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 Ordo Iuris

WARSAW, Poland (LifeSiteNews) — On Sunday, 50,000 people took to the streets in Warsaw in one of the largest pro-life events in Poland’s recent history.

The March of Life in Poland’s capital on April 14 took place two days after the left-wing Polish government voted on bills that seek to end the country’s near-total abortion ban.

According to Notes from Poland, Bogusław Kiernicki, one of the organizers of the March, told the crowd to gather on Castle Square. “We want every Polish citizen to have the right to life from conception to natural death,” he said.

“It is not an (act of) grace that we allow a child to be born; it is their sacred right.” he added.

The organizers estimate that 50,000 people attended the event, making it the largest pro-life gathering in Poland in the 21st century.

“We will not raise the white flag regardless of what happens in the Sejm (lower house of Parliament),” Kiernicki said, adding, “We will continue until the rights of conceived children are guaranteed. We will be here next year, and maybe in six months, if necessary.”

Many participants waved white-and-red Polish flags and held up pro-life banners. One of the banners read, “This is Poland, not Brussels, no one supports abortion,” in an apparent reference to a resolution passed by the European Parliament that demands abortion be added to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Olivier Bault from the Catholic legal organization and think tank Ordo Iuris told LifeSiteNews that “on Sunday, there was a very big pro-life march in Warsaw, bigger than any such march for life before, that was organized by other pro-life organizations with which we often cooperate (but not for this march, although we supported it), and on June 16 we will organize our annual march for life and family in Warsaw, and in the meantime, there will be many other such marches across Poland.”

A representative from the right-wing Confederation (Konfederacja) Party, Karina Bosak, attended that March with her husband and their three children. “We are here to (help women) eliminate their fear, not their child,” she said.

According to Notes from Poland, she condemned “radical feminists” who wish to “omit men” from the decision to have an abortion.

Under Poland’s current law, abortion is only permitted if the mother’s health or life is threatened or in cases of rape. Last week, the ruling government coalition voted in favor of advancing several bills that seek to allow abortion. Two of these bills, put forth by Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition and The Left would allow abortion on demand up until the 12th week of pregnancy, similar to many other European countries.

However, several legal hurdles would need to be overcome before the bills become law. Each of the bills requires an additional vote in the Sejm to move forward. There is some disagreement among the coalition parties, as the more conservative Third Way might not agree to a 12th-week abortion ban as they favor a more restrictive policy that only allows abortions in cases of rape, health risks for the mother, or fetal abnormalities.

Moreover, if a pro-abortion bill were to be passed by Parliament, it would have to be signed by President Andrzej Duda, who has expressed his pro-life views and is an ally of the former conservative ruling Party PiS. Additionally, the Polish Constitutional Court (TK), which is dominated by conservative judges who previously ruled that aborting unborn children due to fetal abnormalities was unconditional, could strike down a potential pro-abortion law as well.

In light of the potential reversal of the country’s abortion ban, Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda, the chairman of the Polish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, called on the Catholic faithful to “make this Sunday a day of special prayer in defense of conceived life at all churches in Poland at every Holy Mass.”

READ: Polish Catholic bishops condemn radical EU resolution declaring abortion a ‘fundamental right’

He added that the National March of Life would be “a manifestation of respect for conceived life, acceptance of this life in love, and an expression of appreciation for the hardships of parenthood, providing children with the opportunity for growth and development.”

Last year, Wojda’s predecessor, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, warned Catholic politicians that voting in favor of liberalizing access to abortion continues a grave sin that excludes them from being able to receive Holy Communion. Many of the pro-abortion members of the Polish government coalition, including Tusk, purport to be practicing Catholics.

READ: Poland must refuse to follow France in compromising on the sanctity of life