San José, Costa Rica — Thousands participated in last month’s March for Life in the Costa Rican capital, urging that the president not sign a technical regulation for abortion.

The Aug. 31 event was organized by Wake Up Costa Rica, Democracy in Action, and the Autonomous University of Central America.

Joining the march were politicians who urged President Carlos Alvarado not to sign the “Technical Norm for Non-Punishable Abortion,” which would regulate Article 121 of the Criminal Code for the performance of therapeutic abortion in public and private clinics nationwide.

The government announced in early 2019 that the technical norm was being drafted by a team from the Department of Health and was going to be signed by the president during this year, though an exact date has not yet been set.

Pro-life groups charged that the norm could be a window to allow abortion on demand.

Costa Rica’s Criminal Code considers abortion a crime, decriminalized only in cases of risk to the life of the mother. The Political Constitution states in Article 21 that “human life is inviolable.”

Carmen Chan, an opposition legislator of the New Republic Party, said while attending that march that “life is inviolable, and no one has the right to put an end to it; and our duty is to promote laws and policies that contribute to the improvement of living conditions for Costa Ricans.”

“But no, the direction and the defenses that this government has chosen are quite different. That’s why we’re on the front lines today as a people, defending the most basic right of all — the right to life — which goes hand in hand with all those social guarantees that correspond to the state to offer,” she said.

Democracy in Action posted on social media that the activity “ended in success” and that “it brought together thousands of people who marched peacefully.” They also said that for 2020 there will be “a lot more” marches planned.

“The pro-life people of Costa Rica took to the streets to demonstrate that we’re against abortion on demand, and we’re not going to remain silent in the face of the pretensions of abortion advocates, that we’re going to defend life from conception and do so because we are indeed a people of pure life,” Democracy in Action added.

Days before to the march, the Costa Rican bishops’ conference invited all citizens to participate and thanked the secular organizations that, “with great dedication and zeal for promoting the culture of life, have organized this event.”