Monday, January 22, 2007

Far-Right to Life

A surprising news article in today's Libération, which reports the attendance of 15,000 people at a pro-life march in Paris yesterday. Though France is generally considered to be well advanced in terms of family-planning and organised religion holds little sway in determining public policy, there is nonetheless a strange anomaly in its attitudes towards contraception. For instance, contraception itself was only legalised in 1972, a mere nine years before Ireland, which is surprising considering the cultural gulf between the two countries in matters of sex and family-planning. France also holds, along with Ireland and Sweden (in all, three countries that could not be more unlike one another) the highest birth-rate in Europe. What is not so surprising is the news that many of the marchers were members and supporters of the far-right, both the Front National and Phillippe de Villiers' Mouvement pour la France. De Villiers, however claims that he is not in favour of repealing the Veil law, which legalised abortion, but that he supported rather 'real family-oriented policies that permit women to keep their children.' Not all that different from the stance of a good many pro-choice activists either.