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Italy’s Meloni Pushes to Make Surrogacy a ‘Universal’ Crime

A draft law proposing to designate surrogacy a ‘universal’ crime has passed the lower house of the Italian parliament, though many legal experts question whether such a law is even applicable.

The lower house of Italy’s parliament on Wednesday approved a draft law that could make surrogacy a “universal” crime.

Surrogacy is already considered a crime in Italy, but for now families who want to resort to it can go abroad to countries where it is allowed.

The new law, supported by the majority of PM Giorgia Meloni’s government and proposed by her party, Brothers of Italy, proposes penalties ranging from three months to two years in prison and fines from 600,000 to one million euros for those who resort to surrogacy abroad, even in countries where it is legal.

After the summer, the proposal will go to the upper house, the Senate, where it may undergo changes.

According to a report by OpenPolis published in April, it is in the Senate where the most critical votes for the current government have been registered; in nine out of 12 “critical cases” it won by a margin of less than 20 votes.

While the government seems united on the issue, the opposition has been divided, thus failing to block the majority’s proposal, which passed without modifications in parliament.

According to several experts, the proposed law has some problematic legal aspects.

“A norm of this kind is legally inapplicable and would be immediately challenged because it ignores the principle of double criminality, which is fundamental to the law. In other words, to punish a crime committed in another country in Italy, it must also be considered an illegal act there,” said Filomena Galli, lawyer and Secretary of the Luca Coscioni Association.

Critics of the government view the law as a propagandistic measure, designed to show it is defending the “traditional family” and values. The proposal has been condemned, among others, by groups advocating for LGBT rights.

Meloni herself had previously put forward a bill on the same topic in April 2022, during the previous government, but the proposal was rejected.

Source : BalkanInsight