A mob of violent abortion supporters attempted to desecrate an Argentine cathedral and threw stones and bottles at Catholics praying the rosary in front of the church on Sunday.
The feminist activists bared their chests, on which they had painted phrases such as “I had an abortion" and “I choose." They approached the cathedral in Mar del Plata Oct. 11 shouting “the Church is a piece of trash, you’re a dictatorship."
The activists were among the tens of thousands of participants in the 30th National Meeting of Women. They were pushed back by local police. Authorities had set up a railing around the church and stationed police there in anticipation of an attack.
The abortion supporters knocked down part of the protective railing and police reacted with tear gas and rubber bullets. The most violent demonstrators were arrested but released soon after.
Martin Patrito, the president of the pro-life group ArgentinosAlerta, told CNA the incident is “the first time the police got involved" to protect a Catholic church from attacks by abortion activists. He considered police involvement to be progress.
Prior to the incident, ArgentinosAlerta launched a petition asking the authorities for a police presence to counter the violence of the abortion advocates.
Patrito said that the National Meeting of Women has “numerous workshops on various topics concerning women" and many of these are “very reasonable."
“But the feminists manipulate all of this and when the event is over, everything concludes with a big march where the main slogan is abortion on demand," he said.
The residents of Mar del Plata are outraged by the violence unleashed by the abortion activists and their hatred against the Catholic Church, Patrito said.
He criticized the activists for “running at the mouth talking about women’s rights, but it seems they can’t stand the right to religious freedom."
“This reminds us of the Islamic State which can’t stand the presence of Christians in their countries."
Mobs of abortion activists have tried to desecrate Catholic churches during previous gatherings of the National Meeting of Women in a number of cities in Argentina.
In November 2013 young men peacefully defended the Cathedral of San Juan de Cuyo against one mob and prayed the rosary during its attack. The feminists spat at the men, physically assaulted them and sprayed them with aerosol paint.