Thousands of pro-life Italians marched through the streets of Rome on Saturday to encourage pregnant mothers to “choose life” for their unborn babies.

Photos by the Catholic News Agency show young adults leading the Demonstration for Life with a huge banner that read, “We choose life.” Behind them, through the rain, thousands of families, and individuals of all ages marched with signs, balloons and flags that celebrated the value of every human life and called for an end to abortions.

Massimo Gandolfini, a neurosurgeon and lead organizer of the pro-life rally, said they marched to protect every human life, not just from abortion but also from euthanasia, assisted suicide and surrogacy.

“We are strongly opposed to all of these because first of all there is the right of the child,” he told the news outlet.

Gandolfini said their pro-life organization is not affiliated with any political party.

“… defense of life, defense of the natural family, defense of the educational freedom of parents. This is our politics,” he said.

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His organization would like to see Italy create a national day to recognize unborn babies and increase support for pregnant mothers in need, according to the report.

Abortions are legal for basically any reason up to 90 days in Italy and later in cases where the woman has a physical or mental health risk or when the unborn baby has a deformity. Italy legalized abortion in 1978, but many doctors in the largely Catholic country still refuse to abort unborn babies.

Last year, Italy elected its first female prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, a pro-life Catholic. In a March interview, Meloni said she wants the government to provide more financial support to struggling pregnant mothers so that they do “not miss out on the joy of raising a child,” according to Bloomberg.

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