The Greek government has ordered the removal of anti-abortion posters installed throughout Metro Stations in Athens.
The billboards formed part of a paid public awareness campaign by a pro-life group comprised of various Orthodox Christian organizations.
The Greek Ministry of Transport issued a statement and ordered the immediate removal of the posters. The statement said the posters, which carried the slogan “Choose life” under a picture of an unborn fetus, target women’s “legally protected and indisputable right” to abortion.
Abortion in Greece became legal in 1986 and since then has become common. Precise statistics and official records remain unavailable, but on its website the organization that sponsored the campaign claims that 300,000 abortions per year take place in Greece. The website also states that almost a quarter of all Greek women have had an abortion.
The government’s statement said advertising campaigns in public areas “should not divide public opinion or, clearly, insult women who have been forced to make such a difficult choice.”
The ministry said it had instructed the operating company that manages the Attiko Metro, or Athens Metro system, to remove the posters as soon as possible.
Despite the powerful Orthodox Church’s position on abortion, the issue does not receive mass political attention in Greece. Only far right-wing Christian groups have made abortion an issue.
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