A hundred thousand people took to the streets of Slovakia's capital city to support respect for life and family Sunday.
The pro-life marchers, some chanting "God is the Giver of Life," called for a ban on abortions as they marched in Bratislava in the predominantly Catholic Slovak Republic.
Some chanted, "We dream of a Slovakia full of respect for life" and "We dream of a country where everyone's life and dignity are protected from conception to natural death."
Marchers carried signs saying, "A human is human regardless of size" and "Who kills an unborn child kills the future of the nation."
The march took place a week before the Slovak parliamentary debates, which may draft laws to restrict abortions. In Slovakia, on-demand abortions are legal up until 12 weeks of pregnancy while abortions for health reasons are allowed until 24 weeks.
Some lawmakers want to allow them only to up to six or eight weeks of pregnancy — or ban them outright.
It is unclear if the proposals will become law since the ruling Smer — a leftist, socially conservative party — and junior center-right Slovak National Party in the government have not made clear whether they will back them.
Abortions have reportedly fallen in the country of 5.4 million to 6,000 last year from almost 11,000 a decade ago.
Polonia Christiana, a Catholic magazine, commented on the timing of the march: "This is important at a time when Europe is steeped in LGBT ideology and abortion is treated like a harmless procedure."
The magazine declared that "bastions of the civilization of life from which a counterrevolutionary spark can emerge" could be seen "on the streets of Bratislava, where thousands of Slovaks took part in the March for Life and Family."
As "LGBT ideology and its followers systematically gain new political, cultural and social spheres in an 'enlightened' Europe," it continued, "the family is presented as a source of all pathologies and harms and the Catholic Church has already been denied the right to preach the teachings of Christ the King."
Thanks to such pro-life marches, Polonia Christiana argued, "It will be possible to stop the politically correct madness of the death civilization."
The "madness of the death civilization" in an "enlightened" Europe is not new.
While Margaret Sanger might be seen as the source of the abortion movement in the United States, the European trajectory could be seen as stemming from the Marquis de Sade. One source named Sade (from which the word "sadist" is derived) as the abortion movement's "philosophical godfather."
Sade's enlightened philosophy, as is commonly known, sought to rid society of the "God myth" as well as moral constraints, allowing a person to rise above the superstition of religion and become "a sophisticate able to fully taste and enjoy one's natural, animalistic human nature."
An exchange between two characters in Sade's 1795 book Philosophy in the Bedroom demonstrates how Sade might be seen as the "philosophical godfather of abortion."
Madame de Saintange, a mentor in the ways of libertinage, schools Eugenie, a chaste 15-year-old virgin about to be initiated into a life of sexual freedom:
Madame de Saintange — Propagation is no wise the objective of Nature; she merely tolerates it; from her viewpoint, the less we propagate, the better; and when we avoid it altogether, that's best of all. Eugenie, be the implacable enemy of this wearisome child-getting, and even in marriage incessantly deflect that perfidious liquor whose vegetation serves only to spoil our figures, which deadens our voluptuous sensations, withers us, ages and makes us fade and disturbs our health. ... Tell [your husband] you detest children, point out the advantages of having none. Keep a close watch over yourself in this article, my dear, for, I declare to you, I hold generation in such horror I should cease to be your friend the instant you were to become pregnant, If, however, the misfortune does occur, without yourself having been at fault, notify me within the first seven or eight weeks, and have it very neatly remedied. Dread not infanticide; the crime is imaginary; we are always mistress of what we carry in our womb, and we do no more harm in destroying this kind of matter than in evacuating another, by medicines, when we feel the need.
Eugenie — But if the child is near the hour of its birth?
Madame de Saintange — Were it in the world, we should still have the right to destroy it. In all the world there is no prerogative more secure than that of mothers over their children. No race has failed to recognize this truth: `tis founded in reason, consecrated in principle.
Sade's "enlightened" European worldview runs counter to that of Bratislava Abp. Stanislav Zvolensky, who said to a crowd before the march last Sunday, "Man does not give himself life; it is a gift he has received."
"We want freedom for unborn children so that they can freely live their human life," added one of the protest leaders, Marek Michalcik.
Obianuju Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, joined the demonstrations exclaiming: "Oh my goodness! There is a party on the streets of Bratislava, Slovakia ... a vibrant celebration of life at every age and stage of development!"
Members and supporters of the Krakow Christian Culture Association also participated in the event, as well as the vice president of the Ordo Iuris Institute, Dr. Tymoteusz Zych, who spoke on behalf of Polish representatives and thanked the Slovaks for a wonderful fight for the life of every conceived child.
��SLOVAKIA is having an all out party for #life on the streets of Bratislava.�� Way to go March for LIFE team! #pochodzazivot #prolife #Slovakia #zanajmensichznas #MarchForLife— Mattea Merta ���� (@MatteaMerta) September 22, 2019
This was the third Slovakian national pro-life march; the first was held in 2013 in Košice and the second in 2015 in Bratislava.
The marches are co-organized by the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia (KBS) in cooperation with the Kanet NGO and heavily promoted in churches around the country.
Attendance was massive by Slovak standards; about 80,000 attended in 2013 and 2015, as estimated by the organizers. Some estimates say 50,000 people marched in Bratislava. Polonia Christiana estimated that 100,000 people attended.
The march was accompanied by a two-day program, including a Holy Mass on Sunday held in the Incheba Expo Arena in Bratislava.
Abortions have reportedly fallen in Slovakia with 5.4 million to 6,000 last year from almost 11,000 abortions 10 years ago.