June 5, 2010.
In an effort to prevent abortion, the Italian region of Lombardy is offering money to pregnant women from low-income families.
The region's health department says the majority of women choose abortion because of economic hardship.
Women who go to abortion clinics for consultations will be presented with the option of accepting a check prior to having an abortion.
The Lombardy government will offer monthly payments of 250 euros, for up to 18 months, to needy women who give birth.
This means a woman who changed her mind about having an abortion because of financial troubles would receive 4500 euros a year to help support new life.
About 128,000 abortions are performed in Italy each year, and the Italian birth rate is at an all-time low, with 1.32 children born per woman, far from the rate of 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population.