Gilles Grondin (president of Campagne Quebec Vie): The Omnibus Bill … (threw) wide open the dikes of a furious outburst of unbridled passions, which overthrew everything in its path, including the well-tried values of our Christian culture and civilization. Some two million unborn children torn to pieces and thrown into the garbage cans since 1969 and, from there, thrown into the incinerators of our clinics and hospitals, as well as hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of men and women sterilized in order to be able to “enjoy life,” as they say. A nation which kills its children, which axphyxiates life at its very roots, has no future … You have the right to choose, yes – but also the duty to choose right.
Jason Kenney (Reform MP for Calgary Southeast, Alta.):It is time that we begin to stir the conscience of this nation, 30 years after this atrocity began. We know that the majority of Canadians do not tolerate abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason or no reason. And it is time that we call upon my fellow legislators from all parties to do what even the courts have asked Parliament to do, which is to fill the legal and moral vacuum into which over 100,000 unborn children are being destroyed every year … Let us not give up. The fight has just begun.
Tom Wappel (Liberal MP for Scarborough Southwest, Ont.): This is a country that believes in human rights. This is a country, Canada, that wants to protect human rights … But what about the human rights of the human beings in the womb? What are we doing for those human beings? If we are truly a nation of compassion and of caring, and a nation that cares for human rights – and I know we are – then we musn’t forget those who cannot speak for themselves, those unborn who will never be Canadians who can fight for the human rights of others …
John O’Reilly (Liberal MP for Victoria-Haliburton, Ont.): I’m very happy to see you here and I hope you enjoy your day. It’s a beautiful day and I hope we have finally shown Parliament what this is all about and how we can help … Your cause is well noted in Parliament.
Jake Hoeppner (Reform MP for Portage-Lisgar, Man.): I want to congratulate you on the effort you are putting into this March for Life. In 1878, my grandparents immigrated to this country to have the opportunities and the freedoms that were given to them. They would never have dreamt that someday, their great grandson would stand on the steps of Parliament and have to acknowledge that there were no rights, no protection for the unborn child. Ladies and gentlemen, keep up the fight. You can influence politicians to change this system and with your help, we will.
Maurice Vellacott (Reform MP for Wanuskewin, Sask.):Six years ago, because my wife was a “geriatric” mother at 38 years of age, and also because her health wasn’t that good, they encouraged her to have amniocentesis performed on her, and said the baby had a defect. They said this little one would not be here today.
We didn’t believe the lies of the culture of death, and we said that life is sacred and we prayed that God would give us the grace to sustain us with whatever comes.
As it turned out, the hormones kicked in and my wife’s health got a lot better and this little guy that I hold is the joy of our lives.
Norman Doyle (PC MP for St. John’s East, Nfld.): (Pro-life) is a vital cause. With your help, some day there will be an end to the infamy that is abortion. I want to offer a word of commendation to Jim Hughes, the national president (of Campaign Life Coalition), who is a rock of support for our national pro-life caucus and who is here continually to encourage and give advice. Also, on your behalf, I wish to extend a word of commendation to Fr. Van Hee, who is here every day – winter, summer – doing what he can to bring this issue to the fore. So, ladies and gentlemen, keep up the very good fight. It is a very important fight. We’re all involved in it and we are making progress.
Ron Gray (national leader of the Christian Heritage Party): Marilyn and Sylvia are about 30 years old and are about three feet tall. They have what is called brittle bone disease and they live in motorized wheelchairs … Between the two of them, these young women have been in hospital nearly 300 times for injuries caused by their disease … I could see the tears in Marilyn’s eyes when she said, “I’ve become afraid to have to go into hospital again because someone might decide for me that my life is not worth living.”
Denise Black (of the National Campus Life Network): If you want the unborn child your mother carried, then you must accept the undeniable truth that killing that unborn child would have killed you, not a possible you, not a future you. Killing that child would have killed you. This is why abortion is tragic. It kills more than a human body, it kills a valuable human being.
Michael Trolly (Youth for Life International): Everyone has a right to life. We cannot have a civilized nation without believing that people around you have the right to live. May 14, 1969 was not just a death sentence for over two million unborn children, it was a death sentence for Canada … We must keep praying. We must keep hoping. We have heard words from elected officials who support the right to life. We need to continue supporting them and as we go into provincial elections, we need to elect candidates who support the right to life … We are standing here united to march for life. We are standing here united to stand on guard for Canada.
Rabbi Reuven Bulka: Could our great grandfathers have ever fathomed that down the road the civilization that they were creating would develop to the point that unborn children would need protection and rallies so that people become aware of their cause? It does not make a difference whether you are from any religious faith or whether you are from no religious faith. It doesn’t make a difference which political party you belong to, the Canadian way is to be concerned and compassionate towards everyone, born or unborn …
Jakki Jeffs (executive director of Alliance for Life Ontario): We’re here today to challenge our government to recognize our pre-born children and to protect them and define them into human beings or persons in our Criminal Code. We’re here to demand that – not ask for it, but demand it … We may seem to be defeated but our cause will never ever be defeated in this country, ever. Mostly we’re here to tell the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League: how dare they tell this country congratulations on 30 years of reproductive choice? How dare they say that on this awful anniversary of 2.1 million children and mothers harmed and fathers harmed – how dare they?
