Pro-choice Satanists overtake pro-life demonstration outside Namur metro station

Protestors “break the chain” of pro-life demonstrators

Around 25 pro-choice Satanist protestors crashed a pro-life demonstration. Photo Thomas Quinn

Approximately 25 pro-choice Satanist protestors overtook a pro-life demonstration outside of the Namur metro station on Oct. 3. The pro-choice protest was called “Break The Chains”, a reference to the chain of pro-life demonstrators who originally planned to have a demonstration. The pro-life group had close to the same numbers, approximately 25, but were split into two groups of about a dozen each.

A pro-choice protestor danced among his group, holding a novelty pitchfork. The pro-life demonstrators were singing prayers and giving out pamphlets with graphic photos of aborted fetuses on their front page. 

Although the two groups of protestors are at odds on this issue, both groups remained calm, kept a safe distance and remained peaceful toward each other throughout the protest. The pro-life demonstrators were split in two groups while the pro-choice protestors occupied the middle.

Miguel Reyes, a protestor positioned with the pro-life demonstrators, believes in the pro-life movement because of his 27-year-old son. When his wife, who was his girlfriend at the time, told him she was pregnant with his son he told her “I think you should have an abortion. Let’s finish our university, get married and then have kids but if you don’t want to abort—I will support you.” She decided not to abort.

Pitchfork in tow, the pro-choice protestors overtook the attention from the pro-life protestors. Photo Thomas Quinn

“We had a really tough time. I attempted to commit suicide. I did this because I wasn’t ready to be a father or be married. In this period, I met Jesus and my life changed. I’m so happy with my wife, we have had five children. My 27-year-old son is now working as an urban planner in Japan and he’s really happy. It’s beautiful. I used to be pro-choice. I am 49 years old and I see life differently now.”

The organization behind the pro-choice demonstration is called Non Serviam. The two organizers were Marie Vanval and Emile L’Étoile. Vanval explained that “Non Serviam” means they will not submit to the rulings or dogmas of others. They both used pseudonyms, or as they termed, “Satanyms,” because of potential backlash against themselves and the people close to them as a result of their activism.

“It’s very important to convey a positive and empowering message to all uterus-bearing people that their reproductive choices are theirs to make. We believe every person should have complete and total control over their bodies including reproductive choices,” L’Étoile said.

“It’s very important to convey a positive and empowering message to all uterus-bearing people that their reproductive choices are theirs to make.” — Emile L’Étoile

L’Étoile pointed to the recent rulings in the United States having had an impact on the discussion locally. “We feel this is a subject that shouldn’t even be brought up for discussion in legal institutions,” he said.

Vanval explained that Non Serviam is not related to The Satanic Temple in the United States, who are fighting the new Texas abortion law, but they do hold the same tenets and principles. They are anti-fascist, feminist, and pro-LGTBQA+.

“I think it’s funny they say they are pro-life, but won’t help the children after they are born,” said Vanval about the pro-life demonstrators. “It’s the same conservative arguments we’ve been hearing forever. These are phrases that are formatted and repeated without too much thought to cause or consequence. It’s hypocritical,” L’Étoile added.