Walk For Life and Counter-Demo Saturday For Freedom Held in Varaždin

By 7 May 2022
Walk For Life and Counter-Demo Saturday For Freedom Held in Varaždin

ZAGREB, 7 May 2022 - Two civil society demonstrations were held in the northern city of Varaždin on Saturday - a Walk for Life and a counter-demonstration called Saturday for Freedom.

At the same time, a Walk for Life was also held in the eastern cities of Vinkovci and Slavonski Brod, and the head of the In the Name of Family NGO, Željka Markić, joined the Varaždin march.

"I think it is important that we convey the message that it has been scientifically confirmed that human life begins at conception, that an unborn child's heart starts beating on the 18th day, that a child in the womb feels pain, smiles and swallows. These are all important scientific facts," Markić said. "We should build a society of tolerance and life," she added.

Silvija Svoren, coordinator of the Walk for Life in Varaždin, said that they support life from birth to natural death. "That means that we are always for life. That is our focus. We fight for the unborn child and its mother, for the family."

The Saturday for Freedom gathering was organised by the local youth association V.U.K., whose president Lea Labaš said they had gathered to protect women's and human rights.

"We believe that every woman has the right to her own body and the right to choose," Labaš said. "We, of course, must also think about the future because some of us may find themselves in that awful situation when they will need empathy and we want everyone to be able to exercise this right."

The Walk for Life was joined by Ladislav Ilčić, a Croatian member of the European Parliament, who said that Croatia needs young people and children for economic growth.

"If we want higher pensions, we need young people who will pay into pension funds. If we want personal happiness, children can help a lot in that regard. I think all politicians should support this," Ilčić said.

MP Natalija Martinčević supported the Saturday for Freedom rally, criticising doctors who invoked conscientious objection in the case of Mirela Čavajda, a pregnant woman who has applied for a termination of the pregnancy because of the poor condition of her baby.

"I respect their right to conscientious objection, but in their own time in their own private clinics. When they are paid with government money, they should respect the laws of Croatia," Martinčević said.

Between 500 and 1,000 people are estimated to have participated in the Walk for Life, while the Saturday for Freedom attracted far fewer demonstrators.

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