Rome (Fides Service) - The annual Day for the Unborn Child, first launched in 1993 in El Salvador as Day for the Right to be Born, is spreading to other countries, particularly in Latin America.
In Argentina it was adopted by President Menem on 7 December 1998 and the first official celebration was held on 25 March 1999 in Buenos Aires by representatives of the local Catholic Church joined by members of local Orthodox and Protestant communities as well as Muslim and Jewish representatives. A few days later in Rome Pope John Paul II expressed the wish that the Day might be adopted as “a positive option in favour of life and the spread of a culture for life to guarantee respect for human dignity in every situation ”.
In Guatemala the day was adopted on 20 May 1999 “to promote a culture of life and protect life from the moment of conception”.
The President of Nicaragua in January 2000 issued a decree that the country would mark 25 March as the Day for the Unborn Child because, the decree stated “the right to life is the first of human rights and deserve total attention on the part of the state, its institutions and the whole of society”.
In 2001 in the Dominican Republic a law was passed to institute the Day as “appropriate and necessary to protect the unborn child and to underline the important role of the pregnant mother for the future of humanity and the value of the life she carries within her”.
Paraguay adopted a similar law on 14 April 2003. In Uruguay for 25 March Catholics organise peaceful sit ins in front of clinics which perform abortion, distribute leaflets to promote awareness of the right to life of the unborn child and the physical and psychic suffering that abortion causes to the mother.
In Mexico this year was the third consecutive annual celebration of the Day of the Unborn Child adopted by the Bishops of Mexico. In Cuba, besides holding a special mass to mark the Day the archdiocese of Havana organises a living Rosary prayer and a children’s drawing competition. After Mass on 25 March the feast of the Annunciation at Malacañang, Philippines, President Arroyo, declared an annual Day for the Unborn Child. The most recent country to adopt the Day with a law in January 2002 was Peru. (AP) (25/3/2006 Agenzia Fides ; Righe:39; Parole:491)