Thousands of Canadians will head to Parliament Hill tomorrow for the annual March for Life to mark the date on which Canada became one of the nations to allow abortions that destroy human life.
In May 1969, the nation’s Parliament passed Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill that struck down abortion laws and stripped away protection from Canada’s unborn children. Then, in January 1988, the nation’s abortion law was struck down from the Criminal Code by the Supreme Court of Canada resulting in full legal abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.
Responding to that decision with the March for Life, the Campaign Life Coalition says pro-life advocates will send the government a clear message: “Abortion kills a human being” and they want it to stop.
“The National March for Life gives Canadians an opportunity to join together and send the newly elected government a clear message that abortion is an important issue,” said Jim Hughes, the head of the Canadian pro-life group. “In the past 40 years, over 3.5 million babies have been aborted, and it’s time the Harper government re-opens the debate.”
Along with several Members of Parliament, many well-known pro-life leaders will be in attendance, including Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast; Bishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Primate of Canada; David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life and members of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
“Last year we had over 12,000 participants, and we’re hoping to top that number this Thursday,’ said Mary Ellen Douglas, CLC National Organizer. “This is the largest pro-life rally in Canada.”
The rally begins on Parliament Hill at 12 noon and thousands will march through the downtown streets of Ottawa at 1:30 p.m.. Almost one thousand high school students from Ottawa and throughout the province have registered to take part in a youth conference on Friday, May 13, to learn more about current pro-life issues here in Canada.
The March for Life follows the recent national elections, in which Conservative Party candidates in Canada won a majority of the seats in Parliament with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s party defeating Liberals and gaining 164 of 308 seats. Although Harper has opposed pro-life legislation and said his government would not push any bills limiting abortions, the results could allow pro-life backbencher MPs to obtain more support for bills that could offer some protection for unborn children.
Although thousands — likely 10,000 or more — will attend the March for Life, National Post columnist Michael Coren notes the lack of media coverage with most of these pro-life events. Coren has noted that there is routinely “hardly any mention of the event in the media — a contrast with the numerous protests a fraction of the size that tend to receive full and fulsome coverage.”
That is despite the fact that the March for Life is “intensely reflective of the authentic Canada, unlike most other demonstrations: Conservative and Liberal, able-bodied and handicapped, black and white, Muslim, Christian and Jewish, from every region and background.”
“One would think this diversity would make it almost worthy of a heritage moment on the CBC or a government grant. Instead it makes the shapers of establishment opinion extraordinarily uncomfortable. As does, of course, any mention of the abortion issue,” he says.
Canada experienced fewer abortions in 2005 according to its most recent national figures. Overall, Statistics Canada indicates abortions lowered to 96,815 during that year, a decline of 3.2 percent from the 100,039 in 2004. In 2002, there were 105,154 abortions in Canada compared with a figure of 106,270 in 2001. The number of abortions in Canada peaked in 1997 at 112,000.
For more information on the National March for Life visit www.marchforlife.ca