by Steven Ertelt
February 27, 2007
Manila, Philipines (LifeNews.com) — Over the weekend, more than 10,000 pro-life young people attended a rally in the Filipino capital. Organized by the nation’s leading pro-life group, the youth who attended made commitments to abstain from sexual relations until marriage and to fight to keep abortions illegal in this island nation.
Pro-Life Philippines coordinated the rally along with pro-life groups at various colleges and universities and Ali Atienza, who heads inner city development in Manila, spoke to the crowd.
His father, Lito Atienza, is the mayor of Manila and also the president of Pro-Life Philippines.
The teenagers gathered in the San Andres sports center and complex and pledged their support for upholding pro-life principles and leading upstanding lives.
The pro-life group Youth for Life also led the rally and helped organize it.
The large attendance at the rally isn’t surprising given the staunchly pro-life views of the citizens of the Philippines.
An October 2006 poll conducted by the Pew Research firm found that 97 percent of those polled said abortion was never justified and only 3 percent said abortion is sometimes justified. None of the respondents told the polling firm that abortion is always justified.
Pew also asked residents about whether "the government should not interfere with a woman’s ability to have an abortion."
People from the Philippines were more likely to say they disagree with the statement compared with residents of United States, South Korea, South Africa, India, Brazil and Chile.
Pew’s survey polled anywhere from 600-1,005 people in each country and the polls were taken from May to September of last year.
Last March, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she would veto any legislation coming from the nation’s legislature that would legalize abortion. She called her pledge the "best birthday gift" she could give to Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, who is the chairman of the Philippines Catholic Bishops Conference.
The legislation would prohibit familles from having more than two children. The idea conjures up images for forced abortions and sterilizations that occur in China.