On the evening of Sunday, January 19, 1986, approximately one hundred pro-life supporters gathered outside the Royal Alexander Hospital to hold a candle-light prayer vigil for the victims of abortion, in particular for the babies who have been aborted in this City-owned hospital at which the majority of abortions performed in Edmonton take place. (Figures for abortion in Alberta are around 6,500 a year, with Calgary and Edmonton as the major centres of feticide.)
Each carrying a candle, the pro-lifers moved peacefully up and down the sidewalk in front of the hospital, many reciting the rosary. Two people carried a small white casket bearing a cross of red roses, a symbol of the infant victims of the sexual revolution. Large signs with pro-life messages were prominently displayed on two trucks parked by the curb.
Participants represented a cross-section of Edmonton and district’s Christian community, and some had no formal church affiliation.
The mild weather which Alberta has enjoyed for the last few weeks continued to hold. A snowstorm dropped about two inches of snow earlier in the evening but obligingly quit before the vigil started, giving the participants a pleasant evening for the vigil. (Next day the mercury fell way down to more seasonal readings)
The event was covered by some newspapers and one radio station. Television stations had not been notified, since the purpose of the vigil was prayer, not publicity.
The event was sponsored by Campaign Life Alberta in co-operation with Edmonton Pro-Life. This is the second annual winter vigil at the Royal Alexander Hospital, and this year it coincided with observances by pro-lifers in the U.S., marking the thirteenth anniversary of the legalization of abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.
The next major event planned by Campaign Life Alberta is the Mother’s Day March on May 11 this year.