Canada’s March for Life Shatters Record With 20,000 People

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2012   |   3:54PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

Almost 20,000 pro-life people showed up in Canada’s capital to take part in the 2012 March for Life to demonstrate their opposition to unlimited abortions and taxpayer funding of abortions.

Sponsored by the Campaign Life Coalition, thousands of people gathered in Ottawa on Parliament Hill for the 15th National March for Life to demand legal protection for all human beings from the time of conception to the moment of natural death. The event marks the infamous passing of Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill in 1969 that struck down abortion laws and stripped away protection for Canada’s preborn children.

“In the past forty years, four million preborn children have been killed by abortion, and recently studies show that these include sex-selective abortions,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition. “Unlike the pro-abortion movement which prides itself on supporting the rights of females but ignores the plight of preborn females, participants at the March will be standing up for the right to life for all human beings.”

Hughes said many members of Parliament joined the throngs of pro-life advocates and some well-known pro-life leaders, including: Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Primate of Canada.

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute and expert on China’s one child policy, was the keynote speaker for the event.

The rally began on Parliament Hill at 12 noon and thousands marched through the downtown streets of Ottawa at 1:30 p.m. Almost one thousand young adults from throughout the province registered to take part in a youth conference on Friday to learn more about pro-life opportunities in Canada.

“The March has been growing by the thousands each year and in 2011 over 15,000 people participated. We are hoping to attract even more this Thursday,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, CLC National Organizer. “There will never be peace on abortion in Canada until the unborn child is recognized as a human being from the time of conception and protected by Canadian law.”

Before the rally, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was drawn into a heated discussion about abortion by declaring Thursday Respect for Life Day in Ottawa, as he did last year.

The proclamation angered pro-choice advocates, but the mayor defended himself saying he is personally “pro-choice” and the proclamation doesn’t violate city policy.

One woman on Twitter argued the proclamation is religiously motivated. The city’s proclamation policy states that they must not be religiously or politically motivated.

To clarify the policy, Watson wrote at length on his Facebook page.

“’Politically or religiously motivated,’ means affiliated for or against a specific political party, candidate, or religion,” the mayor wrote.

“The mere fact that a political party, a candidate, or a religion has adopted a particular view on a subject of public discourse does not automatically disqualify that subject from being raised in a proclamation unless it otherwise violates legislation or City’s policies.”

Also before the March for Life, Canada’s major pro-life group had a message for Prime Minister Stephen Harper:  we want a debate on abortion.

As Campaign Life Coalition tells it, if Canadians are forced to pay for abortions with their taxpayer dollars the Canadian government shouldn’t be so closed-minded when it comes to debating common sense limits on abortion.

“Whether you like it or not, the abortion debate is on. The issue has been raised in Parliament by a private member’s motion, it’s been raised with recent studies exposing the practice of sex-selection abortion in Canada, it’s an issue that is constantly discussed in the media,” Alissa Golob, a spokeswoman for Campaign Life Coalition, said at a pre-March for Life press conference yesterday.

“It’s not a dictatorship. Harper’s word isn’t the only word and we have elected members of parliament that we vote in according to these pivotal issues. Abortion is the greatest Holocaust of our time,” said Golob. “The prime minister is scared. He’s being very cowardly in not reopening the abortion debate.”

Many of the March for Life participants focused on the new motion Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth put forward that calls for a commission to study when human life begins and is expected to be debated in parliament in June. The motion was debated for an hour last month and the House of Commons will debate it following its Summer break.

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.

As a result, there have been more than 4 million abortions in Canada, resulting in the death of babies before birth and injuring countless women.

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.