ROME — Surrogate parenthood is an “inhuman” practice that treats children as “supermarket products,” Italy’s prime minister said on Friday, urging parliament to pass a bill to prosecute those who go abroad for it.

Parenting via surrogacy is already illegal in Italy, punishable with jail and fines, but the right-wing coalition of Giorgia Meloni has vowed to impose an even stricter ban on it as part of its conservative agenda.

“No one can convince me that it is an act of freedom to rent one’s womb, no one can convince me that it is an act of love to consider children as an over-the-counter product in a supermarket,” she said at an event in Rome.

“I still consider the practice of uterus renting to be inhuman, I support the proposed law making it a universal crime.”

The Italian parliament is discussing a bill drafted by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party to prohibit Italians from having a baby in countries where surrogacy is legal — such as the United States and Canada.

The party’s position echoes the Vatican’s.

The bill, approved by Italy’s lower house Chamber and now at the Senate, has been criticized by rights groups and some opposition politicians who see it as targeting LGBTQ people.

“The issue cannot be tackled with universal prohibition, but with regulation that balances the rights at stake,” ex-foreign minister Emma Bonino told daily Corriere della Sera this week.

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