Banner of the Yes to Life demonstration held in Madrid on March 12, 2023. / Credit: Nicolás de Cárdenas/ACI Prensa

ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 13, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).

Thousands turned out for the Yes to Life march in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday, where the sponsoring organizations expressed their opposition to “all laws and practices that threaten life and human nature at any moment of its existence, as well as the businesses and ideologies that sustain them.”

The event was held this year somewhat ahead of the usual date of March 25, the International Day for Life, and was supported by more than 500 organizations that are part of the Yes to Life platform.

Various participants carried banners with messages such as “You can’t be a Catholic and support abortion,” “All life is a blessing from God,” “Live out your pregnancy, give life,” “Human rights begin in the womb,” “No mother regrets being one,” and “Abortion leaves women without options.”

The march ended with a rally held on Paseo de la Castellana, a major north-south thoroughfare in Madrid, and was led by influencers José Martín Aguado and Carla Restoy.

The event included the testimonies of two women who found help from pro-lifers when they were about to have an abortion.

Marita took to the mobile stage set up for the occasion with her son Santiago to tell how the father left her when he found out about the pregnancy. The social worker recommended an abortion, but Marita was fortunate to meet volunteers from 40 Days for Life.

“They helped me make the decision. I went over to them myself and asked them for help. I wanted to feel that I was not alone or abandoned and they made me feel that way, that I was safe. And I decided not to go [into the abortion clinic],” she recounted.

“Today I am here with my son, which is the best thing that could have happened to me,” she said to the enthusiastic response of those present.

Also giving her testimony was Melisa, a young woman pregnant with her fourth child. “The social worker [asked] me what am I going to do with so many children, where am I going; that [abortion] is the ideal thing to do,” she related.

However, Melisa left the abortion clinic and talked to the John Paul II Rescuers and More Future Foundation volunteers, who gave her the support she needed to continue with her pregnancy.

The manifesto for the march, which was read by different representatives of the sponsoring organizations, proclaimed that “human beings have the right to life and to be treated as their dignity deserves, from their conception to natural death and at all times and in all circumstances.”

The declaration also pointed to “the greatness of the culture of life and its fruits. A culture that is generous, welcoming, constructive, joyful, that heals wounds and doesn’t give up.”

The manifesto rejected “all laws and practices that threaten life and human nature at any moment of its existence, as well as the businesses and ideologies that sustain them.”

The representatives also demanded “that the biological truth of human life not be covered over” and that “what abortion, euthanasia, attacks on the embryo, [and] gender ideology are should not be lied about, nor should the cruelty, injustice, and pain inflicted by the culture of death be denied.”

The manifesto demanded “that health care be provided to everyone without exception” from the unborn to the sick of all kinds, and appreciation was expressed for the work of the different pro-life groups.

“We support and thank all the people and associations that in different fields of action work for all human life, despite the many difficulties and even persecution,” the proclamation said.

The organizers promised to work so that “no illegitimate and perverse law be in force in our legal system” advocating “that Spain must be an advanced nation, progressive in terms of true rights and conservative of objective and perennial values.”

The march ended with participants releasing balloons into the air following a minute of silence during which only the heartbeat of a baby obtained from a live ultrasound was heard.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.