The following are excerpts from each of the speeches given by featured speakers, in order of appearance, at the May 14 March for Life on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Jason Kenney, Reform MP for Calgary Southeast, Alta.
I am 29 years old. I, through my entire life, have known nothing but the legal availability of abortion on demand in Canada. My generation has been the imperiled generation … Canadians neverdreamed, 29 years ago today, that the law passed in the Criminal Code would lead to the most wide-open abortion regime in the world, where the unborn are unprotected even until they are fully delivered from their mothers’ wombs … Canadians never dreamed it could have been possible 29 years ago and it’s hard for us to believe it’s possible today.
I just want to say to you that we can never give up. We don’t have permission to give up. We have to keep fighting and to remember the founding words of liberal democracy in the (U.S.) Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these is the right to life.”
Canada is founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law … Someday, we will come back – either ourselves, our children or our children’s children – and celebrate the restoration of those inalienable rights.
Ron Gray, leader of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada
This (abortion) holocaust has brought the horror of euthanasia into Canadian homes and hospitals. It threatens today the elderly, the infirm and the handicapped. Because of what those politicians did 29 years ago today, thousands of Canadians now live in fear that their government may decide that they are useless.
I am going to tell you three things you can do to advance this cause now. The first is to resolve to pray daily the plea that is in our national anthem: “God keep our land.” The second is the pledge Dr. James Dobson took eight years ago this month when he said, “I will never, as long as God gives me breath, vote for anyone who would allow one baby to be killed.”
Third and finally, make this commitment today – urge your family and neighbors to make this same commitment – to wake up the men and women in Parliament … tell them you will never again vote with your pocketbook or follow what the polls and the wise-guys say.
Sister Lucille Durocher, foundress of St. Joseph’s Workers for Life and the Family
Why do we stand here today? Is it not because we are “pro-choice?” Yes, we are pro-choice, because God, in His goodness, gave each of us a free will … There are two kinds of people – those who choose life and those who choose to destroy it …
We can march, talk and protest all we want … but we will never win this battle unless and until, as a nation, we put God back in our lives. That’s where the problem lies …
Let us once more beg our members of Parliament to enact legislation that will protect the life of every Canadian, every human being, from the moment of conception until natural death … Don’t try to save the world. Start right here. Save Canada first … Let’s go back to our homes, but this time, with a firm resolve to do more … Let us show that yes, we are pro-choice, and we choose life in all its stages.
John MacMullen, executive director of Ontario Students for Life
What I see (among youth) is a pure enthusiasm and a genuine love and respect for life … Our youth know … that they were deemed expendable and not worth protecting inside their mothers’wombs … Our pro-life youth haven’t bought into the liberation that abortion and birth control supposedly promised. They have taken the time to read between the lines and have decided to keep their bodies sacred, not sell them out to our society’s “if it feels good, do it” mentality.
All of us, in conjunction with our young people, will bring justice and a passion for life back to this country, for all women and children to enjoy.
Gilles Grondin, president of Campagne Québec-Vie
(What is the) consequence of this (abortion) carnage unprecedented in human history? Well, a slow but absolutely certain disappearance of French-speaking Canadians in a not-so-distant future,already noticeable in our midst in various regions of our country. Why? Because it is quite unrealistic, if not completely foolish, to assume that one could possibly save the French language and culture in North America in the absence of little, French-speaking fellows.
It is crystal clear that if one kills our children in their mothers’ wombs, one annihilates them. The wages of sin – the crime of abortion – is death, not only of the little human beings targeted by this crime, but also of an entire spiritual, cultural and linguistic heritage, the survival of which can only be guaranteed by these little fellows.
Jakki Jeffs, executive director, Alliance for Life Ontario
Our time in history, we have been told, is the only time in which people have been killed just because they’re alive … I urge you not be timid. Don’t make concessions. Don’t tone down your message. Say it louder. Make it stronger. Speak it more often. … The truth doesn’t kill. Abortion and euthanasia do. We must act. There has been such a failure among people of good will, not to mention people of faith, to act on this issue … We musn’t be afraid to defend our precious, preborn children.
I would like us to have a new motto … “We are pro-life. There will be no exception, no compromise and no apology.”
Norman Doyle, Progressive Conservative MP for St. John’s East, Nfld.
We’re doing something that’s very, very important. We’re giving testimony and witness to our concern … What could be more important? What greater mission could we be called to perform? … One abortion, as we’ve heard it said many, many times, is one too many. However, over two million is nothing short of a national disgrace and tragedy.
Tom Wappel, Liberal MP for Scarborough Southwest, Ont.
Little did anyone know, 29 years ago, what would be wrought by the change in legislationwe’re talking about. Now that we do know, what do we do? … You can do something. You are doing something just by being here, by remembering, each and every year, May 14 as our Day of Infamy in Canada. I encourage you. May God bless you all.
Dan McTeague, Liberal MP for Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge, Ont.
If we are not here today to defend and protect the fundamental right to life of the unborn, then we are not entitled to propose bills and introduce legislation for people in the future, as a matter of consequence.
Your presence here today gives me the courage to continue fighting for the right to life. This fight, then, must continue on the federal and provincial levels as well as in your own families across Canada.
I am very proud to be here. I am certainly not ashamed to be here. And neither are my people of the constituency I have the honor to represent. I also must tell you that it is your courage which energizes us into becoming even more resolute in this fight of fights. Thank you ever so much for having come here. May God be with you all. May God bless this country.
Theresa Bell, executive director of Human Life International Canada
Today, what we are witnessing is the slow death of our nation. (Our Lord) saw Canadabeing (whipped) at the pillar of injustice … You are Simon today, witnessing to the greatest scourge of all time … Today, our greatest consolation is knowing the promise of the Resurrection, and the battle for life and families everywhere is already won.
Senator John Michael Forrestall of Dartmouth, N.S.
(Senator Forrestall was present and voted against the omnibus bill that legalized abortion in 1969.)
I am pro-life. I have no exceptions. I ask no quarter and I give none. The dignity of life issuch that it surpasses all that we might seem to be doing to it … I am one of those blessed with five children, four of them adopted …I’d love to vote against (abortion) once more. You people can make that happen …
Do what has to be done … Make sure your member of Parliament is aware of your feelings and the depth of your feelings, conviction and concern for life … God bless you and your work.
Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition
The late Mother Teresa told us that if you want to change the world, first of all change your hearts so you’re doing what God wants. Make sure you’re doing His will. Then deal with what’s at your feet …
Ladies and gentlemen, this has been just a teaser for the crowd that will be out next time … When we come out next year, we can be celebrating a law protecting the unborn. Please remember this is God’s battle, not ours. He expects us to do our very best … Trust in God and keep up your good work.
Father Jim Whalen, director of Priests for Life Canada
We’re here because God gave us the gift of life. It’s a privilege, but also a responsibility … I thank God today for the gift of my life, for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know I’mresponsible for the unborn. I know the most serious tragedy of our day is the tragedy of abortion. I commit myself today to never be silent, passive or forgetful of the unborn …(Prayer): Hear our prayer to assure life for the unborn, the needy, the vulnerable, the helpless, so that one day too they may share the happiness of life and the goodness of your love. Amen.