Global Celebrations Mark the Day of the Unborn Child
Friday, March 25, 2011

This week, pro-life advocates around the world celebrate the Day of the Unborn Child, March 25, to call for a respect of life from conception. Also known as International Pro-Life Day, pro-life organizations in countries around the world mark the day with marches, demonstrations, events and signs of solidarity in defense of the unborn child and the dignity of the human person.  March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, commemorates when the when the Virgin Mary learned of the conception of Jesus in her womb and said "Yes", and has increasingly been a day to focus attention on the rights of the unborn child. The date marks nine months to the Nativity, the birth of Jesus, the length of time needed for the complete remarkable development of a new life.

The celebration of March 25 as the Day of the Unborn Child was first recognized in El Salvador in 1993 and has grown rapidly. In 2003, the first Provida International Congress in Madrid with representation from over 20 countries in Europe and the Americas institutionalized March 25th as International Day of Life. Since then, the day has grown in popularity, in some places recognized as the Day of the Conceived Child. This year, the Day of the Unborn Child is recognized in Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Panama, Peru, Slovakia, Cuba, Austria, Philippines, Romania and more. 

Celebrations include the following:  

Spain marks the day with over 200 civil associations participating in a march to defend life and 42 different localities throughout the country are holding demonstrations supporting the march with the theme "Say yes to life".  

Slovakia is marking the Day of the Conceived Child with a week-long campaign featuring media and television outreach supported by a coalition of NGOs associated with the Forum for Life, with the message, "Life is beautiful. Protect it from conception". The campaign also includes billboards, leaflet distribution, a white ribbon show of solidarity and a screening of the movie Bella.  

Romania, which has the highest abortion rate in the European Union and the second highest in Europe, has planned a large March For Life with three simultaneous marches in the cities of Bucharest, Timisoara and Satu Mare to "Say yes to life". The march was organized by a joint action of over 20 pro-vita and pro-family NGOs and religious groups.    

Peru had an early celebration on March 19 when 40,000 people come out to march for life in celebration of the Day of the Unborn Child. At a mass Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren of Piura urged Peruvians to "be committed to building a culture of life, which must begin with heeding the voice of every unborn child".   

These global celebrations are a hopeful sign that someday all children around the world will be protected from the violence and cruelty of abortion. These public manifestations of support for the right to life from conception send a clear message to lawmakers that laws and policies must protect children in their most vulnerable stage and not legitimize their destruction.