Spain Awakens Against Abortion

On 17 October 2009, Madrid became the Capital of Life for several hours, when over 1.5 million people gathered to protest the new abortion bill that Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the socialists want to approve in the Congress. Many aspects make this march noteworthy. The first is the unity displayed. More than 40 pro-life groups from the whole of Spain coordinated this march to send a message to the Spanish government that a very large portion of society disagreed with this new law. These same pro-life groups have opposed every abortion since 1985, when the previous socialist administration first legalized abortion in Spain. Secondly, the 1.5 million protestors send a strong message that public opinion is firmly against abortion. The protesters constitute more than 3% of Spain’s 48 million citizens, all gathered in the capital to make a stand for Life. Consider the results of a poll by the Spanish Family Forum, which show that only 21% of Spaniards condone unrestricted abortion, while 27% seek a full abortion ban, and 50% personally oppose abortion but think it should be allowed in certain cases. This reinforces the findings of PRI’s own public opinion studies: the media battle has been lost by President Zapatero and his Socialist Party. But the public outcry against abortion alone does not constitute reform. Many times we in the pro-life movement have thought that getting public opinion on our side would be sufficient to effect real change. This is not the case. Only 24 hours after the Madrid march, representatives of the Socialist Party in Congress spoke of continuing with the bill, regardless of the...