Hundreds of thousands march to protest legalized abortion in Argentina
Hundreds of thousands of Argentinians filled the streets in 200 cities across the predominantly Catholic country on Palm Sunday to march for life and against a bill to legalize abortion which will come into discussion in the national parliament immediately after Easter.
While 50,000 marched in the capital Buenos Aires — formerly the diocese of Pope Francis — other cities reported crowds of up to 20,000 participants in the “Great Rally for Life” under the theme “save them both,” according to the Catholic online magazine Crux.
One participant tweeted there were “literally millions throughout the country.”
It was suggested that even the organizers themselves did not expect as many people, partly because the media had given very little coverage of the preparation. Coverage was quite improvised, and had been done through social networks.
Pope Francis’ words written in his letter to the Argentineans of 16 March were received as substantial support and the sentence, “I ask all of you to be channels of goodness and beauty, so that you can make your contribution in the defense of life and justice ...” has been seen as an encouragement to not give up. Although the Catholic Church did not organize the march, more than 70 Catholic bishops took part either in person or on social media. The Argentine bishops who took part in the event evidently believe that the battle is not completely lost. The Alliance of Evangelical Churches of Argentina also promoted the event, which included offers in some locations of free ultrasounds for pregnant women and collections of donations for charities that help mothers in distress, Crux reported.
The bill will also permit abortion “until the ninth month in three situations,” Crux reported: “When the pregnancy is product of rape (abortion under those circumstances is already legal in Argentina); when the life of the mother is at risk either physically (which is already decriminalized) or psychologically; and in cases of genetic malformation of the child.”
The Chamber of Deputies is reportedly divided on the issue, but if it clears the bill, it’s expected the Senate, where most members are opposed to abortion, will reject it, Crux reported.
The bill speaks about abortion after 14 weeks for malformations, and it doesn’t define which ones. The term would imply a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome, or physical malformation … The fact that this is included is clear discrimination, and we see it in other countries. For instance, across the water in Britain, 90% of babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are routinely aborted.
"Pressure is ramping up from media and interest groups to legalize abortion in Argentina. Thousands of women marched on March 8, International Women’s Day, in Buenos Aires, with many sporting a green bandana, the symbol of the pro-abortion movement. However, by all accounts and evidence, that march was dwarfed by the throngs of pro-life advocates on the streets Sunday," said LifeSite News.
The Rally for Life “is the beginning of a path that has to find every Argentine together to defend the life of the women and of unborn children,” Ana Belen Marmora of Unidad Provida told the crowd in Buenos Aires.
“Today, in every rally that is taking place across the country, we’re uniting to tell our representatives who are going to debate this issue in Congress that abortion doesn’t resolve anything, that it’s a social failure and a setback in matters of rights,” she said.