Nearly two million people marched on Saturday in Pope Francis’ native Argentina to defend the life of the unborn and offer solutions to mothers in crisis pregnancies. Source: Crux.
The rally was organised by Argentina’s March for Life, a lay-led organisation. Although Catholic bishops, evangelical pastors, and Jewish and Islamic leaders participated, they were not involved in the organisation of the event, which took place in more than 200 locations across the country.
The movement doesn’t have a political affiliation, either. In fact, the only political message issued from the stage was a warning to Argentine politicians: Abortion will be an issue in the upcoming presidential elections, and those who were out in the streets won’t vote for candidates who support overturning Argentina’s pro-life laws.
The other thing close to a political note of the rally was the presence, on stage in the country’s capital Buenos Aires, of a group of veterans from the 1980s Falklands War, the only armed conflict in Argentina’s recent history.
“We’re all ordinary people, but at a moment in life we’re called to do extraordinary things for the nation. We defended both islands. Today, we’re here, as soldiers, to implore that we defend both lives, to save the nation,” their spokesman said.
Buenos Aires drew the largest crowd, with more than 300,000 people marching across the capital. Aerial footage showed that at one point, the column of people was almost two kilometres long.
Though the rally had been planned well in advance, the city government provided no security for the event, and neither did the national government. However, several participants told Crux that “seeing the climate of joy and celebration, it would have been a waste of resources.”
The city of Buenos Aires is governed by Horacio Larreta, who belongs to the party of President Mauricio Macri, who last year allowed Congress to debate the legalisation of abortion for the first time in a decade.