Massive pro-life march in Madrid demands Spanish government rescind permissive abortion law

"Pro-lifers are not captives of anyone," Blanco told Rajoy. "Our loyalty is to the ideal that moves us and we will be mobilized so that our ideal becomes reality"
Mon Nov 24, 2014 - 4:48 pm EST
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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) with former Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz Gallardon at a Popular Party convention in 2010. PP Madrid / Flickr

Madrid was mobbed with pro-life activists this weekend, demanding that the government live up to its promise to enact legislation protecting the unborn.

A huge pro-life demonstration, attended by 1,400,000 according to the organizers and 60,000 according to police sources, took place in Madrid on Saturday to demand that the government live up to its election promise to reverse the previous Zapatero government’s law allowing abortion-on-demand.

Thousands of families and individuals converged on La Plaza de Colón carrying banners that read, "Every life matters," and "For life, women and motherhood.”

Benigno Blanco, president of the Spanish Family Forum, delivered a Pro-Life Manifesto demanding repeal of the abortion law and a commitment by the government "to always protect the unborn child like any other human being and to protect in every case women in pregnancy so that they are not forced to choose abortion as the only option."

In a direct appeal to Prime Minister Rajoy in front of the huge gathering on La Plaza de Colón, Benigno Blanco said that if Rajoy and his government don't fulfill their promise to respect motherhood and the right to life, he can expect to lose the next election.

"He should know that we will not vote for his party again and we will do our utmost to ensure that many others follow our example,” the manifesto said. “The electorate will have the last word.”

"I specifically address the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy," Blanco said. "Mr. President, it's in your hands. Push the absolute majority that your party has in parliament to replace the existing law by supporting life and protecting motherhood.”

"You promised us you would take an important step in this direction and we want to remind you of this commitment and that you still have time to fulfill this promise,” he said.

"Pro-lifers are not captives of anyone," Blanco told Rajoy. "Our loyalty is to the ideal that moves us and we will be mobilized so that our ideal becomes reality. Hear our voice, which is also the voice of hundreds of thousands of children each year who can not be born, and the voice of their mothers."

The Zapatero law, enacted in 2010, allowed abortion without restrictions up to 14 weeks and gave 16- and 17-year-old girls the right to procure abortions without parental consent.

In his 2011 election platform, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party promised voters that he would work to reverse the law. However, in September Rajoy suddenly scrapped the bill drafted by Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, citing division in his party over the legislation.

Gallardon resigned upon hearing of Rajoy’s reversal, saying, "I believe it is my duty to resign with humility, recognizing that I have not been able to turn the reversal law into law.”

The pro-life manifesto delivered this weekend states that by refusing to repeal the present law, the government and the governing party is not only betraying its electoral promise, but by maintaining the status quo will be endorsing the present law and its consequences.

"Women will be deprived of their right to maternity, nothing will be done to reduce the number of abortions, and there will be a quantitative increase in the immense failure which abortion always means," he said.

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"This step," the manifesto says, "will consolidate even further the state of total lack of protection of the two victims of abortion: the unborn child, who will have no legal protection at all, and the mother, who will be faced with no other alternative to abortion."

The manifesto also condemns the present law's homosexual agenda to "coercively impose gender ideology, with its own particular vision of sexuality and the human person, in all health centers and services."

The manifesto concludes with both a promise "to all women that they will never be alone and that they can count on our help to overcome any obstacle to their right to maternity."

Addressing the thousands who filled the streets of Madrid, Blanco said, "This event is for the whole of society and especially our leaders and lawmakers to rethink the reality of abortion and raise awareness on the need to eradicate it.

"Abortion is the drama of our time that would shock and horrify future generations, when this tragedy is just one more memory in the history of the horrors of humanity. Our responsibility is to accelerate change, the drama of abortion is something to be overcome," Blanco said.

While pro-life marches are usually held in October or November in Spain, HazteOir (Make Yourself Heard) and Derecho a Vivir (Right to Live), organizers of Saturday's pro-life demonstration, are planning another demonstration on March 14, 2015, in Madrid.

Further information will be posted on the HazteOir website

  mariano rajoy, pro-life rally, spain