Pro-life marches in Spain spark hostile reaction

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A monthly pro-life march in Barcelona, Spain has stirred intense debate in the city with demonstrators often becoming the target of insults and attacks.

Mariano Arnal, president of the organization “Barcelona es Vida” (Barcelona is Life), said the marches  occur on the 25th day of every month outside the San Pablo Hospital and often result in “battles.”

In comments to EWTN News, he said pro-life protesters are lucky to have police protection.

“We are entrenched by the police, and there is a large number of officers defending us,” Arnal said, adding that local abortion advocates “throw eggs, tomatoes and trash and scream obscenities at us.”

Each month, “abortion rights activists attempt to agitate us and try to infiltrate the march and assault us,” Arnal said. He noted that even though no confrontations have taken place, “every 25th day of the month is very tense. But we are not concerned at all by this, it takes guts to be there.”

Since April of 2011, various Catholic pro-life groups have denounced four Catholic hospitals in Catalonia for allegedly performing abortions, including the San Pablo Hospital, where protestors  gather to pray for an end to the practice.

“We walk from the San Pablo Hospital to the Basilica of the Holy Family praying the rosary, because that is a way we have found to bear witness and to say that abortion is not an issue that can be ignored,” Arnal said.

“We are defending life, showing our opposition and not allowing this barbarity of abortion to happen.  We believe that as lay people we have the duty to make an effort and we are making an important one,” he said, noting that “we are Catholics and we have a moral conscience.”

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