Meloni’s attempt to dilute G7 abortion declaration ires diplomats

Italy’s hard-right government holding the G7 presidency is seeking to scrap any reference to safe access to abortion in the text of the final leaders’ declaration, currently under negotiation.

Negotiations over the final declaration wording of the G7 summit — which will be held in Italy from Thursday until Saturday — are underway, but sources have told Euronews that members of the group of rich nations are at odds over a sidebar clause on abortion rights.

French and Canadian delegations are pushing for an addition to the text in which leaders “affirm the importance of preserving and ensuring effective access to safe and legal abortion and post-abortion care”, according to a draft text seen by Euronews.

The aim of this wording is to reinforce conclusions agreed by the group last year, which vouched leaders’ “full commitment to achieving comprehensive [sexual and reproductive health and rights] for all, including by addressing access to safe and legal abortion and post-abortion care.”

Some G7 countries such as Germany and the US would prefer to maintain the language of that declaration, signed when leaders met in Hiroshima in 2023, instead of the slightly stronger wording now proposed by France and Canada.

The most recent draft text proposed by Italy hosting this year’s G7 presidency, seen by Euronews, removed all references to abortion — instead controversially including a pro-life reference.

It suggests the leaders’ commitment “to further promote comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, and to advance maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health, especially for those in vulnerable circumstances.”

It is “very regrettable that the language on abortion was weakened,” one source working on the text told Euronews.

“The right to abortion is non-negotiable. It’s G7’s duty to show leadership in promoting such values, not backtracking on them,” a diplomat told Euronews on condition of anonymity.

Meloni’s government is sticking by its proposed wording and a squabble over the wording is ongoing, the sources said.

Italy recently approved a law that gives anti-abortion groups access to abortion facilities to try to convince women not to terminate their pregnancies.

By contrast, French lawmakers voted to add a line guaranteeing the “freedom” to have an abortion to the country’s constitution last March.

Pope Francis is also expected to join the meeting of the world’s leading industrialised nations — but only to speak about the risks of artificial intelligence.