In light of the recent abortion law proposals by the Spanish Socialists Party, no place can be more fitting to host the 4th International World Congress of Life than Saragossa, Spain. Current abortion law dictates that the procedure may only be done up to twelve weeks in cases of rape and twenty-second weeks in cases of fetal deformities. Since abortion was made legal in 1985, 100,000 abortions are still performed each year; even so, the procedure is difficult for women to obtain, and they must pay out of pocket, as the government run health care clinics do not cover the cost for abortions. Even so, the traditionally Catholic country has held fast to its views on the value of human life, and made an excellent display of their pro-life, or 'Provida' stance on abortion when on October 18, 2009, over 1 million made a march on Madrid to protest the proposed new abortion laws that would allow unrestricted abortions up to 18 weeks in all cases, and for minors to obtain abortions without parental consent. The laws may well be changed in favor of these proposals, but that does not change or lessen the ardor of many who are against it.
The World Congress for Life is an amazing show of alliance and dedication to the protection of all human lives, shared with people from around the world. The World Congress, organized by the Federacion Española de Associones Provida took place this past weekend, November 6-8, in Saragossa,Spain. The seminars were broken down into 5 mesas, or round tables, of discussion: political mediatic, scientific-medical, philosophic-anthropologic, socials-assistential, and juridical-legislative. The chief purpose of the World Congress is was not only to share knowledge amongst peers, but to bring awareness to the pro-life cause, the genocide that abortion causes throughout the world. While most of the speakers for these discussions are of great renown across Europe and Spain, the Comité de Honor included Mary Ann Gleandon, recent recipient of the 2009 National Right to Life Award, and Eduardo Verastugui, Mexican actor and producer of the movie Bella..
While the majority of the conference was focused upon education through discussion, young adults and youth made a more public and visual stand for life with, 1 Millón de Velas or One Million Candles, in the streets of Saragossa on the Saturday night during the conference. Dozens gathered to help create a display of votive candles, each candle a representation of each abortion that has occurred in Spain since legalization.
The closing speeches were done by Britain's John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children(SPUC), the oldest pro-life organization in the world and an affiliate of National Right to Life. In the current political climate that reigns worldwide, when many world and national leaders profess to be both pro-abortion and religious (The Kennedy's and Britain's Tony Blair both excellent examples of this contraction in policy and professed religious belief), his speech boldly encouraged church leaders all over the world to call out those politicians
on their anti-life policies, to cease working with those in the government who push pro-abortion agendas, and above all, the remain true to the Evangelium Vitae which sets out Catholic teaching on the sanctity and inviolability of every human life.
Over 1,000 delegates from 14 different countries attended this year's confence, and the next will be at El Salvador in 2011. In a time when abortion has become acceptable through the entire world, never has it been more important those who are pro-life to come together, not only to share knowledge, but to show the world that there are those who do indeed oppose that the ideology of 'choice' should triumph a human life, and that, on an international scale, voices in many languages from many nations can make a stand for the smallest of human lives.