ROME — Carried away by Italian elections that are expected to soon see Giorgia Meloni form the country’s first far-right government since World War II, veterans of successful battles for civil rights, including divorce and abortion, and lawmakers fighting still for freedoms like same-sex marriage.
Fearing that the conservative wave of political sentiment that emerged in Sunday’s vote in parliament could erode hard-won civil rights, Italian women are mobilizing, holding rallies in a dozen cities on Wednesday evening to raise their voices in defense of the right to abortion.
Organizers said they feared Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party was launching “a triad of ‘God, fatherland and family,'” a reference to its political manifesto.
It could impose “rigid gender roles and give women the task of reproducing and growing a white, patriarchal, heterosexual nation,” organizers said in their announcement of the rallies against Meloni’s agenda, which would become the Italy’s first far-right prime minister. after the war and his first wife in this position.
Perhaps Italy’s most famous living civil rights activist, Emma Bonino, lost her Senate seat to a Rome city councilor from the Brothers of Italy, the party co-founded a decade ago by Meloni , which exalts motherhood and “traditional” families and denounces LGBTQ “lobbies.” Lavinia Munnino’s no. Campaign 1 priority was the growth of Italy’s birth rate.
Bonino told the AP by phone that she was too busy Tuesday preparing for a call for a recount in the tight race to discuss civil rights concerns. “Anyway, I’ve already said all that” in the campaign. During his campaign, Bonino expressed concerns that Meloni would make access to abortion difficult.
Italy allows abortion on demand during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or later if a woman’s health or life is in danger.
As a young woman, Bonino, now 74, spearheaded successful campaigns in the 1970s to legalize both abortion and divorce, two rights that the Vatican opposed. aggressively, which wields political influence in Italy.
Ahead of the September 25 election to parliament, Meloni said she would abide by the 1978 law but push for measures, such as economic aid, for women who choose to give birth instead of abortion.
The law allows health personnel to register as conscientious objectors so that they do not have to perform an abortion. In some regions, including one where Meloni’s party rules, the percentage of objectors is so high that women are forced to travel to other parts of Italy to get an abortion, Bonino noted.
Others defeated by right-wing candidates was Monica Cirinna, a Democratic Party lawmaker behind the passage of a 2016 law legalizing same-sex unions. Italy had been the last to resist in Western Europe this recognition, but Cirinna was thwarted in its efforts to allow adoption by same-sex couples.
Alessia Crocini, who leads the group Rainbow Families which defends the rights of LBGTQ families, called Meloni’s victory “terrible news”. Human rights activists expected it, “but when something like this materializes, it becomes real, it’s quite shocking,” she said.
“I’ve been an activist for a very long time and there are people I don’t know who write to me on Instagram, ‘I’m scared’, ‘I don’t know what to do’, ‘I’m very worried’, I want cry.'”
Crocini claimed that Meloni’s goal was “to break up the LGBTQ movement”.
Democratic Party Senator Emanuele Fiano was also beaten. The son of a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp during World War II, Fiano fought against the rise of neo-fascist political movements. Recipient of anti-Semitic threats, Fiano is escorted by the police.
Isabella Rauti, a senator from the Brothers of Italy whose late father, Pino Rauti, helped found the Italian Social Movement, a nostalgic party for fascism formed just after the end of the war, beat him in a district race of the Senate in the suburbs of Milan.
Meloni ignored a request by Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre, who is a senator for life, to remove from her party symbol the flame in the three colors of the Italian flag that belonged to the Italian Social Movement. Meloni tweeted that she was proud of her party symbol. She denounced the anti-Jewish laws of the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.
Wednesday’s marches, taking place in cities across Italy, are being organized by civil rights groups under the banner “Ready? Furious!” They demand that the right to abortion remain in place.