Thousands of people gathered in Madrid Sunday to loudly proclaim “Yes to Life.”
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The streets were full of green balloons and people wearing green t-shirts, a human tide from Serrano Street to Cibeles Square with signs that read, “I belong to the pro-life generation”; “It’s not your body, it’s in your body”; or “Long live the mother who gave birth to you!” Music, dance, and a manifesto were part of the production on stage, hosted by influencers Grace Villarreal and Diego de Julián. But there was also silence. A minute of respect was observed in memory of unborn children slain in the womb and people who have been euthanized.
Some personal testimonies were given on stage — real stories of present-day examples. The cases of Halina and Marina, two Ukrainian sisters, attracted particular attention. Halina talked about how attending a march like this one changed her life, and since then she has been offering her support to women who are thinking of having an abortion, to help them see that there’s another way.
Marina is 25 weeks pregnant. She testified that life makes noise. The first sound is the heart, the heartbeat. That’s why she had an ultrasound live on stage so people could listen to “the heartbeat of life.” It was the best way to celebrate the International Day of Life! Afterwards, the Ode to Joy was played.
After the Spanish government approved the Euthanasia Law and on the eve of the reform of the Abortion Law, the 50 associations that called for the event condemned the “laws that threaten human life, as well as their financing and ideological imposition.” They denounced the “culture of death” and called for the protection of families.
They also made a specific defense of doctors, whom the new law promoted by the executive branch of government intends to strip of their right to conscientious objection. “Doctors exist to save lives, not to take them,” the protest pointed out.
The words of the president of the College of Physicians of Madrid, Manuel Martínez Sallés, resounded loudly. “We demand prenatal care and care for patients with advanced disease. We must truly take care of the sick, not kill them.”
He also pointed out that both the ethics association of Spanish physicians and the World Medical Association “clearly prohibit euthanasia, even at the express request of the patient.”
Some personal stories were also told on the stage.
According to the organizers, 20,000 people participated (although the Government Delegation claims there were only 9,000). In any case, what was also surprising was the large number of young people, grandparents holding hands with their grandchildren, and families with a member with Down syndrome.
For Alicia Latorre, spokesperson for the Yes to Life Platform, “We cannot recover the lives lost or the evil done, but we have in our hands the present and, therefore, the future. We trust that more and more people will join the cause of life.”
Javier Rodriguez, director of Family Forum, described the march as “a success” and remarked that “the joy of the defense of human life has been manifested in thousands of voices in unison, singing and shouting ‘Yes to Life,’ with extra enthusiasm because they had not been able to take to the streets in previous years because of the pandemic.”
Rodriguez remarked that “victims of the war, abandoned mothers, unborn babies, and the sick who suffer and who are pushed to choose death have been very present, including through testimonies. The same is true of doctors whose right to conscientious objection is threatened. Madrid was full of life, once again this year. Yes To Life.”
- We proclaim that EVERY human being has the right to life and to be treated as his or her special dignity deserves, from conception to natural death.
- We want to show the greatness of the culture of life, which is generous, welcoming, constructive, and joyful, which heals wounds and does not give up.
- We reject all laws and practices that threaten human life at any moment of its existence, as well as their financing and ideological imposition.
- We demand that the truth be known about all the horrors, interests and strategies involved in the culture of death and its terrible personal and social consequences.
- We demand that, as a priority, medical advances and care should reach everyone without exception; and that all necessary material and personal resources should be allocated to this end.
- We support and thank all the people and associations who, in different fields, work in favor of all human life in spite of the many difficulties and even persecution.
- For all these reasons, we show, once again this year, our public and united commitment to continue saying, always and in all circumstances, “Yes to life!”