By Hilary White

VIENNA, September 8, 2009 ( – This past Friday several hundred pro-life demonstrators in Vienna protested the decision of the city's mayor to host a party celebrating the anniversary of a notorious abortion facility.

The demonstration outside city hall marked a party hosted by Mayor Michael Häupl to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Austria's first legal abortion facility, the Pro-Woman Clinic, which operates according to the guidelines of Marie Stopes International (MSI), and claims to have killed over 300,000 babies since its founding.

The 500-strong coalition of pro-life Austrians and others included representatives of Human Life International, Tradition, Family and Property, Doctors for Life, and the Austrian political party Die Christen. They were joined by over a hundred members of Youth for Life who travelled across Austria to attend the event, and by the Centre for Bioethical Reform (Europe), based in neighboring Slovakia.

Demonstrators accused the mayor of “agitating against mothers, families and the future,” and asked, “Is the mayor honouring Pro-Woman, who are in blood-business with the racist company Marie Stopes International?”

The event was preceded by a Mass celebrated by Bishop Andreas Laun, auxiliary bishop of Salzburg and followed a letter writing campaign that saw hundreds of letters sent to the mayor. A public letter against the event was also released by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.

Demonstrators processed the 2.5 kilometers from the church while singing, and joined the demonstrators already at the City Hall.

The demonstrators used large photographic billboards showing graphic images of aborted children, contrasted with images of Mayor Häupl and his city councilor for health, Sonja Wehsely, who organized the party. One of the captions read, “300,000 aborted kids charging the mayor and the socialist party of making a mockery of them.”

Eyewitnesses reported that the images shocked “even the hardened pro-abortion agitators.” Nonetheless, pro-abortion counter-demonstrators lobbed insults and water-filled condoms at the pro-life demonstrators and their billboards.

Read related coverage:

Austrian Bishops Blast Vienna Mayor for Abortion Anniversary Party at City Hall


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