It's not just any march, it's not just another day, it's the International Day of Life! It is the celebration of all, the moment to unite without exception for the most just and urgent of causes. And that is why, one more year, we have taken to the streets. And it has been wonderful. If you were there, I don't need to explain it to you. If you were not able to go, look for the images and video at www.sialavida.es So much good was sown, that we can only thank God and so many people who have made it possible with their work, patience and enthusiasm.
Why March 25 and since when in Spain? The first International Pro-Life Congress was held in Madrid in 2003. Associations with a long history of helping pregnant women in difficulties participated and helped in its preparation, integrated in the Spanish Federation of ProVida Associations. At this Congress and after a worldwide survey of more than 20,000 groups and associations from different countries, it was overwhelmingly agreed to declare March 25 as the International Day of Life. This day was already celebrated in some countries and from then on, in many more. First El Salvador in 1993; later, Argentina, with the Day of the Unborn Child; and also Guatemala, Chile and Costa Rica. Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic followed. And nowadays this day is celebrated in Venezuela, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Ecuador, Philippines, Austria, etc.
In Spain, a further and definitive step was taken in 2011. The existing associations, together with others recently created, decided that every year, around March 25, they would take to the streets together to give a united testimony in defense of all human life. Associations from the fields of research, health and education, defense of the family and work with people with different capacities and needs also joined in. In order to guarantee unity and continuity, they established minimum agreements. They chose green as a symbol of hope. The motto chosen was Yes to Life which implied a positive and constructive response to all personal and social situations and dilemmas concerning human life and its dignity. Together they would finance the event. Thus the platform was formed Yes to Life which brings together some five hundred associations in Spain that defend life from conception to its natural end. It also has international members. We have been in existence for nine years.
What is the message? What is intended? First of all, to show the greatness of human life. That is why we state in the first point of the manifesto that "all Human life is valuable, unique and unrepeatable and has a dignity that is not lost with age, illness or adverse circumstances. That is why it is entitled to have its right to life recognized, without exception, both in law and in daily life, with conditions in keeping with its dignity, especially in moments of greatest vulnerability".
Also "We support advanced research and medicine, which respect and care for human life from beginning to end, natural procreation and humanization at all levels. Therefore, we reject techniques that destroy, manipulate and trade in human life at any stage of its existence".
We do not like at all that the objective of this call is diverted or used as electoral propaganda or that it is highlighted more if this or that politician has gone. But not wanting political flags does not imply passivity in the face of politics, far from it. That is why "We ask politicians of all stripes to make the defense of human life and its care a priority and urgent matter, in which they become involved with knowledge and conviction and legislate without fissures or exceptions, for the right to life of all, to help pregnant women in difficulties, to allow access to palliative care for those who need it and to adequately care for people with special needs, those who are sick, elderly or suffer violence of any kind.
We are not alone in these demands. Especially in Latin America they are fighting a very crude battle against those who want to introduce abortion in their laws. We have been in close contact with them and at the event we had some words of unity and encouragement. Everything went really well, and we are very happy. Almost seven hundred young volunteers are a sign of the vitality of the initiative: a big thank you to everyone.
Next year, God willing, the date is March 22, always looking for the Sunday closest to the 25th. The last point of the manifesto summarizes our thoughts and commitment:"We are convinced of the overwhelming force of the culture of life and its transformative and therapeutic power. That is why we are here one more year, ready to continue working for it day by day, to show the truth and generosity it contains. That is why we will remain faithful to this International Day of Life. That is why we say a strong and firm Yes to Life!
President of the Spanish Federation of Pro-Life Associations, coordinator of the Yes to Life Platform.