Lífsvernd insights

Iceland, in 1935, was the second nation in the modern era (after
Soviet Russia in 1919) to legalize certain forms of abortion, and was
the first democratic nation in the world to permit abortion for other
than medical reasons. Since 1996, there have been over 850 abortions
per year in Iceland, with approximately one abortion for every four
live births; for women aged 15-19, there is nearly one abortion for
every live birth. The vast majority of abortions in Iceland are
performed for ‘social’ reasons.

During the last 30 years or so, there has been little debate in
Iceland regarding abortion.

Lífsvernd, established in 2004, is both a state-recognized association, and a Catholic pro-life organization,. The aim of the association is to promote a high esteem for the right to life from conception to natural death. Special emphasis is placed on the ending of all abortions.

Some might argue that Lífsvernd is focused too strongly on abortion,
but let me just mention this one horrific statistic: World-wide,
since the legalization of abortion in the modern era, over one billion
babies have been aborted.

Although Lífsvernd is a relatively small association with around 35 actual
members, based mostly in Maríukirkja parish, we sponsor a number of activities throughout the year in order to achieve our aims. Weekly, we hold two peaceful prayer protests near the Kvennadeild of the where nearly all abortions in Iceland take place. On the first Monday of each month, there is a pro-life Holy Hour at Maríukirkja, as well as a short pro-life
presentation at monthly bingo’s which are held to raise funds for our
activities. Yearly events include a sponsored pro-life walk, a cake
sale, support for the Catholic diocesan Annual Day of Life in Iceland.

In both 2010 and 2012, Lífsvernd sponsored a pro-life activity at Reykjavik’s Menningarnótt, which this year was an art contest with the theme „Human Life is Sacred“. We also distribute or sell inexpensive pro-life items, such as pens, coffee mugs, and winter caps in order to
raise awareness of pro-life issues. Several members have also written
pro-life editorials to the newspaper. Lífsvernd supports both an
Icelandic and an English website, as well as a Facebook group with
nearly 200 members.

In the Spring of this year (2012) there was an active discussion on our Lífsvernd Facebook page, when a number of women were appalled to find out that there were nearly so many abortions in Iceland these last several years,
and that realization led to the creation of an Icelandic group,
Valkostur, which is committed to reducing the number of abortions in
Iceland by promoting alternatives, including fostering and adoption,
and more generally, helping women with unplanned pregnancies.


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