Millions March in Spain Against Govt Effort to Expand Abortions, Exclude Parents
by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2009
Madrid, Spain (LifeNews.com) — As many as two million people participated in a massive march in the capital of Spain as they oppose an effort by the government there to expand the nation’s abortion law and exclude parents. Spanish citizens took to Madrids streets behind a huge banner that read, Every Life Matters."
People traveled to Madrid from across the country for the rally and march sponsored by 234 various pro-life groups from over 45 countries.
Police estimates put the crowd at 250,000, but government officials said the number was as high as one million and organizers said two million participated in the march.
The event had a festival-like atmosphere as throngs of people filled the streets from the Plaza del Sol to Independence Square.
The cabinet of the Spain government, headed by President Rodriguez Zapatero, approved a draft bill that would expand abortions and legalize them up to the fourteenth week of pregnancy. The measure has upset pro-life advocates, but the government made it worse by saying parental involvement won’t be allowed.
That means teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 who can get abortions will not have to either inform their parents about their abortion nor obtain their consent.
I don’t think it is right for a 16-year-old girl to make the decision to kill a child, who is a person who can be like me or you in a few years," one teenager told participants during the event.
Benigno Blanco, director of Spanish Family Forum and a national pro-life leader, told conservative newspaper ABC that "this debate won’t end until there’s not a single abortion."
After the march, the Pro-Life World Congress contacted LifeNews.com and said it was so huge that it "has entered the exclusive group of milestone street demonstrations in which the people marks the leading role of democracy."
The group said the government "can’t ignore" the message so many people brought.
"Now it time to request from the political parties, from government and from other public instances and institutions concrete responses. For this it is necessary to keep on walking. It is necessary to prepare proposals, to shape actions, and conform a political will that take the voice of the people beyond the streets to the offices of power," it said.
The group will hold followup meetings in Saragossa early next month and Parliament is soon expected to debate the bill.
Socialist lawmaker Carmen Monton said the government is confident the bill will be approved and become law. However, given the parliament schedule, the debate and vote may not occur until early next spring.
Former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar participated in the march. Actor Eduardo Verástegui, who starred in the movie Bella joined in the march as well.
Legal abortions in Spain have increased over the years, doubling from nearly 54,000 in 1998 to 112,000 in 2007.
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