Eugene Parabo (teacher, counsellor and cross-Canada cyclist for life):Now, as well as in the future … (we have) to debunk many of society’s lies – sex outside of marriage is harmless; abortion is not really the destruction of human life; abortion really has no side effects or after effects; condoms are safe for safe sex and, above all, the greatest lie has been young people need to be protected because it is unrealistic to expect them to abstain. They cannot have control over their emotions. We have to give them all the answers … I think there is hope for this country as long as we speak the truth and speak it at all times and at all costs.
Fr. James Whalen (national director of Priests for Life Canada): What we have today, so often, is people trying to do what is politically correct, but what is spiritually wrong. “Abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace, the greatest misery of our time” … We commit ourselves once again never to be silent, never to be passive, never to be forgetful of the unborn. We commit ourselves today to continue to be active in the pro-life movement of Canada and to never stop defending life until all our brothers and sisters are protected …
Right Reverend Robert Mercer (bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada): On this Hill in Canada, associated with democracy, debate and lawmaking, we believers ask our parliamentarians to enshrine in law a respect for human life … Now our Parliamentarians already interfere with citizens’ rights to do what they like with their own bodies … So, we ask our judges and our lawmakers to extend this principle of interfering with the right to do what citizens like with their own bodies. So, we say to them: Please, oh please extend this interference to the greatest rights of all – the greatest right is the right to live.
Judge Jean Bernard Grenouilleau (from France): When civil law contradicts moral law, society starts to destroy itself. Twice during this century, Canadian soldiers crossed the ocean to sacrifice their lives and liberate France and Europe from barbarity. Recently, in Ottawa, was signed an international convention to prohibit landmines, which kill and mutilate, especially children. It is a a dream to hope that one day in the future, at the dawn of the third millenium, your large and generous country will be an example to give to all the world by following a supreme law that “all human beings, from conception to natural death, have the inherent right to life.”
Theresa Bell (executive director of Human Life International Canada): It is certainly motivating to see so many pro-life soldiers on this May 14 who gather on this 30th anniversary to commemorate the slaughter of so many of our little Canadian brothers and sisters … And so, it will end. Everyone of you are precious and a great inspiration. Let us continue to pray for one another, for our constant conversion, so that it will not take another 2.1 million and 30 years.
Dr. Gamal Solaiman (Imam of the Ottawa Mosque): Let me tell you straight away, Islam stands for protecting life, promoting life, fighting against aggression on life in any form or degree. That is the position of Islam.
The Koran, our Holy Book, speaks about it, the tradition of our prophets elaborate on it, and our theologians and our jurists meet and have discussions about it. This is the very basic position, and even in the Muslim legal system if somebody, as a result of his or her actions, aborts a fetus, it is looked upon as a crime and there is actually blood money to be paid … We have to stand together.
Rev. Bill Buitenwerf (evangelical pastor): A conspiracy has taken over in Canada today, where people have been told that an unborn child is not really a person at all … A lie is taught in our schools today. Lies are taught by our Parliament that will not stand up for the unborn … As Canadians, we pride ourselves in going throughout the world to bring humanitarian aid to people. It is time that we take the plank of abortion out of our own eye before we go around telling other people and bombing other countries for what they’re doing …
Father Tony Van Hee (Parliament Hill pro-life protester):On this sad day of remembrance, let us recall that only once in the Gospels is it recorded that Jesus was full of joy. Upon the return of the 72 disciples from their mission of preaching, healing and casting out devils, we are told in Luke 10:21: “It was then that filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, ‘I bless you Father, Lord of Heaven and earth for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children” … We are those mere children.
Linda Gibbons (Toronto pro-life activist): I would like to give you just a very brief portrait from our pro-life family album. This quilt was done by Harriet Knotten. She is in constant pain and suffers migraine all day and a disintegrating disc in her back. She is over 70 and sews beads. She tells me, “I ignore my pain that I might concentrate on doing something for the unborn.” Today, too many are ignoring the pain and suffering of the babies to do as they please. Harriet is very special … Today, she is doing what’s right but it’s not easy. Then, she did what’s right and not easy. I remind you to continue to work and to pray. Your love, as well, has made you free.
Jim Hughes (president of Campaign Life Coalition): We’re not alone in this battle. It’s not that God is on our side, it’s that we are on God’s side. When we look around at these quilts that were lovingly made by thousands of people and depicting the lives of over two million Canadians who were killed by abortion, we’re telling them that we will never forget them; we’re telling Parliament that we’ll never forget them and we’re going to be here until legislation is enacted to protect our unborn brothers and sisters.
Sister Lucille Durocher (foundress of St. Joseph’s Workers for Life and the Family): Shame on you, Canada. Shame on a country that has no law to protect the most vulnerable. We cannot, and we must not, remain silent about this terrible injustice of our time … Let us remember that a nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope, a nation without a future. Let us also remember that without the assistance of God we can do nothing and therefore we cannot succeed. But with His assistance we cannot fail.