In the middle of May, Aid to Women received a phone call from a young woman. Dick Cochrane, who fielded the call at the crisis pregnancy center, recalls that she was in a very emotional state.
“She was pregnant and her boyfriend had been pressuring her to have an abortion. It was obvious to me that she was against the idea. She said with conviction, ‘I’ve seen your newspaper and have decided to keep my baby.’”
The newspaper she was referring to was She’s a Child Not a Choice, which had been distributed as part of the pro-life movement’s commemoration of the 25th anniversary of legalized abortion in Canada.
“This woman made the whole event worthwhile,” said Louis Di Rocco, an organizer of the 25th anniversary events.
To get to this point required an immense amount of work and a great deal of cooperation. Di Rocco, representing Campaign Life Coalition, worked closely on the project with Alliance for Life, Toronto Right to Life and over 100 pro-life organizations.
The organizing committee decided that the emphasis of the commemoration should be one of prayer, healing and reconciliation. To mark the anniversary, churches throughout Ontario set up crosses on their lawns to mark the 1.5 million lives which have been lost to abortion. The committee also sent out signs which read “We mourn 25 years of abortion. It hurts us all.”
The crosses presented to passersby a very stark symbol of just how many have fallen victim to legalized abortion since the bill was signed a quarter of a century ago. Along with the crosses and signs, many churches also organized prayer vigils on the night before the anniversary.
To follow this up, the committee distributed copies of She’s a Child Not a Choice. The well-researched, 12-page newspaper presented a history of the Canadian abortion struggle, gave evidence on how life begins at conception and, most importantly, listed phone numbers of pro-life help organizations.
Di Rocco estimates that over 1.5 million of these newspapers have been distributes through-out Ontario and hopes that it will one day reach every household in Canada. Many local organizations used the newspaper as an advertising insert in their local newspaper.
“One of the most gratifying results of this venture was how it unified the entire movement,” said Di Rocco, noting that he could not remember another event in which all the various pro-life organizations, churches and parishioners had worked in such close unison.
He also commented that reaction was mostly positive. “The materials we used, especially the newspaper, encapsulated the whole tragedy of the past 25 years.”