2020 begins with record-breaking attendances at pro-life marches

Thousands of pro-life campaigners marched in Denver and Chicago on Saturday calling for an end to abortion.

The marches are part of a nationwide effort to draw attention to the more than 600,000 abortion procedures carried out in the US each year and call for laws that support women and protect unborn babies.

These two marches took place just two weeks before the national March for Life in Washington, which attracted hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers last year.

A record-breaking 9,000 people attended the March for Life in Chicago, Illinois which had the theme ‘Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman!’.

Ahead of the march, the March for Life Chicago board president, Dawn Fitzpatrick, told the Chicago Tribune, “There’s more people in Illinois and the Midwest who recognize the urgency of this. We recognize that there’s a human being that’s created from the moment of conception.” 

Over 8,000 people gathered for the Celebrate Life rally in Denver, Colorado carrying signs that read, “Civil rights begin in the womb” and “I am the pro-life generation.”

Participants were given the chance to sign a petition to support a policy on the 2020 Colorado ballot, which seeks to protect unborn babies by ending the practice of late-term abortion in the state.

Under Initiative 120, a person conducting an abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy could be subject to having their medical license suspended for a least three years, except in cases where the life of the mother is at risk.

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life research group, in 2018, there were 323 abortions that occurred in Colorado at 21 weeks or later in a pregnancy. The survival rate for babies born at 22 weeks has doubled over the past decade prompting new guidance in the UK, allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.

Colorado became the first state to allow abortion in limited instances in 1967. Currently, the state doesn’t have any restrictions on when a pregnancy can be terminated and abortion rights advocates have pushed to keep it that way. Abortion providers in the state can opt-out of providing post-abortion care and don’t require parental consent for minors seeking abortions.

Among the speakers at the rally was Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, who shared how his experience of working in a hospital as a college student and seeing aborted babies there changed his life.

Revealing details about an abortion procedure that still impacts him decades later, Aquila told Colorado Public Radio “It is tragic and I remember being stunned… I can still remember the horror on the young woman’s face [during the abortion].”

Referring to Initiative 120, the Catholic archbishop assured attendees of the rally that it does not amount to an endorsement of abortion during the earlier stages of a pregnancy.

“But we also desire to protect, even in increments, the gift of given life. We are not voting for abortion, nor are we saying we agree with abortion up to 22 weeks. What we are saying, is that we respect life, and we respect it for all the pregnancy,” Aquila said.

David Bereit, co-founder of pro-life group 40 Days For Life, said “We are not going to rest because what started in Colorado will end in Colorado… Colorado has tried other ballot initiatives on the pro-life side in the past that have failed. This is the one that a large majority of people agree upon.”

Pro-life demonstrations across the world have also seen record numbers in attendance in recent years. In 2019, over 50,000 Slovakians called on the country’s leaders to protect unborn babies. Pro-life demonstrations in Northern Ireland reached over 20,000 people, over 11,000 marched for life in the Netherlands, over 5,000 people marched for life in the UK, and over 2,000 people attended New Zealand’s March for Life.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“What a wonderful way to begin 2020, continuing with the trend of the record-breaking numbers of people attending pro-life demonstrations that we have seen over the past few years, not just overseas but also in the UK. 

“In 2020 and beyond, we will be using this momentum and the momentum of a more pro-life parliament to call on the Government to urgently bring forward increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year. 

“We are excited to see the pro-life movement continue to grow around the world this year and are hopeful of innovative new laws and safeguards that will support women and protect unborn babies.”

Unapologetic anti-life activists rejoice after torching pro-life journalist’s car

Anti-life activists have targetted a German pro-life journalist for promoting the country’s March for Life by setting his car on fire and releasing details of where he lives with his wife and children.

In a menacing online post, the extremist group Feministische Autonome Zelle rejoiced in the attack saying, “Every year he heavily promotes the March for Life…We torched his SUV today.”

They then continued to reveal the journalist’s home location stating that he “lives there with his children.”

Gunnar Schupelius, a blogger and columnist for Berlin-based newspaper BZ, is well-known for his pro-life views and regularly attends the peaceful March for Life Germany with his family.

Yet, the unapologetic Feministische Autonome Zelle attempted to justify their violence claiming Schupelius is the real attacker because he thinks unborn babies should be protected.

“You will describe our attack as an attack on freedom of the press, but it is the Gunnar Schupeliuses of this world who attack women…” the post states.

Threatening further attacks, the group also said: “… as long as women are not allowed to control their bodies themselves, we will pursue the agitators of this terror and take revenge for their propaganda of social cannibalism”.

The group did note Schupelius’ charity work, but dismissed his social contribution as one that only assists “those who subject [themselves] to the concept of hetero-normative worldviews.”

Every September, thousands of people gather in Berlin to speak up for unborn babies’ right to life. A record-breaking 8,000 people attended the march in 2019.

Peaceful pro-life demonstrations across the world have also seen record attendance numbers in recent years. In 2019, over 50,000 Slovakians called on the country’s leaders to protect unborn babies. Pro-life demonstrations in Northern Ireland reached over 20,000 people, over 11,000 marched for life in the Netherlands, over 5,000 people marched for life in the UK, and over 2,000 people attended New Zealand’s March for Life.

