A Women’s March for the Unborn drew approximately 300 women to downtown Montreal on September 9. Many women carried signs and banners as they marched silently from Cabot Square, near the Montreal Children’s Hospital, to the Quebec Palais de Justice in Old Montreal.
Although the number of participants, some 300, was perhaps less than had been hoped for, organizers were encouraged by the diversity of the crowd. Mrs. Lucille Lavoie-Gordon of Coalition pour la Vie (Quebec) criticized the media for their failing to publicize the pro-life march. In contrast, she noted, 48 hours of steady media promotion helped to draw thousands of people to a pro-abortion march last July. Despite the lack of publicity, women from their late teens to senior citizens, and all walks of life, were present. Both French and English were well represented. This is very significant in a city where French language prolife activity has at times lagged.
A pro-life march for women only is a suprisingly novel idea. “We are tired of feminist groups claiming to speak for all women,” said March coordinator Lesley MacDonald.” When the Superior Court of Quebec upheld the Daigle injunction the feminists called it a black day for the women of Canada. We felt it was our duty to give a voice to the many women who oppose abortion.”
The Daigle case provided the impetus for many women for many women to act on this long-standing desire to speak out as women against abortion.
Anastasia LaPrairie, speaking at the steps of the Palais de Justice, described Quebec’s traditional respect for the family and thanked the Quebec judges who upheld those values in their decision defending the unborn child’s right to life. She applauded their tremendous courage.
Ann Kiss, President of Montreal Pro-Life, stated there is a silent majority “who do not want our children destroyed by abortion.” She spoke of the damage abortion inflicts on women and expressed solidarity with the women in prison for their pro-life activities. While abortion is not exclusively women’s issue, these are significant women’s concerns.
Lucille Lavoie-Gordon emphasized the march was “not symbolic, but expresses our collective will to which our elected official respond by finding real solutions to psycho-social problems,” rather than allowing abortion to decimate Canadian society.
Both women spoke of the many strong and courageous women who were fundamental in the development of Quebec society, including Jeanne Mance and Marguerite Bourgeoys. These great women built hospitals and schools and promoted family live and community. They laid the foundation of Quebecois society.
Holding a bouquet of red roses and baby’s breath above her, Anastasia LaPrairie led the women a few meters east of the Palais de Justice, to a beautiful bronze sculpture of St Marguerite Bourgeoys, her arms outstretched to help two children across a stream of rushing water. The flowers were laid at the foot of the statue of the Canadian saint, a very fitting symbol of pro-life action and authentic feminism.