.

Cinzia Sasso, a feminist writer in Milan, wrote on the website of La Repubblica that the money set aside would only help 1,000 women.

A spokesman for the Italian Bishops' Conference hailed the new policy, saying: "Anything that respects life is to be applauded."

Abortion was legalised in Italy in 1978.

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