Rio de Janeiro, Oct 12 (EFE). – Anti-abortion marches scheduled for Thursday in Brazil, which organizers said would be the largest in the country’s history, had considerable low turnout, with only a handful of participants in some cities.
The protests, called by conservative and religious groups to commemorate the Day of Our Lady of the Conception of Aparecida – the country’s patron saint – and Children’s Day, were sparked by a Supreme Court case examining the decriminalization of abortion up to the 12 weeks.
Currently, abortion is banned in Brazil except in cases of rape, when the mother’s life is at risk, and when the fetus is anencephalic.
The failure was most evident in Rio de Janeiro, a city with a largely conservative population, where EFE confirmed that only about 30 people showed up at the iconic Copacabana beach designated for the meeting.
In Salvador, Bahia, the so-called “family march” was more active, bringing together from the early hours hundreds of people wearing white T-shirts, but also green and yellow T-shirts, alluding to a patriotism also with Brazilian flags.
The same could be seen in Belém, the capital of the Amazonian state of Pará,
In Brasilia, there were no plans to take to the streets for security reasons after the January 8 coup attempt, when thousands of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro attacked the headquarters of the three powers.
However, a few hundreds of pro-life demonstrators marched peacefully through the streets of the capital with Brazilian flags and chants of God, country, family and freedom.
In São Paulo, on Thursday afternoon, about a hundred people arrived at Paulista Avenue, the main center of concentration of the protests, where people usually gather by the thousands.
Several people wore white T-shirts with the image of a fetus and phrases such as “Yes to life, no to abortion!”, which also appeared on banners and placards held by participants.
“We say no to abortion or the decriminalization of drugs. At 12 weeks a child’s heart is already beating and they want to kill it,” David de Reis, a municipal leader of the right-wing Liberal Party (PL), told EFE.
In the square, there was also a number of people with Israeli flags – something that was also seen in other cities – demonstrators took to the march as a tribute to the victims left after attacks by Palestinian Hamas militias.
In São Paulo, organizers pointed out that the lack of participation was due to the unexpected strike by subway workers on Thursday, which left several lines in mid-travel. EFE