Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II called on the Georgian authorities to pass legislation banning abortion in the country. As Ilia II stated in his Easter epistle, the difficult demographic situation in the country makes this necessary. "It needs to be done in the short term, although of course there must be some exceptional cases. The media must prepare the population for a positive perception of the initiative, which will allow for a positive attitude in the country toward large families and negative attitudes towards abortion," the patriarch said. According to Ilia II, 36,000 abortions are performed in Georgia annually, although this is just the official figures, and in fact there are many more abortions performed. He also noted an average of 14,000 babies are stillborn in Georgia every year.