The march took place last Aug. 10 in the capital New Delhi, under the purview of Western Roman and Syro-Malabar Rite Catholic bishops. Present were Syro-Malabar Rite Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of the Diocese of Faridabad and Auxiliary Bishop Deepak Valerian Tauro of the Archdiocese of Delhi. Tauro also serves as chairman of the country's Pro-Life Commission.
The event included a 2.5-kilometer "Jericho march" that began at the Jantar Mantar landmark in the capital. It ended at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, where Mass was subsequently celebrated. Funeral bells were then rung in remembrance of the millions of aborted babies over the last five decades. Given this, the march also served as a day of mourning.
According to LifeSiteNews, the March for Life was organized by the Delhi Catholic Charismatic Service of Communion and CHARIS India – the official body of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in the country.
Moreover, the march also served as a protest against India's Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTPA) of 1971. Bharanikulangara pointed out that since the law's passing 51 years ago, India has seen an estimated 15.6 million abortions annually. This added up to a total of almost 800 million innocent children victimized by infanticide.
Prior to the march, both Tauro and Bharanikulangara issued circular letters to priests in their respective dioceses.
"Let us pray that the unjust killing of innocent and helpless children in wombs comes to an end," the prelate for New Delhi wrote in a July 16 letter. He quoted St. Theresa of Calcutta, who said: "If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?"
The prelate for Faridabad, meanwhile, expressed "great joy and exultation" over the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the Roe v. Wade ruling in an Aug. 6 letter. He added that he hopes "to see a similar day in India" with the overturn of the MTPA. (Related: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, sending issue of abortion back to states where it always belonged.)
Bharanikulangara concluded his letter by echoing his fellow bishop's sentiments: "Let us pray that the war in [the] womb also [comes] to an end."
"It is an exciting time for the pro-life movement. As we're seeing, the end of Roe v. Wade presents an opportunity and a cause for hope – because it demonstrates to countries like India that such unjust laws can be overturned," said Right to Life U.K. spokeswoman Catherine Robinson.
Robinson expressed optimism that the March for Life will "begin to create more of a pro-life culture" and pave the way for India to "experience its own overturning of its abortion laws."
March organizer Sister Paulina Melite told Right to Life UK that she hopes the event will "carry on for years to come" until the MTPA is completely revoked, in the same manner as Roe v. Wade.
Abortion is legal in India, thanks to the MTPA. The original version of the law decriminalized infanticide for up to 20 weeks of gestation, but the Indian parliament increased it to 24 weeks in 2021.
Sex-selective abortion – in which baby girls are aborted due to their biological sex – is also a significant issue in parts of India. Because of this practice, the country has an imbalanced sex ratio with significantly fewer girls being born than boys. A 2018 government report acknowledged this imbalance, noting that an estimated 63 million women were "missing" from the Indian population.
In a bid to fix this gender imbalance and the issues that accompany it, New Delhi outlawed sex-selective abortion and prenatal sex detection in 1994.
Visit Abortions.news for more stories about abortion in India and other countries.
Watch this LifeSiteNews report about pro-life men in Florida marching against abortion.
This video is from the LSNTV channel on Brighteon.com.