The Australian June 03, 2010
ROME: In a policy, welcomed by anti-abortion campaigners but dismissed by critics as propaganda, women in northern Italy who cannot afford to have their babies are to be offered E4500 ($6600) not to have an abortion. Roberto Formigoni, the centre-right governor of the Lombardy region, said yesterday the offer was to fulfil his pledge in regional elections in March that no woman should have to have an abortion because of economic difficulties. Mr Formigoni said E4 million had been set aside to allow women in economic difficulty to be given E250 a month for 18 months. Cinzia Sasso, a feminist writer in Milan, claimed the sum set aside would allow only 1000 women to avoid abortions. In the regional poll, centre-right candidates also vowed to ban the RU486 abortion pill days after it was made available. Abortion has been available on demand in Italy since 1978.