The Italian Parliament took the first step towards making surrogacy a universal crime. The Chamber of Deputies approved this Wednesday, July 26, by 166 votes in favor and 109 against, a bill that penalizes any Italian citizen who “rents” a woman to gestate a baby outside the country.
The initiative must now be voted on in the Senate before becoming law.
Although “surrogacy” has been banned in Italy since 2004, it is still possible to obtain a child by seeking this practice in a foreign country.
The text modified article 12 of Law 40 of February 19, 2004, regarding the rules of medically assisted procreation, and proposes prison sentences ranging from three months to two years, and fines that could reach one million euros for Italian citizens who hire women abroad.
The bill was introduced by MP Carolina Varchi of the Fratelli d’Italia party and is supported by the government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
“Motherhood is unique, irreplaceable and not subrogable” said Varchi in the presentation of the bill, adding that “motherhood cannot be given in exchange for a fee because a child is not a marketable object”.
Eugenia Roccella, Minister for the Family, who participated in a demonstration in front of Parliament in support of the bill, said: “Today is important because it places Italy at the forefront of the defense of women and children on an international scale. We hope that this vote will open a worldwide debate on this practice in order to achieve its abolition”.
This debate is already being promoted by the Casablanca Declaration, which considers “surrogate motherhood” an inhuman practice analogous to slavery and seeks its universal abolition.