By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, DEC. 7, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A proposal in the Italian Senate would recognize the rights of the unborn, affirming that every human being has juridical capacity from the moment of conception.
The bill was drafted by Carlo Casini, president of the Pro-Life Movement and Member of the European Parliament, and backed by leaders of the Italian Parliament: Maurizio Gasparri, Gaetano Quagliarello and Laura Bianconi. The measure was presented last Thursday.
During the press conference to present the bill, Gasparri explained that it is not an attempt to rewrite Italy’s current abortion law, but to keep it within its original intentions.
He said the bill would prohibit distortion of the law “to the point of denying the one conceived the dignity of person and of using abortion as a contraceptive, two conditions that the law rejects.”
Casini told ZENIT that the bill spells “progress in the juridical culture.” He maintained that recognizing the rights of the unborn “is a more solid and lasting support for the rights of everyone.”
Number of lives
The European Parliamentarian pointed to the examples of Poland and Spain to illustrate how the wording of law translates into actual numbers of abortions.
He noted that Poland and Spain have identical abortion laws, but in 2007, there were in Poland 313 abortions, whereas in Spain they rose to 120,000.
“The essential difference lies in that Polish law refers to the conceived in the first point as a person, whereas for a certain Spanish culture, the conceived is ‘something,’ a mass of cells that has no rights,” he said.
Bianconi, meanwhile, suggested that the Senate bill is an attempt “to move the whole debate” into the context of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
“A defense of childhood, which must be both before as well as after birth, must provide recognition of human life until its birth,” she said.
Casini invited all political parties to come together on this topic.
He explained that “the presentation of this bill is not a demonstrative gesture but a political battle.” And it is so because it means taking “an historic and above all symbolic step,” given the anniversary of the universal declaration on children’s rights.
“That is why,” Casini affirmed, “it would be really important and significant that both the majority as well as the opposition come together on such a delicate topic.”