Between 60,000 and 150,000 Italian women marched in Milan on Saturday, demanding that the Italian government maintain its liberal abortion laws. The women accused the government of working with the Vatican in an attempt to reverse a 1978 law that makes abortion legal in Italy during the first trimester, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Pope Benedict XVI met with Italian politicians last week, reiterating his opposition to RU 486 (the abortion pill) and same-sex unions. RU 486 has recently become available in Italy on an experimental basis, and the Italian Bishops Conference has launched a campaign against the pill, according to the Associated Press.
In Rome on Saturday, some 1,000 people held a demonstration in support of same-sex unions. A recent survey conducted by the Italian research institute Eurispes found that 69 percent of Italian Catholics favor legal status for same-sex couples, according to ANSA, an Italian news service.
Media Resources: International Herald Tribune 1/16/06; Associated Press 1/15/06, 1/13/06; ANSA 1/17/06