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Indian March for Life in New Delhi, August, 2022YouTube/Screenshot

1 million names against abortion Join us in urging the Supreme Court to stop the killing

(LifeSiteNews) — Sebastian Aashish is a software engineer living in India. He is an ambitious young man, and not only in his career. A member of Youth United for Christ – which is part of the Youth Charismatic Renewal of India – he is working to build up India’s small but growing pro-life movement.

He runs an Instagram page called Pro_Life_India, and volunteers networking with different pro-life organizations to assist in crisis pregnancy situations across the huge country. “My goal is to unite the people of India to stand as one united voice to defend the rights of unborn children,” he told me. He is currently helping to plan India’s second-ever March for Life. He answered a few questions for LifeSiteNews.

What is the situation regarding abortion in India? 

India, as you know, is one of the largest democracies in the world. The population of India apart from being a matter of pride is also a reason for fear among policy makers. Driven by the global population explosion myth, India was one of the first countries to adopt stringent population control measures. As a consequence, abortion was legalised with the enactment of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in 1971. One of the studies published by Guttmacher Institute stated that there were around 15.6 million abortions done in 2015 alone.

The Catholic population of country stands at a meagre 1.55 percent. Probably one of the reasons why the anti-abortion stand of the Church was not well-known.

What is the pro-life movement in India like? 

It was in 2021 on the occasion of the 50th year of the legalisation of abortion that some of the prominent pro-life organisations like YU4C Prolife, Human Life International, Goa, Eva Prolife movement of Kalyan Eparch, Jesus Youth Prolife, Diocesan Human Life Commission of Bombay Archdiocese came together and decided to make a pan-Indian coalition to raise their voices against the gruesome act of abortion, under the patronage of Oswald Cardinal Gracias.

Is there opposition to the pro-life movement in India?

We lack awareness amongst the general public, honestly speaking. Per Pew research conducted in 2022, it was found that only 55 percent of the Indian population were against abortion and feel that it should be illegal in almost all cases.

Due to this proper lack of awareness, we have a huge opposition from the mainstream media because they are skewed only with one side of the opinion. The political parties in India don’t even consider abortion to be a mainstream issue in the country and the topic of abortion is considered as a sensitive one and no one gives any interest pertaining to this topic.

Has there ever been a March for Life in India?

CHARIS is the international service organism for all expressions of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), which was started in the Catholic Church in 1967. In India, the CCR came into being in 1972. CHARIS India organized the first ever National March for Life on August 10, 2022, in New Delhi. This had the support of the former CBCI President, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias. 

What do you expect for this upcoming event?

We are organizing the second National March for Life on Thursday, August 10, 2023, hosted by Pune Diocese. The day begins with “Exhibition for Life” at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Hall from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thereafter a public gathering will be conducted from 2.30 p.m. with eminent leaders of the Church and other Christian and Non-Christian denominations addressing an expected audience of 2,000 people. The March for Life will be flagged off by Oswald Cardinal Gracias and as the crowd marches, a delegation will head to the Pune Collectorate to submit a written memorandum in favor of the rights of the unborn.

1 million names against abortion Join us in urging the Supreme Court to stop the killing

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.