Italy to Women: Hurry Up, Get Knocked Up

Italys health ministry is trying to encourage couples to procreate, but the ads are in appallingly bad taste.”>

ROME For most people, family planning is not a governmental matter, but a private affair that encompasses financial, career and personal decisions. So when the Italian Health Ministry launched an in-your-face (or, indeed, in-your-uterus) campaign complete with plans for a national Fertility Day to encourage young couples to get to bed and make some babies, it had about the same effect as a cold shower.

The bizarre-for-modern-times initiative, led by health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, who had twins last year at the age of 42, will kick off on Sept. 22, F-Day, so to speak, with events in Rome, Bologna, Catania and Padua.

Daniele, 27, who has a degree in psychology and is engaged to be married, said there is no place for government in the bedroom. It is irresponsible for the government to dictate when we should have children without first ensuring we will have jobs to pay for them, she said. Its offensive.

Lorenzin, who recently doubled the countrys baby bonus for low-income families from 80 to 160, says she is shocked by the backlash. Fertility is a question of public health, her spokesman told The Daily Beast. The idea was to provide a venue for information on family planning and nothing else.

Many people opposed to the campaign likened it to regulations set forth by Benito Mussolini during the fascist regime of the 1930s, when the government essentially demanded that couples copulate to grow the population.

In a scathing op-ed piece, writer and radio personality Giulia Blasi likened it to Margaret Atwoods disturbing tale of government-sponsored baby making in The Handmaids Tale.

Its the stuff of dystopian novels and fascist propaganda, writes Blasi. Something Benito Mussolini was quite good at in times when contraception was unavailable and women did not have the right to vote, much less work outside the home.

Musician Daniel Seven tweeted a succinct question: Are we living in 2016 or 1939?

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