MEXICO CITY — Pro-life advocates took to the streets throughout Mexico on Sept. 21 to march for life, family and conscience protections.

Marches were held in some 100 cities across the country, including Guadalajara, Querétaro, Xalapa, Monterrey, Pachuca, Huejutla, Tlaxcala, Chilpancingo, Puebla, Naucalpan, Celaya, Guanajuato and Hidalgo. Additionally, marches took place in the United States at the Mexican consulates in Chicago and San Diego.

Organizers estimated that some 500,000 people participated throughout the country.

A statement read at events in different cities stressed the need to reject a culture of death and “build an authentic culture of life.”

“For this to happen, we have to start with the family, the basic cell of society,” the statement said. “We reiterate that the function of the government is to ensure everyone’s rights. … If we can’t guarantee life, we will hardly be able to guarantee other fundamental rights.”

The marches also condemned organized crime, extortions, kidnappings and other acts of violence, calling on government officials to “make Mexico a safe place to live, where the lives of all Mexicans are guaranteed, the first human right. Today not one less Mexican!”

Mexican actor and producer Eduardo Verástegui greeted participants at the marches on the National Front for the Family’s Facebook page.

“I want to thank the National Front for the Family for all this effort, for all this support that they give women,” he said.

He also encouraged participants to see the movie Unplanned, which will premier throughout Mexico in October. The movie, entitled Inesperado in Spanish, shows the real story of an abortion-facility worker, Abby Johnson, who underwent a powerful conversion upon seeing an abortion take place. Today, Johnson runs a ministry called And Then There Were None, which helps other abortion workers leave the industry.

Verástegui said the movie portrays “a very powerful story, with a pro-life, pro-woman and pro-family message. It’s very important for everyone in Mexico to see it.”

In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language partner, Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the National Front for the Family, said the marches were intended “to give a voice to those who have no voice. We want to embrace Mexico and say loudly and clearly: Not one less Mexican.”

“Mexico is suffering from a terrible culture of death that is tearing apart families and from illegal organized crime that is taking away the lives of many Mexicans,” he lamented.

He said that politicians at both the state and federal level aggravate the problem rather than solve it, by “adding to illegal organized crime the legal organized crime of abortion.”

Cortés also warned against efforts by politicians to impose gender ideology in schools, rather than working to strengthen and reinforce the institution of marriage: “There will only be peace if life is respected, there will only be development if the family is respected, and there will only be authentic democracy if fundamental freedoms are respected such as conscience or belief, and if the freedom of parents to educate their children is respected.”

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