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Anti-abortion demo draws thousands

Organisers claim twice as many people attended the annual rally this year compared to 2010

ORGANISERS of an anti-abortion rally in Paris claim twice as many people took part this year than in 2010.

The seventh "grande marche nationale pour le respect de la vie" drew 40,000 people according to organisers, 6,500 according to police.

Marchers want to see the repeal of the 1975 loi Veil, which legalised abortion in France.

Last year the event drew 20,000 people, the organisers said; police put the figure at 3,100.

Religious figures joined families and foreign groups to march under banners such as "united to defend life".

The marchers also protested against plans to change France's bioethics laws and demanded the banning of all experimentation on foetuses.

Marchers also received a message from Pope Benedict XVI giving support to the demonstration.

According to Le Figaro, about 200,000 abortions are carried out in France every year.

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