Seven thousand people join the Dutch March for Life


Western Europe


Christian politicians Mirjam Bikker (Christian Union) and Chris Stoffer (SGP) walk at the front of the March for Life in The Hague on Saturday. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

It was a bit dreary, but seven thousand people did not let that stop them from marching for unborn life in the Netherlands on Saturday.

Several speakers held a speech for the mass of people. The President of the Dutch pro-life organisation Schreeuw om Leven (Shout for Life), Arthur Alderliesten, was one of them. He drew attention to the increase of 15 per cent in the number of abortions. "We will walk five kilometres", he said. "That means that we can commemorate four abortions per step."

People listen to a speech during the demostration against abortion. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

According to Alderliesten, the pro-life organisation prevented forty abortions from happening last year. That is reported by the Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad.

The politician Mirjam Bikker (leader of the coalition party Christian Union) leader was there as well. The politician pointed out that "unprotected little life has no voice itself" and needs to be protected, the Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported. Bikker wants more help for women who have financial problems or struggle to afford a home, so they "see more possibilities than that one solution."

Also children participated in the March for Life. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

There were also many children and young people present at the March for Life. The Van Schaik family, for example, joined with their three children of 12, 10 and 3 years, they told the Reformatorisch Dagblad. Mother Madelenne explains that they want to make everyone aware of the many lives that are lost. Father Rens adds that it is "shocking that so many children are killed."

Even though it was a bit rainy, seven thousand people came to The Hague. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

The parents take their children intentionally to the March for Life. "We have talked about it with them for weeks. It is important that they too get a sense of the value of unborn life", they say to the Dutch newspaper.

Pepole used banners to show their disapproval of abortion. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

The participants of the March for Life held signs with texts such as "We love them both", referring to the pregnant woman and her baby. Others waved boards reading that "Everyone is wonderfully made". The mix of demonstrators was very diverse. They travelled with buses from all over the country to The Hague.

The pro-life organisation says it focuses on the interests of both women and unborn babies. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

In several Dutch Reformed churches, arrangements were made so that a group of people could travel to The Hague together. Also, the German pro-life organisation Bundesverband Lebensrecht attended. President Alexandra Linder emphasised that unborn children are more than "a clump of cells."

There were about 50 counter-protestors present. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

Not everyone applauded the pro-life initiative. About fifty people attended a counter-demonstration, the Nederlands Dagblad writes. They shouted slogans to the participants of the March for Life and pointed their middle fingers.

The counter-protestors brought banners too, reading "Boss in your own belly" among other slogans. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

The counter-protestors also held banners reading "Boss in your own belly" and "My body, my choice". The police were present to ensure safety, and no notable irregularities happened.

The police were also present to prevent any clashes between demonstrators. Photo ANP, Robin Utrecht

Even the Dutch Health Minister, Ernst Kuipers, expressed disapproval. He called the March for Life an attack on women's self-determination and said that that "is unacceptable."

Kuipers tweet led to many indignant responses. Mirjam Bikker, the Christian Union leader, called it a “sad message.” “May there be room for differences?” she questioned the Minister.



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