Expectant mothers facing financial hardship in Italy are being offered €4,500 (£3,700) to help them raise their baby.
Mothers who are considering an abortion will instead be given €250 a month for 18 months to help them bring up their children, in a move welcomed by pro-lifers.
The President of the wealthy Lombardy region, of which Milan is the capital, will make €5 million available for the initiative.
Regional president, Roberto Formigoni, launched the project by saying: “No women need to abort now in Lombardy for financial reasons.”
Women who earn less than €23,000 and have other children to support could qualify for the funds.
Mr Formigoni said the plans will help families by “removing any possible obstacles starting with economic problems, which make it difficult to choose in favour of life.”
Mr Formigoni, a Roman Catholic, has campaigned against the introduction of the abortion pill, RU486.
A spokesman for the Italian Bishops Conference welcomed the scheme saying: “Anything that respects life is to be applauded.”
Abortion was legalised in Italy in 1978.
In April a baby boy in Italy was discovered to have survived for two days after a botched abortion at 22 weeks.
Press reports claimed the mother chose to abort the baby after a prenatal scan showed he had a cleft lip and palate.
He was wrapped in a sheet and left to die by staff at the Rossano Calabro hospital in Italy, but the day after the abortion the baby boy, who still had his umbilical cord attached, was discovered moving and breathing by a Roman Catholic priest.
The baby was rushed to another nearby hospital, where he died the following day.
A spokesman for the ProLife Alliance said: “There cannot be anybody in the world who is not horrified by a story like this nor anybody in the UK who would not support a massive reduction in the upper limit for abortion.”
In April David Cameron called for the abortion limit of 24 weeks to be lowered during his election campaign.
Speaking to the Catholic Herald newspaper, Mr Cameron said an upper limit of “20 or 22″ weeks would be sensible, in the light of modern science and technology.
But Conservative sources said that a vote on abortion would be unlikely in the first few months of any Conservative victory at the General Election, according to a Daily Telegraph report.