“A phenomenal aspect of this year’s March for Life is that 16 of our 55 members in the Legislative Assembly – including several cabinet ministers – joined us. That’s the equivalent of 80 MPs on Parliament Hill! It was our biggest and best march ever,” reports Peter Ryan, executive director of New Brunswick Right to Life.
More than 325 people of all ages from all over the province participated. Proportionately, says Ryan, “That’s like having over 10,000 in Ottawa.”
They marched and prayed. They placed 100 roses around the legislature in memory of the 1,000 lives lost to abortion in the province over the past year. And, in yet another effort to get the truth out to the public, they unveiled signs referring to the Morgentaler abortuary. These state: “6,000 Children Killed at Local Abortuary 1994-2007. Mourn. Pray. Resist.”
The theme “More Babies, Fewer Abortions” was particularly timely, for population decline has become a major provincial concern.
MLA Rick Green, representing the Liberal caucus, spoke enthusiastically about the pro-life cause. Opposition MLA Jody Carr declared, “I’m a pro-life supporter. I’m against abortion on demand.” He went further: “We (the Conservative caucus) feel we must do everything we can to defend those who can’t defend themselves.” He suggested forming an all-party committee of MLAs to work on pro-life matters and advance the cause of life.
Catholic Bishop Valery Vienneau from Bathurst, former Saint John MP Elsie Wayne and young mother Donna Mazerolle were among the other speakers.
Mazerolle, who had almost been an abortion statistic, revealed that she too had been repeatedly pressured to abort the child she was holding in her arms.
Wayne declared the pro-life message needs to be taken into the province’s schools and universities “to let young people know what can happen if they get pregnant and have an abortion. They need to realize that women who have an abortion never get over it,” she said.
Julia Hughes, an abortion advocate in the law faculty at the University of New Brunswick, was quoted in the media as dismissing Wayne’s comments as “false information, mythology that the anti-choice movement perpetuates.”
One TV reporter remarked to Ryan, “It appears you are winning the minds and hearts of this government.” Perhaps also of the media.
Ryan told The Interim that this time, coverage was given by three daily papers and three TV stations. “We made the front page of The Fredericton Gleaner and The Telegraph Journal. They all reported our attendance accurately and some actually referred to us as pro-lifers with a pro-life message. Some even used the expression ‘unborn babies.’”
He added, “The photo in The Gleaner is extraordinarily good – I doubt there has ever been such a good March photo in any Canadian secular paper!” He said CBC TV coverage was quite objective and remained focused on the impact of abortion on provincial population numbers.
On May 9, Halifax pro-lifers held an hour-long candlelight prayer vigil in front of the Victoria General Hospital. Their press release said, “We were witnessing to the horrors of abortions performed at the V.G., where over 1,700 Nova Scotian babies were exterminated in the past year.”
Also, 60 Newfoundlanders marched for life in St. John’s and another 120 took part in a local March for Life in Springdale.
In Charlottetown, 40 people participated in a downtown march organized by the St. Pius X council of the Catholic Women’s League. They were thrilled to be joined by a pair of American honeymooners, who told P.E.I. Right to Life President Hemke VanderZwaag that they had chosen to spend their honeymoon in P.E.I. precisely because it is abortion-free. “They were delighted to find a pro-life march in progress and to be allowed to take part,” he said.
Ryan finds all this encouraging: “Provincial politicians need to feel their own people pushing them on pro-life concerns. I believe provincial marches (in solidarity with) the national march is definitely the way to go for our pro-life future.”