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Over 15,000 people joined the first prolife National March for Life in Zagreb, Croatia.

Vice John Batarelo


15,000 defend the unborn at Croatia’s first national March for Life

Vice John Batarelo
May 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Croatia proudly joined the ranks of the prolife global network with over 15,000 people joining the first prolife National March for Life in the capital Zagreb. On a beautiful and warm spring day people gathered downtown under the statue and square of Croatia’s first king Tomislav and proceeded to walk to the central Ban Jelacic square.
The March was organized by several prolife and family groups including many of the leaders of the successful marriage referendum from 2013 (in which marriage was defined as between a man and a woman in the Croatian constitution) who spearheaded the coordinated effort. The Catholic Church in Croatia supported the effort behind the scenes especially through the parish network. The March made the top news item in all Croatian mainstream media.
The crowd was noticeably made up of families with children and young people with many balloons and flags in a very festive type of an ambience though with a serious but simple message; defend life from conception and give the unborn the fundamental right to be born.
Croatia still has a 1978 communist law in place that allows for an abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy. Although the number of abortions is slowly declining still about 3,000 abortions are legally induced in publicly funded hospitals, though experts say that the number is higher due to hospitals presenting many artificial abortions as miscarriages.
Organisers consider the March as a first step in sensitizing the Croatian public that abortions are not an option in any type of a situation and that the sanctity of life from conception must be upheld. Prolife groups will now also be placing increased political pressure on the nominally conservative but fragile government that the law needs to be changed to totally protect the unborn and ban abortion in Croatia.
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An interesting participant of the March was the wife and two daughters of Croatia’s Prime Minister, Tihomir Oreskovic, a diaspora Croatian from Canada. Mrs Sanja Oreskovic in an answer to a journalist's question of why she supported the March and the prolife cause stated that “every prudent person chooses life over death”.
Along the route of the March a small contingent of about 200 extreme feminist and left wing groups (including members of the main opposition social democratic party) shouted insults and vulgarities at the March participants. Two individuals in a typical leftist Alinsky style stunt tried to stop the March by standing in front of it and refusing to move. Police quickly intervened and removed the feminist provocateurs. March participants in turn returned with chants of “life, life”, sang Marian songs and waved and sent kisses to the culture of death protesters.  The March wrapped up on the main Ban Jelacic square with a concert of popular singers and short greetings from March coordinators.