Huge crowds across Latin America took to the streets in recent days to call for the protection of human life from conception to natural death.

On May 5, some 400,000 Colombians in 53 cities across the country turned out for pro-life marches.

Event organizer "United for Life" told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language sister agency, that the objectives of the march included annulling court rulings in recent years that legalized abortion in some cases and euthanasia.

"The right to life is the first right that every human being has. It cannot be manipulated, nor limited, it can only be recognized and protected by the State and society. To violate this right, or to ignore it even with rulings issued by the courts is the most serious crime," the organization said.

It called for the creation of a government agency to assist mothers in crisis pregnancies and for "greater application of the law on palliative care, and sufficient and timely medical care for patients with serious and terminal illnesses, especially children."

United for Life urged the Colombian congress to pass pro-life laws, enforce the constitution and prevent the courts from usurping the functions of the legislature.

In Peru, an estimated 800,000 people turned out on the streets of Lima May 5 to defend the lives of the unborn. The right to life is upheld by the nation's constitution and civil code; however, various organizations within the country – including those financed by foreign NGOs – have been seeking for years to legalize abortion in the country. In 2014, the government decriminalized abortion in cases where the mother's life or health were deemed to be in danger.

Participating in the Lima event were Catholics and Christians of various denominations, young people and the elderly, pregnant women, families with children and babies, and people with disabilities.

Addressing the crowd, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima urged those assembled to be "a visible believing people, as we are now… when it's necessary, we take to the streets… in the name of all those who have gone on before us, to give to the next generation life and the family."

More in Americas

In Mexico, about 22,000 people turned out for the Great March for Life April 28 in the capital, Mexico City. While abortion is banned in much of the country, it was legalized in 2007 in Mexico City for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Pro-life leaders Fernanda Del Villar and María José Berrueta of the Steps for Life (Pasos por la Vida) organization spoke at the march.

They said that the vast majority of Mexicans are pro-life and that "we are tired of not being properly represented by those we ourselves elect. We're tired of the attempts to shut us up, to silence even our thoughts."

The leaders called on presidential candidates to unequivocally state their position on abortion. They said the country needs leaders with values, committed to elementary principles such as respect for the life of the unborn.

The pro-life position, they said, "is in fact politically correct. It is the sentiment of millions of Mexicans."

A March for Life was also held May 6 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a focus on the country's supreme court, which is currently considering a case that could legalize abortion on demand up to 12 weeks.

Currently, abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, serious fetal deformity, or if the mother's life is deemed to be at risk.

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The march for life also supported the passage of a bill to protect the lives of the unborn, which has been pending in the congress.

Archbishop Orani João Tempesta of Rio de Janerio told participants of the march, "Peace will come the moment we respect life."

"I am here and I am participating in this march as a resistance to the culture of death, a resistance in favor of life," he said, according to JMNoticia.

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.