Austrian Abortion/LGBT Protest Ruins Vatican Women's First International Soccer Game

The first international match of the Vatican's new women's soccer team on June 22 in Austria was canceled when the team faced a protest against the Catholic Church rather than competition on the field.

Football Club Mariahilf (FC Mariahilf) in Austria invited the Vatican women's team to play. The event was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of FC Mariahilf. The event banner, below, from FC Mariahilf's Facebook page suggests that this was supposed to be child-friendly event.

However, the match on June 22 was canceled after three Austrian players protested during the playing of the Vatican anthem by lifting their shirts to show drawings on their midriffs of a uterus and ovaries and "My body my rule." They did this as children who had escorted them onto the field looked on.

A brochure the protesters distributed to journalists explained that they were protesting the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.