Access to hormonal contraceptives for all is to be guaranteed in Italy, as proposed by the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa). As part of this, the birth control pill will be made available free of charge to women of all ages, Salto.bz reports. Although the decision is not yet final, the cost to the government is estimated at around 140 million euros per year.
The proposal has been supported by some political parties and health organizations, while others, such as Fratelli d’Italia and Pro Vita, have opposed the move. Despite its objections, Aifa, as an independent authority, has the power to make the decision without government involvement.
Italy has one of the lowest rates of contraceptive use in Europe and a high percentage of gynecologists who still refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds. At the same time, the country’s birth rate is at a record low: fewer than 400,000 births were recorded in 2022.