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Screeching pro-abortion feminists unleashed havoc on International Women's Day in several Latin American countries, terrorizing congregations with fire-bombs, vandalism and threats.
Even while Mexico's bishops earlier signaled their approval of some of the feminists' goals for the protest, that did not stop pro-abortion activists from raucous vandalism in Mexico City, where a protester tossed a firebomb at a small group of Catholics who barred the way into the metropolitan cathedral. The resulting blaze injured at least 65 people, including a journalist. Video captured the scene when a young woman stripped off her pants as flames enveloped her.
A thin blue line of female police officers were on hand, unable to stop the leftist onslaught. Official sources calculate that some 80,000 protesters marched through the streets of Mexico City, smearing graffiti on public and private property, including churches. Private vehicles were smashed, too.
At the cathedral, elderly women protecting the church were assaulted and doused with paint and flammable liquids. Mexican government sources claimed the protest was peaceful overall, despite some protesters filling water pistols with gasoline to squirt at counter-protesters and resorting to other forms of violence.
Police arrested six young Catholic men and minors who tried to protect the church. As of Monday evening, their whereabouts were unknown. Pro-life campaigner Arturo Segovia dismissed the government's explanations and warned that persecution of Christians is around the corner. He told media outlet Aciprensa, "The government of Mexico City and the national government are experts in pretense. They abuse their authority to repress Catholics."
He added, "It is obvious that persecution is just around the corner."
Catholics in Spain, Mexico and the rest of Latin America are likening the current political environment to the days of the 20th century that saw priests, nuns and laity murdered in revolutionary violence.
Police and government authorities have long been criticized for a failure to address the terrorism unleashed by violent criminal organizations like the Sinaloa cartel, blamed for thousands of deaths over years of conflict. While the ostensible reason for the leftists' direct action was to raise awareness about unsolved murders of women — femicide — protesters focused instead on demanding abortion. Mexico, like the rest of Latin America, faces significant income disparities, ethnic conflict, human rights abuses, official corruption and ineffective police.
Elsewhere in Mexico, pro-abortion leftists attacked other churches. In Sonora, the Mexican state that borders Arizona and Nevada, some 100 worshippers barricaded themselves inside the cathedral in state capital Hermosillo, while screaming leftists throwing rocks tried to rush the church. Inside, women and frightened children can be seen in a video seeking refuge, while adults barricade the entrance with pews. Outside, black-clad pro-abortion protesters smashed windows and tried to crash through the doors.
Hermosillo Abp. Ruy Rendón Leal released a statement deploring the violence: "Human rights for all should be proclaimed and defended with reason and dialogue, not with violence. The marches are welcome, as long as they are characterized by respect and peace."
He added, "May God free us from hatred and rage that come from the heart, which cause such violence that people destroy themselves from within and divide families and society in general." He thanked Catholics and non-Catholics who showed solidarity with the diocese.
Elsewhere in Mexico, violent pro-abortion leftists attacked other churches. In the state of Campeche, Catholic women stood in the way and prayed the Rosary while violent women tried to enter the cathedral in the state capital. This was repeated elsewhere.
While violence against women was the purported theme of the International Women's Day protests, abortion appeared to be the real focus in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. In Santiago, the capital of Chile, authorities reported that 19 police officers were injured. Leftists sprayed pro-abortion graffiti on historic churches and messages that read: "God does not exist," "rapist factory," "accomplice Church" and other unprintable slogans. In November, masked leftists sacked a church in Santiago and set fires inside.
In neighboring Argentina, which has seen its share of violent pro-abortion protests, feminists marched to the cathedral of Buenos Aires. There they hung pro-abortion banners and signs on police barriers that protected the historic church, which is also the burial place of national hero José de San Martín. Feminists continued to march the next day.
Sporting the green bandanas that have come to signal their pro-abortion stance, thousands of women from various feminist groups and leftist parties marched to the cathedral demanding "separation of Church and State" and state-subsidized abortion for all. Making feminists' enmity toward the Catholic Church obvious, leftist politician Myriam Bregman told the Telam news outlet that the protest was in response to a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Luján, a city near Buenos Aires, organized by pro-life groups.
"Church hierarchs are organizing against our rights, and we can't let again what happened in 2018 when they blocked the law in the Senate legalizing abortion," she insisted.
Bregman said the Mass amounted to a "declaration of war against women's demands and rights." Protesters shouted, "Free and legal abortion now — make priests get a real job!"
Thousands of faithful turned out in Luján at the Mass that bore the message: "Yes to women, yes to life!" Worshippers sported sky-blue bandanas, in tribute to the color associated with the Virgin Mary and Argentina's national flag that bears the slogan "Let's save both lives!"
Mariana Rodríguez Varela, one of Argentina's most active and notable pro-life activists, wrote on Facebook, "Mr. President: the debate over the existence of a human being since the point of conception is over. Be revolutionary: Defend life and distinguish yourself from the countries that have been killing their children for the last 50 years."
Rodríguez Varela had been promoting a pro-life rally to coincide with the International Day of the Unborn Child, the date heralded by St. John Paul II decades ago to coincide with the observance of the Feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the moment the Virgin Mary accepted her role as Mother of God. The event, which had anticipated upwards of 20,000 in the rally and Mass at Malvinas Plaza in Buenos Aires, was canceled along with other large gatherings related to coronavirus prevention efforts.
In 2018, a law that would have significantly reduced the already minimal protections for unborn human life was narrowly defeated in Argentina's Senate. The fascistic Peronist movement, which has historically veered from left to right, saw a turn towards a pro-abortion stance when Peronist Sen. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner — a former president — voted in favor of abortion.
Newly elected Peronist President Alberto Fernández (who has Kirchner as vice president) has vowed to sign abortion legislation this year. Health Minister Ginés González García has substantially reduced protections for unborn babies through changes in health regulations, even while a bill will soon come up for a vote in Congress. The Peronists and their pro-abortion, leftist allies in Congress currently have a majority.
Critics say doctors at government hospitals who refuse to perform abortions have no recourse but to quit their jobs or face jail time, given the Peronist directives. A doctor who refused to perform an abortion in Río Negro province is appealing a conviction: Dr. Leandro Rodríguez Lastra refused to perform an abortion for a teenaged girl, who later gave birth. The baby was given to adoptive parents.