But across the world, pro-life campaigners are increasingly becoming victims of violence. In 2019, LifeNews reported more than 100 incidents including arson, assaults, death threats and numerous acts of vandalism.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“No one should face hostility for defending the right to life of unborn babies.

“The peaceful pro-life movement continues to grow across the world. Unfortunately, as the pro-life movement continues to make progress so does hostility against pro-life campaigners. However, we won’t be intimidated into silence but will continue to advance in numbers supporting both women and unborn babies.

“More tragic than the violence some pro-life campaigners have been subjected to is the violence faced by almost one in four babies in the UK and worldwide who die in the womb as the result of abortion.

“It is heart-breaking that a mother’s womb, which should be one of the safest places for any person, is one of the most dangerous places to be.

“In 2020 and beyond, we will be calling on the Government to urgently bring forward increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.”

President of Costa Rica signs abortion statute after tens of thousands march through capital in defence of life

Costa Rica’s president has signed a statute that could increase the number of abortions in the Central American nation.

While it does not expand or change any laws, the legal statute signed by President Carlos Alvarado Quesasda clarifies the conditions under which doctors can perform an abortion procedure in the country. It could, therefore, give doctors the ‘confidence’ to perform abortions without legal repercussions.  

Pro-life campaigners in the country are dismayed at President Alvarado, saying the move could open the door to abortion on demand.

Since 1971, Costa Rica’s Criminal Code has allowed abortions to take place with the consent of an expectant mother “when done in order to avoid a threat to the mother’s life or health” and when no other alternatives are available. 

However, The Tico Times claims that, despite what the law stipulates, many doctors fear performing an abortion because of the lack of a protocol that establishes the procedures to follow and the precise conditions in which the law is applied.   

The Health Ministry and Casa Presidencial has now stated that these are the rules surrounding the legislation:

  • A group of three medical professionals must assess (within three days of a request for an abortion) if a termination is legally permissible for the woman seeking one
  • There must be no other option to secure the woman’s emotional or physical health.
  • Once they decide, the woman can either accept that decision or appeal. In addition, the woman must have given consent to the abortion and must have access to understandable, timely and scientific-based evidence upon which to base her decision, as well as comprehensive care.
  • Health professionals have the ability to cite conscientious objection to the procedure while ensuring it does not affect the medical attention available to the woman.

The President’s actions come just two weeks after tens of thousands of people have marched through the streets of San José, the capital of Costa Rica, in defence of life.

Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, leader of the Costa Rican opposition party, said at the march: “the groups that have promoted this statute are the same ones that ask for abortion without any reason. This shows us that what this statute really proposes is unlimited abortion in Costa Rica”

Pro-life advocates have been showing support for the unborn in rallies around the world.

This month, thousands of people from all over New Zealand marched in the country’s capital calling on their political leaders to defend human life from conception, ahead of next year’s vote on an extreme abortion bill. Over 50,000 people gathered in the streets of Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, for The National March for Life as the country debates allowing abortions after 12 weeks gestation.

(Image credit: Evangelico Digital)

Thousands march for life in New Zealand, ahead of extreme abortion bill vote

Thousands of people from all over New Zealand marched in the country’s capital on Saturday calling on their political leaders to defend human life from conception, ahead of next year’s vote on an extreme abortion bill.

Over 2,000 people gathered in the streets of Wellington for the third National March for Life carrying signs saying “Both Lives Matter” and “Love them Both”.

It comes as steps are being taken by new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to permit abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or cleft lip and palate.

Currently, there is a 20-week time limit for disability-selective abortions in New Zealand law.

The proposed legislation will see this time limit removed and abortion for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities will be available up until birth, with the approval of a single health practitioner.

Before 20 weeks, expectant women would be able to refer themselves for an on-demand abortion.

A large number of parents have publicly voiced their concerns about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

These concerns were echoed to thousands of pro-life campaigners on Saturday as Aggie Brown took to the stage with her husband Derek and their adopted nine-year-old son Reuben.

Addressing the crowds, Aggie explained how she and her husband’s life had changed for the better in having Reuben as part of the family, saying:   

“He may have Down’s but he undeniably shows us and others so much love, joy and happiness. He has taught us tolerance, empathy and kindness. There’s no such thing as a perfect human being and it saddens me to hear that Down’s syndrome is seen in a negative light.”

Aggie had been dismayed to learn in the lead up to Reuben’s birth his mother was strongly advised to consider having an abortion, by her GP, who gave her “the worst possible scenario if she chose to keep her Down’s baby”.

She added: “Much work is needed to illuminate the vast majority of genocide, discrimination and mistreatment that people with Down syndrome face.

“We would not be standing here today with our awesome nine-year-old son Reuben had his birth mother decided to have a termination. And for that, we highly commend her in making a courageous selfless decision in choosing adoption as a living option.”

Since 1974, when the first abortion facility opened in Auckland, New Zealand has seen more than 500,000 abortions take place.

In 2018 the total number of abortions was 13,282, the equivalent of 36 abortions per day.