March 27, 2012 ( – Pro-lifers throughout Latin America celebrated the Day of the Unborn Child on Sunday, March 25, a day that normally coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation in the Catholic Church, with some countries officially recognizing the event through legislation.

In Peru, where the day was officially established by the government in 2002, 36,000 marched the day before in several cities, including Callao, Carabayllo, and Lima, according to the Catholic news service AICA. More than 50 high schools, five universities, and various groups from local parishes also reportedly participated.

In Argentina, which instituted the day in 1998, the day was celebrated with public masses, blessings of pregnant women, marches, ecumenical prayers, and other events.

In the province of Jujuy, the celebrations began as early as the 18th of this month with the Second Festival of the Unborn Child, organized by a coalition of individuals and organizations known as “May the Family Live,” reported the local El Tributo newspaper.

“We are convinced that the superlative values of the family and life are transcendent of any political ideology or religious creed, and deserve all the human effort that is necessary to defend them,” the coalition’s representatives stated in a public communique.

“For that reason we are encouraged to confront this challenge, calling on everyone of good will to gather with their own and feel with us the same vocation to protect the building block of society, the only generator and custodian of life,” they added.

The Day of the Unborn Child is also recognized by the governments of Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

In Argentina, the day took on a new significance as officials of the Catholic Church raised their voices against a recent decision by the nation’s highest court to facilitate abortions in rape cases by eliminating the need for a judge’s approval. Under the new regime, women will simply be able to claim they have been raped in order to qualify under the exemption for such cases in the nation’s penal code.

“Abortion is the suppression of an innocent life, and there is no motive, nor reason, that might justify the elimination of an innocent life, not even in the lamentable and sad case of a rape,” said José María Arnancedo, Bishop of Santa Fe and president of the Argentinean Episcopal Conference.

“It is absurd to try to resolve a conflict with another conflict, because as a result we have more conflict,” he said.