The pro-life movement in Pope Francis' home country is alive and well.
Amidst debates over a bill which would legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, the people of Argentina flooded the streets of 117 cities in protest. In recent weeks we have heard arguments from Argentina’s bishops, as well as Pope Francis, but now the voices of 3.5 million Argentines have banded behind the slogan, “Protect them both,” referring to the unborn child as well as the mother.
Crux Now reports the event, held on Sunday, was organized by Marcha por la Vida (Rally for Life), an umbrella organization which unites all the national pro-life organizations, such as +Vida, Argentina Pro Vida, and the Alliance of Argentine Christian Evangelical Churches (ACIERA) of the Federal Network of Families.
This is the second such demonstration since President Mauricio Macri allowed this debate. The first protest saw about 2 million people take to the streets of Argentina’s cities. President Macri has claimed that he would not veto the bill if it passes congress, however he did comment that he is “in favor of life.”
As it stands now, abortion is illegal in Argentina, however in 9 of the 23 provinces there are exceptions made for cases of rape, or when the life of the mother is at risk. In Buenos Aires organizers read a manifesto decrying the practice, noting that 98% of pregnancies with disabilities are terminated in countries with liberal abortion laws. They commented:
“We consider that it’s inadmissible that in democracy we’re debating the possibility of eliminating human beings at will.” The statement continued, “We rally because we want to protect both lives since, whether it’s done at the mother’s request or not, abortion causes the woman and those around her irreparable damage, becoming an attack against society’s common good,”
The rally drew together people from all walks of life, Catholic, Evangelical, and even Atheist. Crux Now reported on some of the slogans on the signs carried by protesters: “From the mother’s womb,” “I want to be born, my life is in your hands,” “I love life,” “No woman’s right should step over a human right,” “Save them both,” and “I’m an atheist, this is not about religion.”
Catholic Bishop Pedro Laxague of Zarate-Campana, who was present at the rally, commented on the diversity of the crowd, “As representatives of different faiths in favor of both lives, we recognize human life as a gift from God, as a miracle that begins at conception,” he said.