By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  SANTO DOMINGO, October 30, 2007 ( – Defying a heavy rainstorm, hundreds of Dominicans marched through the streets of the Dominican Republic’s capital city Santo Domingo last Sunday to protest a recent proposal to decriminalize abortion in the Caribbean nation.

  The march capped off a month of pro-life demonstrations, including a massive demonstration at the nation’s parliament building on Thursday of last week, and a nationwide address by the Cardinal and Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez.

  The march proceeded from Fray Antón de Monesinos Plaza to the Centro de los Héroes, led by Auxilary Bishop Pablo Cedano.  There, Cardinal López Rodríguez proclaimed, “only God is the owner of life.  No one may offend it.”

  According to the Dominican newspaper Listin Diario, the Cardinal warned that Dominicans shouldn’t let up in their struggle in favor of life, and that, in the words of the newspaper, “there are minority groups that advocate abortion and are not thinking about giving up, because they have to justify the extensive resources that their sponsors shamelessly provide them to convert them into their spokesmen and local agents.”

“So they will maintain themselves,” he said, “lying in wait to see when they can swipe their claw and achieve their purposes.” 

  The Cardinal has frequently pointed out the relationship between international pro-abortion groups and businesses and local attempts to legalize abortion, referring to pro-legalization groups as “merchants”. 

“Confronted with this situation, the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church, together with brothers from the other Christian denominations, have felt the obligation to make our voices heard, not only with the honorable members of the National Congress, but also in other forums, to make our people see that like others in Latin America we love life and are willing to defend it in the face of any attempt to violate it or eliminate it, simply because we consider it sacred and untouchable,” said López Rodríguez.

  Despite the diminished numbers due to the rainstorm, Listin Diario noted that “the march was colorful and the presence of the people was notable”, including large numbers of children, who in some cases came from local parochial schools and in others accompanied their parents.

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