02/01/2004, 00.00
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Governments must promote pro-life policies

Vatican City (AsiaNews): Prior to today's Angelus, John Paul II said that our society does "not favor families and the mission of parents". 

Many parents are forced to give up having children due to financial difficulties. The pope said that governments must enact "more organic polices in favor of families" and even provide them with more financial assistance, which often "ends up being insufficient".

Today in Italy is Pro-Life Day. Thousands of members of the Pro-Life Movement gathered in St. Peter's square with balloons in hand which read "Yes to Life".

The pope thanked them for their commitment to their cause and asked all faithful to not give in to the "attacks on human life, especially abortion." He reminded all that an unborn's right to life must be affirmed "not against that of the mother, but together with the mother".

Below we report the pope's speech in its entirety (translation by AsiaNews).

"There is no future without children." This is the theme of Pro-Life Day being celebrated today throughout Italy. Through its message Italian bishops focus on the multiple causes for the current crisis in births. They point out that cultural and social environments very often do not favor families and the mission of parents.   

Moreover, many parents would want more children, but they are forced to give up having them due to financial difficulties. Help from public institutions, while appreciated, ends up being insufficient. Be warned that there is a need for more organic polices in favor of families.    

The family unit, with flows from the institution of marriage, is the fundamental core of society. Inside it, like a reassuring nest, life must be always promoted, defended and protected and today's Pro-Life Day reminds all of us of this basic duty.  

My dear brothers and sisters, we must not give in to the attacks on human life, especially abortion! I state again my appreciation for the courageous support that the Italian Pro-Life movement  has given to this cause, and I urge the ecclesial community to support their initiatives and services. Their efforts must be multiplied so the an unborn's right to life is affirmed not against that of the mother, but together with the mother"  

We turn now to Mary, Most Holy, and we call upon her specially for families so that, trusting in her divine help, they may carry out their excellent mission with joy and dedication to provide humanity with a future full of hope.
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