More than 500 Austrian pro-lifers solemnly marched in opposition to the country’s 40-year-old abortion decriminalization laws on January 23, in remembrance of those lost to the ravages of abortion. Though a change in the anti-life law does not seem to be imminent, many hope that increased activism will be the impetus to provide legal protection of the unborn.
Grassroots organizations like Human Life International Austria, Youth For Life, and Lebenskonferenz, utilize new networking tactics to promote important pro-life issues. United as a contemporary coalition, the organizations stand firm against the anti-life policies and laws promoted by politicians, intellectuals, violent mobs, and sometimes even police.
The Culture of Death spread like a cancer in the 1970s when the Socialist Party, ruling with strong Marxist and Masonic influences, staged its culture wars through legislation. Enacted on January 1, 1975, the new Austrian law of quasi-legal abortion came into force. “Fristenlösung,” which could be translated as “(legal) solution by introducing a timeline,” practically meant that abortion is not punishable when committed in the first three months of pregnancy. Furthermore, an abortion is not punishable when the mother is under 14 years of age, the child was conceived by rape, the child has a possible disability, or the mother has a possible mental or physical disability. In German, the term “Fristenlösung” tellingly resembles the infamous “Endlösung” (meaning “final solution” in regards to the “Jewish issue” during the reign of Hitler’s Third Reich).
This abominable law was enforced by the reigning Socialist Party with unprecedented brutality in Parliament and through political campaigns. Dissenting socialist military police were disciplined, and violent mobs intimidated dissenters in the public square. Parliament vetoed the initiative to legalize abortion, but it was overruled on January 23, 1974.
Since then, the Austrian culture has continually deteriorated in every respect. Abortion figures are very high, and the average age of the Austrian people rises continually. The moral precepts of Divine and of Natural Law are not only disobeyed, they are openly ridiculed in mass media and by the “intelligentsia.” Many Church officials have given up resistance against the unjust law. In fact, very few bishops utter any criticism of the abortion law even though the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly prohibits abortion (cf CCC 2273).
Yet, marches expose the reality of anti-life policies and practices indicative of the Culture of Death. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Austrian pro-lifers held strong at this year’s March for Life to proclaim the Gospel of Life to remind citizens that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death.
LifeNews Note: Joannes Bucher is the regional director of Europe for Human Life International. He resides in Salzburg, Austria. Reprinted with permission from Human Life International.