By Liesbeth Ronsmans
On Sunday March 25, more than 3,400 people gathered on the Mount des Arts in Brussels for the annual March for Life. It is the third year in a row that students organized this march in the European Union capital, and the number of participants grows every year (1,700 in 2010, 2,700 in 2011 and 3,400 in 2012). The participants rallied for the legal protection for every unborn child from conception. The march ended in the late afternoon before the Palace of Justice, where 1,000 white roses were put on the stairs as a symbol of the many thousands of unborn children lost because of abortion.
In Belgium, more than 19,000 children annually are the victims of abortion, and this number increases every year. The theme of this year’s march was “The Right to a Birthday.”“We want a better protection of the unborn child, every human life has to be respected,” said Antony Burckhardt, spokesman of the event and director of the pro-life youth group ‘Génération pour la Vie.’ He continued, “It is unthinkable that in our society women undergo abortion for economic reasons. We have to offer adoption as a real solution and increase the ways in which we can support parents.”
“We can gather two conclusions from the fact that the March has grown each year,” said Antony, “One, that the abortion debate is up on the cards again in Belgium, and two, that the pro-lifers will win the debate. The pro-[abortion] rally was a lot smaller than the pro-aborts expected despite their budget being so much bigger than the pro-lifers.”
The March for Life in Brussels is a joyful family event where every age is welcome to defend the most basic right of every human: the right to life. Young children, babies, teenagers, adults and the elderly were all happily represented. That so many young people participated and gave up their Sunday afternoon to defend life garnered lots of local attention.
The march is a student-led and organized initiative. Three years ago, young people like myself faced the reality that abortion has been legal in Belgium for 20 years already, so we wanted to give a signal to society that people from our age group should be really happy to be alive because we could’ve been aborted. Besides that, you see in several European countries the youth starting to realize the deep wounds that abortion has left in our societies, and that they want to protect their women and children.
The March for Life is also a European event with several international delegations participating. Pro-life groups from different countries like Jugend für das Leben from Germany, Voglio Vivere from Italy, Schreeuw om Leven from The Netherlands, Droit a naitre from France, Youth Defence from Ireland and others all came to support the March. Organizations like Priests for Life and Human Life International were also represented. This international gathering of pro-life supporters in Europe shows very clearly that the pro-life movement is getting organized, which is crucial to defend every human life here and around the world.
Liesbeth Ronsmans, age 22, is a co-organizer of the ‘Marche pour la Vie’ (March for Life) in Brussels.
Brussels March for Life Video: