“Many women are facing distress – regret over abortion. The event at Kongresni trg is not only a desecration of symbolic graves of children who could never have them. It is a rejection and denial of these women, including me, who have regretted abortion. We are not few,” Janja Kolenc said in front of a crowd of thousands at Prešernov trg, who had gone through the experience of abortion herself.
In a joyful and relaxed atmosphere, the 5th March for Life took place in Ljubljana today under the slogan Life is awesome! An approximately four-thousand-strong crowd wanted to draw attention to the consequences of abortion, which is not often discussed in society, and give space to women and girls who have already had this experience. They also expressed opposition to the legalization of euthanasia or medical termination of the sick and elderly. About a hundred opponents of the walk for life also gathered, who at the beginning of the event loudly chanted, “My body, my choice,” and demanded that abortion remain freely accessible.
On the side of abortion advocates, there is no room for women who have had an abortion and regret it, in emotional speeches, often on the verge of tears, Janja Kolenc warns. “No one will support you, no one will help you. I collected courage for many years before contacting the Zavod Živim. No one judged me, no one called me a murderer,” said a girl with experience of abortion who was addressing the participants of the March for Life, referring to the events of the past week when girls in the name of women’s rights toppled a symbolic memorial, flags that were pointing to unborn children who died in abortion. Because she was on the “other side” for a long time, she is also aware of the arguments of the other side, which primarily stem from pain and denial of the truth.
Life is awesome!
“The March for Life is a celebration of life and gratitude that our parents chose it for us. It is intended to promote joy in life, raise awareness about the dangers of abortion, and show compassion for the victims of abortion. Participants want to convey that they advocate for the lives of the most vulnerable and powerless among us – the unborn children and their parents in distress.”
Organizers have chosen “Life is awesome!” as the central slogan of this year’s March, emphasizing that life is the most valuable thing we have. They stress that not only common sense but also the Slovenian constitution protects human life.
In the past week, debates have arisen about Article 55 of the constitution, which determines the freedom to decide about childbirth. However, Article 17 of the constitution clearly states that life is inviolable. They hope to strengthen efforts to protect human life from conception to natural death in practice as well.
“What we are doing is helping mothers choose their children; it is not violence, and we proudly state that,” emphasized Urša Cankar Soares, the coordinator of the March for Life, to the gathered crowd. “Can you imagine someone being angry because one mother chose life? If we save one life, we save a whole generation.” She stressed that the advocacy for life also finds support in the constitution and laws that protect life. She also touched upon the issue of euthanasia and connected it to abortion: “Abortion is a topic that turns a mother against her child, euthanasia is a topic that turns children against their parents. Thank you for being a beacon of light in this world.”
Željka Markić: 70% of Women Have Abortions Under Social or Financial Pressure – Is That a Choice?
The March for Life took place in Ljubljana for the fifth time this year, with an annual event since 2020. This year, it also took place in Maribor for the first time, and three Marches for Life have been announced for next year: one in May in Maribor, one in June in Koper, and one in October in Ljubljana.
Željka Markić, a doctor and coordinator of the March for Life in Zagreb, proudly mentioned that the event is already taking place in thirteen cities in Croatia. “Do not close your eyes and do not accept the lie that the embryo is just a bunch of cells or the woman’s body. My husband and I have four children. During pregnancy, did I have two hearts, two pairs of hands, and four kidneys? Who in the 21st century is so wise to repeat the slogan ‘My body, my choice’? 70% of women who have abortions do so under societal or financial pressure. Is that a choice?”
As she emphasized, women also approach her who wish someone had warned them before they had an abortion. “In the past, you could be killed or enslaved if you had a different skin color. Even then, there were people who went against the tide and showed us all the way. No one can say that all Slovenes have accepted the termination of the life of an unborn child and the claim that it is not a human and does not have the right to life. Slavery was abolished. Bad laws have changed. The same will happen with the right to life of the unborn child. Bad laws will be abolished. And all of you who stand up for the right to life will be a source of pride for your children and the entire nation. Continue to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves,” Markić told the gathered crowd.
With this, she directly responded to dozens of counter-protesters who, in the initial part of the Walk for Life, attempted to disrupt the event with loud chants, primarily the slogan “My body, my choice,” and sought to highlight the importance of regulations allowing abortion.”
I stand here for the 30 percent of peers who died in abortion procedures.
According to responses, they did not disrupt the event, which participants of all generations describe as phenomenal, joyful, and in good spirits. In the crowd, people of all generations were visible, with more and more young people every year, who now, along with young families, represent almost half of the participants.
“It seems great to me, smiling faces, lots of people, good spirits, even better than last year,” says Lucija, who has been attending the Walk for Life since 2020. “The March for Life is a great opportunity to express support for life and all those who suffer from the experience of abortion,” says Petra, adding, “It is right to raise awareness that life is invaluable and that it is right to give everyone a chance to live.”
The slogan on the banner held by Luka reads, “I stand here for 30 percent of peers.” “I am from the generation of 2002. In my generation, 30 percent of my peers did not have the opportunity to be born because they died in abortion procedures,” he explains his banner and adds that he was also encouraged to participate by the events of the past week when it seemed that some wanted to silence the memory of these children. David adds that he is convinced that he is part of the pro-life generation, that it’s nice because he is surrounded by good people, and that even the “opponents” do not bother him. “Some people just can’t help themselves, but I think it’s right that they are here to hear the beautiful messages we spread here,” he adds.
That many young people are aware of these facts is also noted by the organizers of the March for Life, which particularly pleases them. They believe that advocates for life are increasing, and they are hopeful that the future will show that they are on the right side of history.
They also highlighted other issues: euthanasia, the Demography Office, and kindergarten price increases
In addition to raising awareness about the dangers of abortion, which has traditionally been the central focus of the March for Life, the organizers this year added warnings about other problems in society, many of which they attribute to the actions of the government under Robert Golob.
They were critical of the abolishment of the Demography Office, which the government disbanded at the very beginning of its mandate. They expressed concerns about the actions of the Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, in the field of kindergartens and transportation for children with special needs. They also opposed the legalization of medical euthanasia for the sick and elderly, which they consider reprehensible and unacceptable. This is seen as a radical form of violence that is also contrary to the constitution.