MANILA, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The annual Walk for Life in the Philippines drew an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 to the nation’s capital on March 24th, with many more attending similar events in other parts of the country.
According to CBCP For Life, a Filipino pro-life news service, many participants were affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, including a large showing of young people. The marchers assembled for a 6:00 Mass at San Agustin Church, then processed to a city park bearing pro-life banners and placards reflecting this year’s theme, “We Value Life.”
The event was held during a congressional recess that left a major piece of anti-life legislation in limbo. The Reproductive Health bill, which would mandate taxpayer funding of contraceptives and abortificients, has been introduced in the country’s legislative body every year since 1998, but has never passed.
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Pro-life advocates succeeded in delaying the vote again this year, but it may come under consideration when Congress re-convenes in May. The legislation was a major topic of discussion for speakers at the event in Manila and other cities.
Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Human Life International (HLI) regional coordinator for Asia and Oceania, told a crowd gathered in Laguna that Congress’ decision to delay the vote was a victory, but added that pro-life advocates would have to “continue with massive public educational and activist efforts as we brace ourselves for another more challenging battle when congress re-opens May 7.”
“2013 is election year for the Philippines, and hopefully these rallies will give another strong signal to our elected officials that this time Filipinos know better, and will never again vote for those supporting the RH Bill and similar bills,” Acosta said, in comments that were published at HLIWorldWatch.org.
At the gathering in Manila, the city’s mayor, Alfredo Lim, and pro-life Congresswoman Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay also spoke against the legislation, reports CBCP for Life.
According to the news service, Magsaysay said that the legislation was unnecessary since many of its provisions had been included in the country’s 2009 Magna Carta of Women.