Life Chain is a non-confrontational way to get across the message that abortion kills children. Whether or not the numbers participating across Canada were down slightly this year, the event got good coverage in the newspapers and definitely helped to keep the abortion issue before the public.
A reporter for the Portage la Prairie Daily Graphic began her story by saying, “It’s a different – and possibly successful – new way of getting their message out.” She gave Rachel Murray, president of Prairie Pro-Life, a chance to explain that this peaceful annual protest helps draw attention to the pro-life stance. Gloria Lawrenson, director of Halton Pro-Life, asked by the Hamilton Spectator if she thought her movement was fighting a losing battle, answered, “I may not see the protection of the unborn child in my lifetime, but at least history will show that here, on this date and on this street, there were hundreds of Canadians of conscience, willing to tell the truth.”
There were many similar statements of principle. Life Chain gives people an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the pro-life cause, and provides a platform for reasonable explanation of what abortion really involves.
Once again the biggest success story occurred in Vancouver, and a Vancouver Sun headline made clear who were responsible: “Religious groups rally against abortion.” Respect for life does not depend entirely on religious belief; it can co-exist with secular humanism. It remains true, however, that opponents of abortion are often motivated by religious belief.
The Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, Adam Exner, sent a letter to his priests on September 22 that said, “In the past, Life Chain has proven to be an excellent means for Catholics and other Christians to bear witness to the truth about abortion as the taking of that life. I believe we should do all we can to support this worthwhile event, as it is vital that Christians stand up and be counted.” He himself joined his parishioners from Holy Rosary Cathedral in front of the Vancouver City Hall, carrying a sign that read, “Abortion hurts women.”
In B.C.’s Lower Mainland members of some 210 Christian churches took part in the Life Chain. Rev. Bernice Gerard of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, emphasizing that the goal of the Life Chain is to educate people, said that “If people really knew there was a baby there, they wouldn’t do it harm. That’s the hope.”
That’s the hope. Thank God for those who participated – and for their leaders who encouraged them to do so.