With the start of a new year, pro-lifers can begin looking forward to the National March for Life on Parliament Hill on May 9. Wanda Hartlin, of Campaign Life Coalition Ottawa, told The Interim that people should go to the March for Life “because unborn children in Canada have no rights,” and “we have to remind our government that life begins at conception.” Hartlin explains, “everyone deserves the right to life.” The march will allow participants to experience “a recharging of their energies” and a “resurge of inspiration.”
Bill Mullally of Campaign Life Coalition said to The Interim that the march should bring across the message that “our nation should mature” and recognize the “humanity of the unborn child.” To many Canadians, abortion resonates “subconsciously” because of its occurrence among families and friends. The goal is to “break the barrier” and “broaden our constituency.”
While CLC organizes the national march, it is local pro-life groups and schools that deliver most of those who will participate.
Right to Life Kent is planning on doubling the number of people it will bring to this year’s National March for Life. For the 2012 march, they brought two busloads of people, many of them teens, and this year they are planning on needing four buses. Pamela Bauer, executive director of Right to Life Kent, told The Interim that attending the National March for Life is worth the effort because it gives individuals the opportunity to use their voices to send a message to leaders and “to join with other like-minded people to make a more powerful stand.” Moreover, the march is important for “what it stirs up in people,” allowing them to catch “the passion and understanding” that “they can make a difference”.
The march through the streets of the nation’s capital is only one component of the program during the three days of events. There are numerous church and prayer services and the evening before the march there is a candelight vigil at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights Monument. There is also a youth conference on May 10. On the evening of the march is a the Rose Dinner Banquet and youth dinner.
Reggie Littlejohn will be the banquet speaker. Littlejohn is the founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition that seeks to draw awareness to forced abortion, gendercide, and sexual slavery in China. She is an expert on Red China’s one-child policy and testified before the U.S. Congress and the European, Irish, and British Parliaments. She was also the leader of the movement to free Chen Guangcheng, a blind activist and opponent of Chinese forced abortion.
Hartlin said that the speaker is important for Canadians because immigrants from some Asian countries “bring part of their culture with them,” including a preference for baby boys over girls, with families using abortion to eliminate daughters.
The 2012 National March for Life was memorable because it occurred at around the same time that MP Stephen Woodworth’s M-312, which called for the establishment of a special committee to review Canada’s 400-year-old definition of a human being in the Criminal Code, was being debated in Parliament. This year, MP Mark Warawa’s M-408 calling on MPs to “condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination” is expected to be debated in April and May. Bill Mullally said that this issue could “re-energize” the pro-life movement, provide a new “focus” and highlight the message that the most unsafe place for a Canadian girl is in the womb.
When asked whether the March will have a special impact on politicians, Hartlin compared the event’s effect to the pecking of a woodpecker: “It’s a constant chipping away until we make a breakthrough.”
The youth dinner’s speaker has yet to be announced.
Most provinces also hold a regional march for life around the time of the national march. Check the calendar of events in future editions of The Interim for more information.