“The right to kill cannot become a supra-legislative rule, a constitutional right”, said organisers of the march for life.
Several thousand people marched in Paris on 22 January against the plans of the French government to legalise euthanasia, and to include the right to abortion in the Constitution.
Around 20,000 people, according to the organisers of the association La Marche pour la vie (March for Life), rallied the streets behind a banner which read “accompany death, not programme it”. The police said there were 6,300.
This national demonstration is organised every year around the anniversary of the so called Veil law on the legalisation of abortion, which was passed on 17 January 1975.
Organisers invited several pro life speakers to talk and share their testimonies at the end of the march, which was led by Nicolas Tardy-Joubert, the president of La Marche pour la vie.
One of them was Belgian medical professor Timothy Devos, who warned that “20 years after the decriminalisation of euthanasia in Belgium, we see that it is not a model to follow. One in three euthanasias is not declared, a growing proportion of vulnerable people request it, they are not at the end of their lives but fear being a burden on their families”.
[photo_footer] Nicolas Tardy-Joubert, the president of La Marche pour la vie. / @MarchePourLaVie [/photo_footer]
“We stand against euthanasia and assisted suicide. At a time when 26 French regions are deprived of palliative care units, we believe that the political priority should be to provide them. The ban on killing must remain a key principle”, said Tardy-Joubert, before the demonstration.
Right after the march, he also stressed that “the right to kill cannot become a supra-legislative rule, a constitutional right. The only fundamental right is the right to life”.
“We want the protection of human life to become a major national cause. We have proposals, sometimes small steps, to raise awareness of the need for change. We need policies of prevention, of welcoming life, of accompanying vulnerable people”, added the president.
Six activists from the feminist group Femen disrupted the march bare-breasted and with white shorts stained with red. The police arrested five of them.
They wrote on Twitter that they would join the march for life to “pray alongside them for France to make a historic decision to protect women's bodies and reproductive rights”.
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