September 4, 2013 ( – Last week Catholics and Evangelicals took to the streets of Bolivia marching in different cities to express their opposition to the decriminalization of abortion in what the local media called the largest pro-life demonstration ever in the South American country.

The crowds gathered on the 22nd and 27th of August in different Bolivian cities with the slogan “Bolivia loves Life”. The demonstration in the city of Cochabamba assembled more than 35,000 people.


“Abortion is the cruelest crime of human beings. What makes it a crime is that it’s the death of someone helpless,” Ruth Montaño, a representative of the Pro-Family Committee of the Evangelical Church in Bolivia, told the media.

Bolivia’s Episcopal Conference (CEB in Spanish) called all Christians and pro-lifers to participate in the marches declaring: “As Bolivians, we demand the protection of the life of every boy and girl from conception. Their identity is not modified with their growth, development or sufficiency. As such, their lives deserve shelter from the very beginning.”

In recent months the Bolivian Legislature has debated a motion in favor of the decriminalization of abortion, spearheaded by liberal deputy Patricia Mancilla, who recently presented the Constitutional Court a report that argued that the three articles in the Bolivian Constitution that penalize abortion are in fact unconstitutional.

Also, as has reported, doctoral candidate Natalie Kimball recently presented her findings that a secret network of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are performing illegal abortions throughout the country.

“We don’t want groups led by foreign NGOs to achieve the international promotion of sterilization and legal abortion in our country. We don’t want to cover crimes with a crime to a being that has no fault,” said Varinia Sánchez, who participated in one of the marches with her daughters.

Jorge Peñaranda, from Plataforma por la Vida (Platform for Life), noted that “this crowd is a reaction for life and we want this to make its way to the Constitutional Court so that they can make good decisions.”


The country currently exempts abortion from penalties only in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother, and requires previous government permission if the exemption is to be applied.