Virginia Coda Nunziante, the President of the march’s organising committee, said “We affirm the intangibility of innocent human life, from conception to natural death, because we are convinced that nothing is irreversible in history”.
Many leading figures in the Italian pro-life movement also publicly addressed the rally.
Jacopo Coghe, vice president of Pro Vita e Famiglia said: “[We are] here to say yes to life and freedom… we are here to ask that the first of human rights be recognised: the right to life of every human being endangered by abortion”.
He went on: “We are also here to protest against the directives of Minister Speranza who during the pandemic effectively liberalised abortion at home… A decision that… will leave women even more alone in the face of pregnancy, further exposing them to serious risks for physical and mental health”.
Mario Adinolfi, journalist and President of “Il Popolo della Famiglia” (The People of Family) said: “To meet women and their condition of possible difficulty, the Popolo della Famiglia has been proposing maternity income for years: we are sure that through this tool tens of thousands of children could be saved every year”.
Abortion in Italy
Abortion was legalised in Italy in 1978. Women are permitted to terminate a pregnancy up to 90 days (12 weeks) gestation, de facto on request. After a period of 90 days, abortions are only permitted if a women’s life is at risk or the baby has been diagnosed with a disability, but this must pose a serious danger to the physical or psychological health of the woman.
Italian law also recognises the right of medics to conscientiously object to performing abortion procedures.
Apart from in cases of medical emergency, there is a seven-day waiting period between medical authorisation of an abortion and the date of the procedure itself. Parental consent is required for teenage girls who are ages 18 or below.
In 2018, Italy recorded 76,328 abortions. Italy has a population of around 60 million people. To put this number in perspective, England and Wales have a similar population size of around 59 million, but the number of abortions performed there in 2018 was 205,295.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is wonderful to see so many enthusiastic pro-lifers take to the streets at such a critical time for Italy and the world, as abortion access has expanded throughout the pandemic. The pro-life movement depends on those people who are willing to publicly and courageously demonstrate their values”.