It is the hour of mobilization of the laity in France for the defense of human life, as the challenges to life are all over the news: a draft law with the trivialization of abortion, the changing of the law on the end of life, speeches for “passive euthanasia.”
The Pro-Life March will take place on January 19.
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, shook consciences on Jan. 10, on the microphones of Notre Dame Radio, underlining theissues.
“It is necessary that respect for life should become an issue in the European elections,” said Jean-Marie Le Mene, president of theJerome Lejeune Foundation. He rang the alarm in face of “the dramatic topicality of the culture of death.”
“The Pro-Life March of January 19 is the occasion to send the message that these questions will be at the heart of the next elections,” he noted. And he warned: “Abortion is the flagship of euthanasia.”
ZENIT spoke with Le Mene for an assessment of the mobilizations of 2013 and the challenges of 2014.
ZENIT: The year 2013 was a pivotal year in France, made up of battering against the culture of life, of an unprecedented mobilization of forces for life and the family, and small victories: what is your assessment?
Le Mene: I draw up a mixed evaluation of a very strong people’s mobilization that delighted us — against homosexual ‘marriage,’ embryo research with “One of us,” the Estrela resolution – but of a feeble mobilization on the part of the political and moral authorities, which is worrying.
Among the very rare politicians that took part in the gatherings against homosexual ‘marriage,’ a certain number do not envisage any issue other than applying the law because it has been voted on and they also avow that they will not change it during the next political term. It is worse in the area of respect for life: the encephalogram is dull. To awaken the politicians of the Opposition (except for two or three) to the urgencies dictated by the dramatic topicality of the culture of death in our country is a mission that seems impossible. One can also regret that apart from some admirable individual taking of positions, the communication of the Church of France on these questions is not equal either to the issues or to the present menaces.
The result is a paradoxical sentiment of great popular determination and of divorce between the people and its elites. The people have felt abandoned on these fundamental questions for tens of years, victims of the absence of a strategic vision on the part of those who should be opposed to that which attacks human nature in the domain of life and of the family, and orphaned of courageous leaders. It’s good to congratulate oneself on having manifested en masse, but it is the people who have succeeded in this, they alone. What political project is there for tomorrow? For the moment, one awaits the moral and political response of those who are formally in charge of the common good.
This acknowledgement is all the more painful since this is not the case abroad.
ZENIT: What is looming in 2014 in relation to the Culture of Life in France and in Europe? Regression, advances? What is your forecast?
Le Mene: Outwitting all the forecasts, the first of societal reforms to come down on France in 2014 will not be either the opening of the PMA to homosexuals or the GPA or euthanasia. No, the first subject of the new year will be the greatest attempt against the interest of the child by the extension of eugenic abortions and complacent abortions beyond the limits of the Veil law. And this will begin in the month of January! Who knows? Who agrees to speak? Who dares to mobilize?
In Spain during this time, in a symmetrically inverse movement, the first of societal reforms to be voted on will be the restriction of abortion. During this time in Germany, the General Secretary of the CDU , even if he doesn’t wish to change the law, is nevertheless capable of criticizing abortion in his country, and of saying that it is good to speak to society about respect for life. We are not there in France!
At the level of European institutions, at stake is the third round of the Estrela resolution. After having been returned at first to the Commission and then, a second time, rejected by the majority of European deputies, the Estrela resolution that would make abortion a fundamental right, is at present the object of forcing on the part of the European Commission by the parliamentarians. It’s very grave because abortion is not the competence of the European Union but of the Member States and democracy is objectively skirted on this point by the Commission.
Then there are advances, such as the success of the European initiative “One of us,” the rejection of the Estrela resolution, the Spanish draft law restricting abortion — but these advances must be consolidated. There are also new menaces that must be combated, such as the extension of abortion in France or the return of the Estrela resolution to the European Parliament. Indisputably, the question of respect for life is being Europeanized. It is necessary that respect for life become an issue in the European elections. Neither the political class nor the French media have yet to take the step; they are lagging behind our European neighbors. The Pro-Life March of January 19 is the occasion to spread the message that these questions will be at the heart of the next elections.
ZENIT: In other words, the hour calls more than ever for mobilization? What will be the mobilizing themes of the Pro-Life March?
Le Mene: The first reason to mobilize is the burning topicality in France where a liberalization of abortion is being done on the sly by the suppression of the notion of distress for having aborted and by the extension of the offense of hindrance to information on abortion. In brief, it is abortion for all and freedom of speech for none! It will be the recognition of a right and no longer a derogation of the principle of respect for life. And hardship for those who warn of the dangers of abortion, or who try to dissuade those who pose these questions to themselves, nay that will forget to speak. While the professor of law and constitutionalist Bertrand Mathieu sees a veritable upheaval there, no one speaks of it!
The second reason to oppose this reform on abortion is that it constitutes the gold standard to which all societal reforms are compared. Whoever can have the undesired child pass away can have the undesirable old man pass away. It is useless to lament the effects of which one continues to cherish the causes. Abortion is the flagship of euthanasia.
The third reason to manifest is that the European context has changed. To say that one cannot go back on subjects of society is a lie. The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy just adopted, on December 27, a draft law that will limit the number of abortions in that country, notably by putting a stop to eugenic abortions. This text was made possible thanks to the great pro-life manifestations of 2009 under the Socialist government of Zapatero. In recalling the political issue of abortion with force and without complex they made it possible to make a greater point in the campaign plan of M. Rajoy, today in power.
Let those who have the ears to hear hear!
ZENIT: How can one participate in the January 19 March?
Le Mene: One must manifest as if the political action was useless and act politically as if the manifestation is insufficient. This manifestation is the first of a series but it is, evidently, the most symbolic. To disallow the imposition on the quiet of an extension of abortion conditions the credibility of further protests.
The Pro-Life March, with the colors of Spain (Dress code) is on Sunday, January 19, 2014 (leaving from Denfert-Rochereau Square at 2:00 pm ((one must arrive earlier than foreseen because we will be numerous)
The “Marching for Life” group regroups some ten French associations of aid to mothers in distress and of defense of life from conception to natural death. The march, open to all, regardless of their origins, philosophic, political or religious convictions, has taken place for several years as the largest annual march of Europe in favor of respect for life.
ZENIT: What fruits can be expected from this mobilization?
Le Mene: A greater awareness that abortion is very far from being just an individual moral question or a personal drama. It brings enormous collective consequences. Abortion is a demographic weapon of which one sees the ravages, a dishonest compromise that distorts medicine and a juridical upheaval that makes us leave the State of law because it is written that one can kill the weakest.[Translation by ZENIT]