Thousands of Catholics gathered Sunday in Argentina to stand for the rights of unborn babies after their president announced plans to legalize abortion on demand.
Crux reports Bishop Oscar Ojea of San Isidro emphasized the value of every human life during the open-air Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lujan near Buenos Aires. Thousands attended, many wearing blue and carrying pro-life signs to show their support for the unborn.
“Violence and death are the exact opposite of Jesus’ project,” Ojea said. “Life is the first right, and without it there can be no others. We claim it for everyone, at any age or situation in which that life is found and in a special way for those who are weak, unprotected and defenseless.”
Ojea mourned the violence and discrimination that women face in Argentina, but he said legalizing violence against unborn babies is not the solution.
“We condemn abuse in all its forms – sexual, psychological, and of power, whatever the field in which it occurs, in the family, at work, school, on the street and painfully we also say, in the Church,” the bishop said.
“We live in a time where it is necessary to discern priorities and not to choose issues that face ordinary citizens in such a way that this threatens the fraternity and the possibility of having a common horizon as a people,” he continued.
Ojea noted that polls show strong public support for the right to life, and he criticized politicians for mis-characterizing pro-lifers.
“Millions of Argentines, believers and non-believers, have the deep conviction that there is life from conception,” Ojea said. “It is unfair and painful to call them anti-rights or hypocrites.”
Argentina protects unborn babies’ right to life, but President Alberto Fernández wants to change that. Last week, during his first congressional address, Fernández said he plans to introduce a bill to legalize abortion within the next 10 days.
He claimed the legislation will help fight poverty and protect women from dangerous back alley and self-induced abortions, Buenos Aires Times reports.
“Abortion happens, it’s a fact,” Fernández said, according to The Independent. “A state should protect citizens in general and women in particular. And in the 21st century, every society needs to respect the individual choice of its members to decide freely about their bodies.”
Though details of his proposal are not yet known, a health official told MENAFN Newsroom Panama that the bill would legalize abortions through 14 weeks of pregnancy.
College student Carina Rivaynera, who attended the Mass on Sunday, told Bloomberg that she wants her country to continue to protect unborn babies.
“I feel that [politicians] are wicked and do not represent us,” she said. “The first right is the right to life, and if we have no life, we cannot fight for anything. They present it as a woman’s right, but they are violating a fundamental right. They do not represent me.”
A similar proposal to legalize the killing of unborn babies failed in 2018 because of strong public opposition, including from the former president. But pro-abortion groups, backed by some of the richest men in the world, continue to put intense pressure on countries to legalize abortion on demand.
Abortion does not give human rights. It destroys them. Unborn babies are human beings who also deserve compassion and protection under the law. Legalizing abortion does not help women either. Pro-abortion groups often overestimate the number of illegal and unsafe abortions that occur in countries across the world. Growing research also indicates that access to basic medical care, not abortion, is what really helps improve women’s health.