December 2, 2005


Pay women not to have abortions, say Italian MPs (John Hooper, December 2, 2005, The Guardian)

A proposal to pay women in Italy not to have abortions was rapidly gaining momentum yesterday as politicians of right and left alike gave it their endorsement.

The scheme - put forward by the left - came against a background of mounting pressure from the Roman Catholic church for a rethink of the country's 1978 abortion law. [...]

The language issuing from the Vatican has grown stronger in recent weeks with one cardinal describing abortion as "the worst kind of murder". On Wednesday a parliamentary committee gave the go-ahead for a commission of inquiry into the workings of Italy's act, passed at a time when the feminist lobby in Italy was stronger and more active than today.

One reason why the latest initiative has gathered support is that it addresses Italy's failure to produce enough children. In 2003 the fertility rate - the number of children per woman of childbearing age - was only 1.27, one of the lowest in the world. A slight increase in recent years has been due to immigrant mothers.

The low fertility rate threatens to undermine competitiveness and make Italy's welfare system unsustainable.

Macabre, but necessary, even if too little too late.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2005 9:22 AM

Alternatively, why not impose massive taxes on the abortion industry?

Posted by: b at December 2, 2005 11:31 AM

I may look at the world through a small lens but it seems there are crimes that are so big that they require an attonement from an entire population. Nazism and Stalinism are of that type. I think that these crimes require the payment of a "blood debt" to God. The U.S. has condoned a holocost over the last 30 years vs. abortion. The bill always comes due.

Posted by: steve at December 2, 2005 11:56 AM

Unfortunately for Italy, the only women who are going to take the government up on this proposal will be Moslem women.

Posted by: AllenS at December 2, 2005 2:30 PM

Give every couple who has two or more kids a luxury condo. The prospective mothers aren't broke, they just can't afford their own place.

Or so I've read about Italy.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 2, 2005 2:45 PM

Steve: I never let pass an excuse to quote Lincoln's second inaugural:

The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

Posted by: David Cohen at December 3, 2005 6:06 PM