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Romanian activists march against abortion

26 march 2011, 19:26
Two hundred Romanian pro-life activists marched Saturday in Bucharest against abortion, calling on authorities to "protect the gift of life and the traditional family," AFP reports.

"Abortion is one of the most serious crimes. Sometimes women who have an abortion don't realise that," 43-year-old participant Corina Radulescu told AFP.

Under a banner reading "Family Planning Leads to Lack of Daith," Emil Florea, a 43-year-old physical therapist and father of five, said "Christian Orthodox believers should not resort to contraception."

Instead, he said, "abstinence should be encouraged. This way there is no risk of getting a disease" transmitted sexually.

In a manifesto read to participants, Bogdan Stanciu, head of the Pro Vita association which organised the march, called on political parties to "protect life and abolish legislation permitting abortion."

But Borbala Koo, director of the Society for Contraceptive Education and Sexuality, said: "Banning abortions again would mean sentencing a certain number of women to death."

Koo said such a ban would force some women to resort to backstreet abortions, due to a lack of information and counselling on contraception and family planning techniques.

A law banning abortion going back to 1966 was abolished in 1990, shortly after the collapse of the communist regime.

That year, the number of abortions exploded, topping 990,000, as against 314,000 births.

But abortion rates have gradually dropped, standing at 116,219 in 2009, when 222,388 babies were born.

"The falling number of abortions since 1990 is the best argument in favour of keeping the current law unchanged as it proves that women don't get an abortion unless they really have no choice," Koo told AFP.

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