Approximately 10,000 pro-life advocates marched Sunday in Poland to celebrate unborn babies’ right to life and the value of marriage and family.
The Catholic News Agency reports the 17th annual National March for Life and Family took place in downtown Warsaw, with a special video appearance by Polish President Andrzej Duda.
“I am very happy that you are again marching through the streets of Warsaw,” Duda said. “Grandparents, parents, children and parents-to-be form a great joyful community here today. Together you are giving public testimony of your commitment to the noblest ideals. You express the conviction that a strong family means a successful future for our country. I thank you from the heart for this.”
Poland is one of the few European countries that protects unborn babies from abortions in almost all circumstances. Abortions only are allowed in cases of rape, incest or threats to the mother’s life.
A “silent majority” of the largely Catholic country supports wide-spread protections for unborn babies, according to a recent AFP report. Evidence of this can be seen in polls and recent elections when voters repeatedly have elected strong pro-life majorities to parliament.
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The theme of the 2022 march, “I Promise You,” focused on marriage, but people also gathered to defend unborn babies’ right to life.
According to CNA:
Participants of the March walked through the streets of Warsaw holding colorful balloons and red-and-white flags. They also carried banners with messages such as: “Life is beautiful,” “May children live,” “I choose life,” or “Fatherhood begins at conception. Equal responsibility. Equal rights.” In addition, spouses carried special badges on which they wrote their names and the number of years of married life.
Pawel Ozdoba, president of the Center for Life and Family, which organized the march, said they hold about 150 smaller marches in towns and cities across the country every year, attracting hundreds of thousands of people.
“This year, we want to remind spouses and those called to marriage of the meaning and significance of the marriage vow,” he told CNA.
The march Sunday included Mass and a renewal of marriage vows, according to the report.
Poland is a pro-life country. In 2020, its Constitutional Court struck down an exception in its 1993 abortion law that allowed abortions on unborn babies with disabilities. The justices ruled that the exception violates the constitution because it discriminates against human beings with disabilities.
Recent polls of Polish voters indicate that the “devout Catholic country is far from turning pro-choice,” according to AFP. These include a 2020 poll by Kantar that found 62 percent believe abortion should be legal only in limited cases and 11 percent believe it should be completely illegal. Another poll by Estymator found that 67 percent support the existing law, while only 19 percent want the country to expand abortions.
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