1994 ended a tremendously difficult year for the pro-life movement.
Much of the year was taken up by the Ontario provincial government taking pro-lifers to court in an attempt to gain a province-wide injunction against all forms of pro-life activism. These restrictions swept across the country and the call went out: “Stifle the pro-life voice.”
From Nova Scotia to British Columbia, pro-life organizations were forced to pay huge court costs, money usually used to defend the unborn, in an effort to fend off these draconian lawsuits and government injunctions.
In the wake of Sue Rodriguez’s killing, the call for euthanasia became even stronger, Robert Latimer, who killed his disabled daughter, and Cathy Wilkieson, who killed her disabled son and then took her own life, were made heroes by some in the media. Stronger and louder calls for euthanasia were forthcoming.
The next setback came with the several shootings at abortuaries across North America. These acts by disturbed individuals were used by the media, abortion advocates and sympathetic politicians to portray all pro-lifers as radical and violent. Their aim, of course, is to eliminate legitimate pro-life activism.
But rays of light did manage to break through these dark clouds.
Pope John Paul II made a terrific stand at the Cairo Conference on Population and Development. By working together, the Vatican and its allies were able to water down the anti-life sentiments of the Cairo conference, rendering it ineffectual.
Federal politicians like Roseanne Skoke and Tom Wapped, defying their leader’s wishes, rose in Parliament to defend the family. They and other courageous politicians deserve our support and encouragement.
Time magazine named the Pope as its Man of the Year. In a year which saw the Pontiff vilified by many in the media for his pro-family position at the Cairo conference, Time saw a man whose strong and unflinching moral stand typified what the world needs during these unfortunate times.
The magazine also named Helen Alvare, pro-life spokeswoman for the United States bishops, to its list of 50 young leaders who will influence tomorrow. Alvare, a 34-year-old attorney, made the list which, among others, included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy Jr., trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey.
1995 will be a crucial year for the Canadian pro-life movement. We must shake off the disappointments of last year. We must look for new ways of making our voice heard in this unfriendly environment. We must continue to work together and present, to lawmakers and observers, a consistent, peaceful and unified front.
Above all, we must pray that God gives us the spiritual and physical strength necessary to fight the good fight for yet another year.
Without a law, more than 100,000 unborn Canadians will die this year. They need us.