Under the theme “Love in motion,” more than 25,000 people participated in the ninth annual the Day of the Unborn Child Walk in several cities in Ecuador.

The event’s purpose is to publicly express the massive support for defending life and the natural family.

In Quito, the March 19 event was livened up by music groups, pro-life testimonies, theater and symbolic floats. The cities of Tena, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Loja, Cuenca and Esmeraldas joined the event in the nation’s capital.

Under the coordination of the Quito Auxiliary Bishop Danilo Echeverría, who heads up the Life and Family Pastoral Ministry of the Ecuadorian Bishops Conference, the event drew together different lay Catholic movements, women’s citizen groups, parish youth group organizations, international family associations and pro-life and pro-family groups and movements.

“There was a massive turnout!” said Amparo Medina, coordinator of the , speaking to CNA.

In the Ecuadorian capital alone, it is estimated there were more than 15,000 people at the event. 

#YoCaminoXlaVida #YoCaminoXlaFamilia pic.twitter.com/aaxaSdSzx7

— Amor en Movimiento (@Amor_Movimiento) March 19, 2016

Most of the participants were “young people who brought joy and livened up the entire walk under the slogan ‘put your love in motion for life and the family. They also finished up with a very exciting ‘flash mob’,” Medina highlighted.

“Passersby were moved to see extended families with grandparents, pregnant mothers, and parents pushing baby strollers during the entire walk. A true celebration of life and the family,” said the Life and Family Network coordinator.

Medina stressed that for three years the march has been demonstrating its support for the natural family, “since children need solid families, and the role model of a father and mother are foundational for the integral development of their children.”

She lamented that since 2013 “there’s been a ‘trans alliance’ between the LGBTI group (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) and the national government, through which they amended the National Civil Registry such that any person 18 or over can opt to write in their gender and not their biological sex.”

“They also give LGTBI people two extra points when competing for government contracts, and they’ve legalized de facto homosexual unions with the same rights as marriage between a man and a woman,” she said.

President Rafael Correa’s government has also promoted other concerning public policies, Medina said, such as giving contraceptives to “girls 10 and older.” This has caused an “increase in teen pregnancies that the government itself has acknowledged.”

However, according to the president of the Ecuadoran pro-life platform, the massive marches are already bearing fruit for life and family. 

#YoCaminoXlaVida #YoCaminoXlaFamilia pic.twitter.com/VKInFUbI7P

— Amor en Movimiento (@Amor_Movimiento) March 19, 2016

“The first fruit has been the huge citizen participation out on the streets of five cities in Ecuador,” she said, and expressed her desire that “the local and national authorities listen to the voice of the majority of Ecuadorians who are demanding that the right to life for everyone without exceptions be respected, and respect for the natural family as the nucleus of society.”

Medina reaffirmed the commitment of pro-life organizations involved in defending life and the family, as well as in helping pregnant women going through difficult situations and the healing of men and women grieving over an abortion.

“Especially during this Year of Mercy, our priority as pro-life, pro-family groups will be to spread the Gospel of life and the family,” she said.