Interim Staff:

U.S. pro-life leader Abby Johnson will address numerous events at this year’s National March for Life in Ottawa. Johnson is a former abortuary director who left the industry and became a leading U.S. pro-life activist, her life story inspiring a documentary, Unplanned that was released in 2019. She will address a screening of her new film Unthinkable, keynote the Rose Dinner Gala, and open the youth summit.

Last year’s march attracted more than 5000 participants, the largest crowd since more than 20,000 people took part in the last pre-pandemic march in 2019.

The theme for this year’s march is “I Will Never Forget You” taken from Isaiah 49:15-16. The National March for Life committee’s Debbie Duval, said “In this age of extreme abandonment,” with abortion and euthanasia, “it’s time to be reminded of the words of God, given through the prophet Isaiah almost 3,000 years ago.” Duval added: “His promise ‘I will never forget you’ is not only a reminder of God’s enduring faithfulness to His people, but also an eternal call for us all to be witnesses to the uniqueness and irreplaceability of every child made in His image.”

Duval said the March is important because it will, “demonstrate that life is sacred from conception to natural death.” She said MPs, “see us standing up for the dignity of each person,” including the preborn.

Pro-life events are held throughout the week leading up to the March for Life. On Sunday, May 5, there will be a YouTube discussion about the new pro-life film ROE Canada: The True North in a Post-Roe World. On Tuesday, May 7, there will be a “Songs for Life” coffee house hosted at St. Mary’s Parish in Ottawa at 7 pm. On Wednesday, May 8, CLC will host an in-person viewing of Abby Johnson’s new film Unthinkable, with a panel discussion featuring Johnson.

On the evening of May 8, there will be a candlelight procession from St. Theresa Church to the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument. From 9 to 10 pm, the Candlelight Vigil for the Victims of Abortion will feature prayer, singing, and moving personal testimonies.

On May 9, the march begins at 12:30 noon with a rally on Parliament Hill, and the procession through the streets will begin at 1:30. Following the march, post-abortive members of the Silent No More Awareness campaign will share their testimonies and the program on the Hill will conclude with a prayer service led by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute.

The Rose Dinner Gala will take place the evening of March 9 at the Ottawa Conference and Events Centre, with a reception at 5 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30. The keynote speakers are Johnson and Shawn Carney, the co-founder of 40 Days for Life. CLC says both speakers “have been fighting on the frontlines for over a decade, saving countless lives through their advocacy and organizations.” Johnson founded And Then There Were None, a group that supports workers leaving the abortion industry. In her autobiography, Unplanned, Johnson explained that Carney’s 40 Days for Life played a vital role in her leaving the abortion business.

Johnson recently said, “The freedom I experienced after walking out of their doors is something I pray every single person working in the abortion industry can experience.” She said, “We’ve helped over 680 workers leave their jobs in the abortion industry and are looking forward to help many, many more leave the destructive work.”

The youth summit will be held May 10, and will feature Dr. John Bruchalski, a former abortionist, who will talk about “Abandoning the Abortion Industry: From Abortion to Life-Affirming Medicine.” In the afternoon, Canadian pro-life activist Mary Wagner will address “Pro-Life Ministry – Publicly Witnessing to the Culture of Death.”

Following the youth summit, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform will give a presentation, “How to End the Killing: The Role of Victim Photography to Change Hearts and Minds.”

For the first time, the National March for Life will be accompanied by a Pro-Life Expo at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. Vendors are from pro-life, religious, and alternative media outlets and will be available on May 9, from 10 am to 10 pm, and May 10, from 8 am to 3 pm.

There are also provincial marches for life in Victoria, B.C., Edmonton, Alberta, and Regina, Sask., on May 9, and on June 1 in Quebec City.