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  2. English
  3. Politics
  4. Bill to make surrogacy 'universal crime' slated

Bill to make surrogacy 'universal crime' slated

Italy in heated debate on rights of same-sex couples, their kids

(ANSA) - ROME, MAR 21 - A centre-right bill to make surrogacy a "universal crime" was slated for debate in the House Tuesday amid heated debate on the children of same-sex couples in Italy.
    The bill, whose first signatory was a member of Premier Giorgia Meloni's rightwing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, aims to stop Italians going abroad to use surrogate mothers, a practice that is already illegal in Italy.
    It would hand out hefty fines to those who, like the majority of same-sex couples with children in Italy, travel to countries like Spain to pay women to provide them with children.
    The bill, which combines an original FdI bill with others from its government partners the League and Forza Italia (FI), was placed on the parliamentary agenda by the House justice committee.
    It will be discussed starting Wednesday.
    A heated debate about the rights of same-sex-parent families and surrogacy grew fierier on Monday when FdI lawmaker Federico Mollicone, chair of the Lower House's culture committee, said that surrogacy "is a serious crime, more serious than pedophilia".
    "We are faced with people who want to choose a child like they choose the colour of their house," he told La7 television.
    Surrogacy is a hot topic in Italy at the moment after Milan was forced to stop a procedure it had used to register both members of a same-sex couple as the parents of a child after the prefect's department warned it was illegal following consultations with the interior ministry.
    The procedure was based on the transcription into the Milan civil register of foreign birth certificates of children conceived by surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy, or assisted fertility, which is only allowed for heterosexual couples here.
    A major rally took place in Milan on Saturday to protest against transcriptions of birth certifications in such cases being stopped and to defend the right of same-sex-parent families.
    The right-wing FdI, however, wants to further clamp down on surrogacy and has presented its bill in the Lower House for it to become a "universal crime".
    This would mean it would be possible to prosecute Italians who have children via surrogacy abroad, even when the procedure is legal in the country it takes place in.
    Furthermore, last week the ruling right-wing majority was decisive as a Senate committee voted to reject an EU plan for the rights of same-sex parents to be recognized throughout the bloc.
    The debate was already inflamed after another FdI MP, Fabio Rampelli, said Saturday that some gay people were passing themselves off as parents. (ANSA).


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