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Spanish Pro-Lifers With New Ideas

Political systems and popular representation are changing.
Movements like the Spanish 15-M, or the American Tea Party are
spontaneous movements which indicate that democracy — while a good
system of government — is currently in crisis. What this means is
that there are some citizens whose voices are not being heard — so
they have created other ways of participating in the political

This very thing is occurring right now in Spain. The group
Hazte Oir
(literally: “Have Your Say”) is a group of citizens
who, for a decade now, have been looking for effective ways to
express their disagreement with the state of things in Spain. The
thing about Hazte Oir is that they represent a Spanish
majority — a majority that has not been sufficiently taken
into account. It was Hazte Oir that stood strong against
the socialist and anti-religious government of former Spanish prime
minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Now that a less aggressive party is in power, Hazte
is preparing for a new, long-term strategy. They, along
with a few other Spanish groups, plan to continue to represent the
majority of Spaniards — by fighting to defend basic human
rights of life and family, including working to change laws on
issues like abortion.

Last November Hazte Oir organized the “5th
Congress of e-Citizens” in Madrid. At this gathering, Carlos
Polo, Director of PRI’s Latin American Office, spoke about
Hazte Oir’s new way of doing politics. In this talk,
Polo drew a comparison between the battle Hazte Oir is
currently fighting, and the battle fought long ago by British
abolitionists at the end of the 18th century.

The comparison didn’t fall on deaf ears. With the change
of government, Hazte Oir’s change of pace has
involved a media-savvy campaign called “Abolition
of Abortion
”, which is already having extraordinary impact on
Spanish politics. For instance, its first major success was to get
the new vice president to make a statement, saying that the current
abortion law will be changed. But this is obviously not enough, and
Hazte Oir has promised to take further steps. The
“Abolition of Abortion” campaign promises to forge
ahead, and PRI in Europe has pledged to put in our bit to aid

So congratulations to Hazte Oir for an exciting new
campaign! It is living proof that Spanish citizens can organize, as
the British abolitionists of 200 years ago did in order to defend a
basic human right that most people do not understand. Just as in
that time, there were people who scoffed at the idea of the freedom
of slaves; today many people do not recognize the importance of
defending the rights of unborn children. Platforms of people like
Hazte Oir can repeat the successes of these abolitionists,
since we believe this civic fight is essential not only for
children but for the future of society.

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