Thousands turn out in D.R. to protest decriminalization of abortion


Thousands of Dominicans turned out on Sunday to participate in the "A Step for My Family" march convened by the Episcopal Family and Life Vicarage of the Santo Domingo Archdiocese to once again express their support for a blanket ban on abortion in all cases.

Members of assorted social and citizens organizations joined the religious faithful from more than 300 parishes in Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago on the march, which transpired amid a festive atmosphere headed by members of the Catholic Church.

The march began on George Washington Avenue and ended at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Park on the city's Malecon seaside boulevard, and participants said that they will not allow the LGTB agenda to be implemented in the Dominican Republic.

They also expressed their pride that the Dominican Republic - along with Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador - is one of the few countries to maintain an absolute prohibition on abortion.

They said they reject the decriminalization of abortion in three specific instances - when the woman's life is in danger, when the pregnancy results from rape or incest and when the fetus cannot survive - as is currently set forth in the Penal Code reform bill being analyzed by the Justice Committee in the Chamber of Deputies.

The coordinator of the march, Cesar Curiel, told EFE he was very happy that this year's march - being held for the seventh year to support family values - had been the largest to date.

The Dominican Penal Code, approved by the National Congress in 2014, has been vetoed twice by President Danilo Medina because it punishes abortion in all cases.

In April, the lower house's Justice Committee presented to lawmakers a bill decriminalizing abortion in the three special cases, a move that has sparked strong reactions from "right to life" advocates.

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