Italy would been prosperous if it weren’t for the country’s women terminating their pregnancies, Luigi Negri claimed.
“The law against abortion has stopped more than six million Italians coming into the world and the shortage of children has made us fall into this economic crisis,” he was quoted in Corriere di Bologna as saying.
The latest figures from statistics agency Istat show that 103,191 abortions were performed in Italy in 2012, a fall of 6,850 on the previous year. Italy has the fourth-lowest abortion rate in Europe behind Austria, Germany and Greece.
The 74-year-old archbishop also took issue with a law protecting gay people from hate crimes. “The law against homophobia is a crime against God and against humanity,” he said.
Negri was not available for comment when contacted by The Local.
His comments were described as “intellectually dishonest” by the Young Democrats (Giovani Democratici), the youth wing of the Democratic Party, which in an open letter accused Negri of capitalizing on “a raw nerve like the economic difficulties of families”.