Bill Mullally, Campaign Life Coalition Public Affairs Co-ordinator (Toronto office), told The Interim that the candlelight vigil at this year’s March for Life will be a spiritually uplifting event that will allow pro-lifers who cannot make it to Ottawa to be present in a symbolic way.

The March, to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the legalization of abortion in Canada, will be held May 11-12. Organizers say it will be a public witness to the truth about abortion and force Parliament and the media to face the fact that pro-lifers are not going to give up their fight to protect all human life. But Mullally recognizes that not every pro-lifer can make the trip to Ottawa so organizers are bringing back the candlelight vigil for a second year.

CLC is urging pro-lifers to purchase candles beforehand for a minimum suggested donation of $2. The candle will be lit at the vigil.

“The vigil will allow people from all across the country to be there in spirit,” Mullally said.

He suggested that people also purchase candles for women they know who are suffering because of an abortion they have had. “That would be a very nice thing to do for someone who is suffering from post-abortion syndrome,” he said.

The original idea for a candlelight vigil was Dr. Andre Lafrance’s, an Ottawa doctor and pro-lifer, who had wanted it held by the Rideau Canal. But for logistical and symbolic reasons it is held at the Human Rights Monument.

Mullally said the location is important. “Abortion is a human rights issue, a fact we very much want to highlight.” The theme of the March for Life last year was “Equal Rights for All Human Beings”; this year’s theme is “No to Discrimination.” He said holding the ceremony at the monument may open the eyes of some who deny the humanity of the unborn child.