Numerous young people and families with children and grandparents, accompanied by well-known influencers such as Grace Villarreal and Joan Folch, or TV producers and journalists such as Diego de Julián and Ivana Carrero, took to the streets to commemorate the International Day of Life, after two years of online celebration. There were around 20,000 people, according to the organizers, although the Government Delegation reduced the figure to half.
The Platform Yes to LifeThe event, made up of more than 500 associations united in the defense of life from its beginning to its natural end, promoted a joyful meeting, but firm in its convictions for life, which concluded near Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles in an act with music and testimonies.
The celebration included a 7-point Manifesto, which you can see at the end, and "the traditional minute of silence and balloon release in memory of the unborn and all the victims of the culture of death".
The event was attended by people and families from around twenty Spanish cities such as Barcelona, Seville, Pamplona, Cadiz. Córdoba, Alicante, Santiago de Compostela, etc. Thousands of other people marched online and followed the event live on the platform's YouTube profile.
At the banner at the head of the March were representatives of associations involved in the defense of life in different areas, such as Alicia Latorre, spokesperson for the Platform Yes to Life and president of the Spanish Federation of Pro-Life Associations; Alfonso Bullón de Mendoza, president of the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP), and of the San Pablo CEU University Foundation; Javier Rodríguez, general director of the Family Forum, and Benigno Blanco, former president of the Family Forum; Álvaro Ortega, president of Fundación + Vida, or the European coordinator of One of Us, Ana del Pino, the RedMadre Foundation among others.
Ukrainian women defenders of life
The event was hosted by Diego de Julián and the influencer Grace Villarrealinterviewed by Omnes on the 25th. One of the most moving moments came when two Ukrainian sisters, Halina and Marina, the latter 25 weeks pregnant, took the stage and paid tribute to the Ukrainian people by wishing them peace. Halina told how after attending a Yes to Life March, she now offers her support to pregnant women who go to abortion centers. You can watch her testimony on video here.
For her part, Marina let her son's heartbeat be heard live; with this sound, the traditional minute of silence and balloon release took place. In the heartbeat of this baby was "the memory of the unborn because of abortion and all the victims of the culture of death".
Conscientious objection, and reception
The celebration for life culminated with a concert by the Martínez Brothers, but before that there were more speeches. For example, the dean of the College of Physicians of Madrid, Dr. Manuel Martínez Sellés, and Pablo Boccanera and Elisabeth Delamer with their biological daughter Teresa, a family that takes in children with illnesses, and whose daughter, Teresa, has followed their example and is now a foster mother of a 2-year-old girl.
Dr. Martínez Sellés, who came on stage wearing a white coat, stressed, among other things, that "doctors cannot be forced to practice either abortion or euthanasia, because our conscientious objection is guaranteed both in our Constitution and in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights". "What we doctors are asking for," he added, to questions from Grace Villarreal, "is that they allow us to care, to treat, to palliate. That's what we doctors do, we don't kill people.
Urban mile and story contest
Before the March, at 10:00 a.m., an Urban Mile Race took place on Serrano Street, promoted by the association Athletes for Life, as reported by Omnes, and which summoned more than a hundred runners in various categories. The association presided over by José Javier Fernández Jáuregui has announced the results and winners in the various categories.
In addition, the winners of the short story competition associated with this year's II Race The results of the Sportsmen for Life campaign, in which Omnes collaborates, will be announced on this website in the next few days.
Ideas force, and Manifesto
In addition to the statements of Dr. Manuel Martínez Selles, Alicia Latorre assured that "the Yes to Life is a call for life, for commitment, whose strength lies in the cause we defend. The mere celebration is already an important fruit and of course the many positive consequences that derive from it. It is an opportunity and a privilege to be able to defend the life of all and to trust without a hint of doubt that the truth and the good are winning hearts and minds".
At the same time, the spokeswoman of the platform pointed out that "we cannot recover the lives lost nor the evil done, but we have in our hands the present and, therefore, the future and we trust that more and more people will join the cause of life also perhaps those who have been defending the opposite".
María José, Lola...
Among the many testimonies collected, María José, who participated in the race, told Omnes that she was there "to defend life from the first moment of conception to natural death, to make people aware that we have to defend life, that we cannot stay at home, asleep on the couch, but that we have to fight for life. I came with my husband, Andrés, who also ran. We live in the Villaverde area and we have three grown-up children".
Alberto, Covadonga, José, Lola, Matilde..., are young people from various Andalusian cities such as Jaén, Córdoba or Bailén, they heard about the race through relatives, and live in Madrid. They had no objection to being photographed. Lola, a month away from getting married, told Omnes that "it is a tremendous sadness to live in a society in which women have to be convinced to have their own children, all babies want to be born, and it is tremendously sad that these things even have to be debated".
In Lola's opinion, "the right to life is the most important right, because without it there is no other right, and it is unfortunate that this is called into question. If we were to think just for a second from the baby's perspective, there would be no question, no one would question it. It makes no sense that because of the age of a human being, his life is worth more or less than that of another. It is precisely when children are in the womb that they are most defenseless".
Yes to Life 2022 Manifesto
The seven points of the March Manifesto are as follows:
We proclaim that EVERY human being has the right to life and to be treated as his or her special dignity deserves, from conception to natural death.
2. We want to show the greatness of the culture of life, which is generous, welcoming, constructive, joyful, healing, and does not give up.
3. We reject all laws and practices that threaten human life at any moment of its existence, as well as their financing and ideological imposition.
4. We demand that the truth be known about all the horrors, interests and strategies involved in the culture of death and its terrible personal and social consequences.
5. We demand that, as a priority, medical advances and care should reach everyone without exception and that all the necessary material and personal resources should be allocated for this purpose.
6. We support and thank all the people and associations that from different fields work in favor of all human life, in spite of the many difficulties and even persecution.
7. For all these reasons, we show, one more year, our public and united commitment to continue saying always and in all circumstances Yes to life!
As usual, the organization made an appeal for solidarity to help defray the costs of this event, through Bizum ONG: 00589
Or by bank transfer: ES28 0081 7306 6900 0140 0041 to the Spanish Federation of Pro-Life Associations. Concept: Yes to Life.