No surprise here. The current Italian law is incredibly restrictive; it “bans donations of sperm and eggs, defines life as beginning at conception, and allows fertility treatment only to married heterosexual couples.”
It ramins to be seen how the Italian people will react to this move. One thing that has always been interesting about Italy is that, while its people are deeply religious and overwhelmingly Catholic, there is a strong resistance to the intrusion of religion into the political sphere. And there has been an equally strong push by the Catholic church to do just about anything to maintain its influence over the populace — even its opposition to abortion didn’t really begin until Papal states shrunk and a decline in the church’s political power became obvious.
The church has the right to issue whatever boycotts it deems necessary in preventing people from donating sperm and eggs (gotta protect potential life, right?). I think it’s unfortunate that they are choosing to dedicate such energy to preventing people from having children, but that’s their call. But when an organization is dealing with a wide range of issues and only has access to limited resources, don’t they usually focus on the most important issue/s? I understand, they think fertility treatments end life. But how about taking a louder stand against the invasion of Iraq? That hasn’t been the most life-affirming mission. Or calling on all Catholics to petition the UN and their own governments to do something in Darfur? How about mentioning the Church’s opposition to the death penalty (something that many Christian and “pro-life” groups out here manage to conveniently forget)? Hell, what about the 78,000 women (probably more unreported) who die of illegal abortions every year? What about the 12 million street kids in Brazil — a country where the Catholic church has been instrumental in limiting access to contraception and sex education and illegalizing abortion (which means lots more dead mothers and orphaned children)? Priority, I guess, isn’t being placed in protecting real, actual, living people — it’s being put on getting into a political fray intended to block families from having children.
Excuse me if I’m a little testy tonight. But given the current state of things, I think any feeling person would be. (p.s., please excuse the typos — I’m sure there are many. It’s after 3am, and I’m so tired I’m seeing double. Plus, I’m pissed, and that doesn’t help).
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