Anti-Abortion March Takes Place in Zagreb

By 21 May 2016

Thousands participate in a protest against abortion.

A protest march against abortion, which was organized on Saturday by the “Walk for Life” initiative, gathered about seven thousand people. The simultaneous protest of pro-abortion activists gathered about 400 people, and at one moment there was a bit of jostling between members of the two groups, reports Novi List on May 21, 2016.

The anti-abortion march began on King Tomislav Square, from where the participants started the “first national walk for life" to Ban Jelačić Square, where the programme continued with a music concert. On its way, the column of abortion opponents was met with whistles and drums by pro-choice advocates who protested at a nearby Strossmayer Square. According to eyewitnesses, there was some pushing after one of the pro-choice activists tried to stop the column of her opponents. Two people were detained by police and released after a few hours. One of the persons detained was Lovely Quinces, an internationally acclaimed Croatian indie singer.

Representatives of the "Walk for Life" initiative wanted to warn that Croatia had an obligation to ensure the reconciliation of family and professional life, since married couples in Croatia, mainly for economic reasons, on average have one child less than they would like. Coordinator of the initiative Heidi Begović said that as much as 75 percent of women choose to have an abortion for economic reasons. “I think this event is the beginning of something beautiful. What is Croatia without Croats?” asked Begović.

The “Walk for Life” initiative consists of a number of conservative associations and individuals.

In contrast to this initiative, at the same time a protest rally was organized by the newly-created civil initiative “Defend the Right to Choose”. They said they wanted to warn about media spins made by conservative initiatives, which seek to restrict women's right to a safe medical abortion.

The coordinator of this initiative Bojana Genov said that they had gathered around the message that the right to control their reproductive role must stay preserved. “We are against those who want to ban the right to choose and who, under the guise of caring for the family, are actually attacking families because they want to deny them the autonomy and the possibility to make decisions without interference from others. The current law, which has been in force for several decades, is extremely good and modern and should be protected", said Genov.

The pro-choice initiative was joined by former Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Mirando Mrsić, while the “Walk for Life” protest march was attended by Sanja Orešković, the wife of Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković who stated that any ration person is against abortion.