Pro-lifers pack Paris streets to March for Life
Abortion | Turnout exceeded previous attendance, a sign of growing awareness about the humanity of the unborn
by Samantha Gobba
Posted 1/25/17, 02:44 pm
Tens of thousands of European pro-lifers marched through the streets of Paris on Sunday for the first time in two years.
Organizers canceled last year’s March for Life in Paris due to terrorist attacks the previous November. But this year’s march drew about 50,000 attendees according to estimates, many more than the previous march’s count of 30,000 attendees.
Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International and a keynote speaker at Sunday’s march, called the increased participation “really remarkable.”
“It was a good sign that people are becoming more aware of the issues affecting human life,” said Boquet, a Catholic priest. “People are standing together, building a stronger network of relationships in order to be able to deal with these issues.”
This year’s event comes in the wake of the French government’s plans to ban pro-life websites offering support and information to women facing unintended pregnancies. While pro-life leaders did not address their plans regarding the looming law, Boquet said they are working “to figure out how to challenge that.”
The French government has tried for years to crack down on pro-life efforts to dissuade women from getting abortions and now has turned to internet censorship. The new law targets websites like ivg.net, a pro-life resource for information about the risks of abortion and testimonies of women who regret their abortions. It also advertises a help line for women with unintended pregnancies.
Later this week, the French Parliament is expected to take a final vote on the bill, which will slap organizers of such websites with a hefty fine and up to two years in prison.
In his speech on Sunday, Boquet said he gave marchers a “pep talk” to encourage them to continue their efforts.
“It’s a great example for Europe to see so many people in France giving public witness, and I’m hoping it will be an encouragement to other European pro-life and family groups not to be afraid and not to be overwhelmed, but to be able to just keep pushing forward, and hopefully we build more marches and more public witnesses,” he said.
Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.