(Photo: AP Images / Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Between 130,000 and 160,000 people demonstrated in central Madrid, Spain, on Saturday against laws that make abortion easier, according to organizers.
Protesters marched under the slogan, "Yes to Life," and urged the "abolition of all permissive abortion laws and the withdrawal of all the provisions making it easier for euthanasia and the manipulation of human embryos," according to the manifesto read during the protest.
The march was in observance of International Day for Life, which is an annual event on March 25.
Recently in Spain, a new law came into force that allows abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. It also legalized abortion up until the 22nd week of pregnancy in the cases of rape, fetal abnormality, or when the mother’s physical or mental health are at risk.
Furthermore, there is no time limit for abortion in cases where the fetus is suffering from a serious or incurable illness certified by a medical committee.
"We want to say ‘yes to life,’ say ‘yes’ to the birth of a son,” said Ana Maria Llera de la Torre of the Adevida-Jaén Association to The Christian Post. “We intend to celebrate life. The demonstration goes against abortion.”
The Adevida-Jaén Association seeks to offer solutions for people who find it difficult to give birth and raise a child because of personal circumstances.
“The solution is not abortion,” stated Torre.
Gador Joya, a spokesman for the Derecho de Vivir (Right to Live) Association, said Saturday, "no one gave them (politicians) power to legislate on the life and death of people.”
Joya called on people to demand lawmakers “to restore the right to life in our legal system.”
He also noted that pro-lifers have not been silent and continue "taking to the streets to say 'Yes to life,'" especially "now that it (the government) has passed laws that violate human life at its most vulnerable points."
Protesters ask political parties to include in their election campaign platform initiatives "in defense of life."
The secretary of the Federation of Pro-Life Associations, Alicia Latorre, predicts that “all parties will take to the streets united to celebrate the International Day for Life” every year on this date.
"The culture of death will not have the last word," she stated.
Bishops of the sub-commission on the Family and Life Defense campaign announced a message of “Christian hope,” saying “there is always a reason to live.”
"There is a reason to live because He has given us a love greater than ourselves, which allows us to build our personal history,” said bishops of the Family and Life Defense.
The demonstrations took place in Madrid, the capital of Spain, as well as in over 80 other cities nationwide. Protests also took place in other parts of Europe and Latin America.
In October 2009, around one million people across Spain took part in an anti-abortion event.
Spain is an overwhelmingly Catholic nation with about 94 percent of its population identifying themselves as Roman Catholic.