Italians angered by fertility campaign

"Beauty knows no age. Fertility does," is one of the slogans with which the Italian health ministry led by Beatrice Lorenzin is trying to combat the country's falling birth rate in the run-up to Fertility Day on 22 September. The campaign, which the press condemns as discriminatory, has provoked an angry response, and not just from Italians.

Open/close all quotes
The Guardian (GB) /

Back to the 1930s?

Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin's campaign discriminates against women and harks back to the slogans of the 1930s, the Guardian comments:

“The recent law on civil unions approved by the Italian parliament a few weeks ago gave many the impression that the state had finally accepted a broader idea of the family, but now this campaign puts the emphasis back on discrimination. Women are targeted by this fertility campaign, as if they were the only people responsible for the declining birthrate that has been affecting Italy for many years. It all sounds so similar to the fascist slogans of the 1930s, when posters on the walls incited women to give more children to the fatherland. Many cannot believe that a female minister has launched such a sexist, ageist, anachronistic campaign in a country where many other urgent problems remain to be addressed.”

Il Fatto Quotidiano (IT) /

Having children not a civic duty

The campaign not only discriminates against people who can't have children but also against children who don't come from a traditional Italian family, Il Fatto Quotidiano complains:

“Fertility Day. A name that serves as a cover for the (cultural? political?) will to exclude rather than integrate. It excludes those who can't have children. Not only does it ignore the pain and sense of failure felt by these men and women, it also gives them the feeling that they aren't contributing to the common good. … Children are indeed part of our common heritage - everyone's children. Including those who are born as a result of artificial insemination, the children of migrants, the children of homosexuals, abandoned and adopted children. … Those who help take care of them are contributing to the common good, regardless of whether they themselves have a child or not.”