BUENOS AIRES, MARCH 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Numerous countries in Latin American are preparing to observe the Day of the Unborn, a commemoration that has grown in prominence in recent years.
The initiative, which was promoted by Pope John Paul II, is held on or around March 25, the feast of the angel’s annunciation to Mary of Jesus’ conception and birth.
El Salvador was the first country to decree the observance of the Day, in 1993. “Day of the Right to Be Born” was proclaimed by the Legislative Assembly, thanks to the efforts of pro-life groups, especially the Yes to Life Foundation.
For its part, in December 1998, Argentina declared March 25 the “Day of the Unborn.” The first time the Day was observed, then Archbishop Renato Martino, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, was present at the celebration.
In Chile, backed by a campaign of thousands of signatures and by several mayors, in May 1999 the Senate approved unanimously a draft agreement requesting the country’s executive to declare March 25 every year “Day of the Conceived and Unborn.”
That same month, the Guatemalan Congress declared March 25 “National Day of the Unborn.” The official statement indicated that the intention was to “promote a culture of life and of defense of life from the moment of conception.”
In 1999, the president of Costa Rica, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, proclaimed July 27 “National Day of Life before Birth.”
In Nicaragua, President Arnoldo Alemán promulgated a decree in January 2000 declaring March 25 of every year “Day of the Unborn.”
Early in 2001, the Dominican Republic approved the law instituting the Day “with the aim of fostering reflection on the important role that a pregnant woman represents for humanity’s future and the value of the human life she bears in her womb.”
In January 2002, the Congress of Peru declared March 25 “Day of the Unborn.”
In April 2003, Paraguay established March 25 every year as the official date for observing the Day of the Unborn with a decree by President Luis Ángel González Macchi.