Moscow, April 25, 2017
Thousands of pro-life activists took to the Prague streets on Saturday, bearing flags, white crosses, and banners reading “Children Bring Hope” and “Scrap the abortion law.” Organizers estimate that about 5,000 people participated in the event, including the cardinal of the Czech Republic capital Dominik Duka, reports the Prague Daily Monitor.
The march gained the support of political, religious and public figures and several Czech and foreign organizations, according to Prague Morning. The event had drawn 2,000 to 3,000 participants in previous years, according to LifeSiteNews. Cardinal Duka wrote on his personal Facebook page that the event in fact gathered 5-6,000 or more.
The 17th National March for Life and Family was organized by Hnuit pro zivot CR, a pro-life movement of the Czech Republic.
“Most importantly, we marched for something, not just ‘against’ something, as is usual for us. We want to be not only in opposition, but to occupy a position and to encourage for good, not just to criticize,” Cardinal Duka commented.
The movement’s deputy head Zdenka Rybova stated that women are often forced into abortions by their circumstances, including a partner’s disinterest and concerns about the future, while lamenting that the state supports single mothers more than it does functioning families. “We want to be a society in which people care for one another… The aim is to support a healthy family in the social climate. This does not mean welfare benefits, but social credit,” she explained.
Abortion was legalized in Czechoslovakia in 1957, with all restrictions being lifted in 1986, which saw a rise in the number of abortions. Abortion is legally allowed up to the twelfth week of pregnancy in the Czech Republic today, with medical reasons up to the twenty-fourth week, and in case of grave problems with the fetus at any time.
The number of abortions has been decreasing in the country for many years. In 1989, 10.8 abortions per 1,000 inhabitants were registered. In 2010 this figure went down to 2.3 abortions per 1,000 inhabitants and in 2015 it was 1.9 abortions. Last year, the Czech Statistical Office registered 20,300 abortions, compared with 20,400 in 2015 and 24,000 in 2010.