Moncton, NB. On November 25, pro-lifers from all corners of the province gathered here for their annual general meeting and workshops.  Representatives from PEI and Nova Scotia also attended.

Keynote speaker lawyer Angela Costigan held her audience spellbound as she outlined the kinds of arguments presented in a number of significant Supreme Court cases.  Listeners gained a whole new appreciation of the obstructions to be overcome if legal protection is to be obtained for the unborn.

During the day a number of other guests spoke on a variety of topics.

Judy Philips described the philosophy and work of Moncton’s Crisis Pregnancy Center, the first such center in the Maritimes.  Part of her work as director involves training volunteers to teach pre-natal development.  She was particularly delighted about an invitation to give this training to leaders of the local Boys and Girls Club.

Careful planning is a big part of the pro-life battle in Nova Scotia.  This became obvious as Herm Wills, president of Campaign Life Nova Scotia, talked about that province’s approaches and strategies.

“We would particularly encourage a united voice from the Atlantic area, so that together we can lobby the Council of Maritime Premiers on pro-life issues,” he said.

Nova Scotian Helen Walsh, who recently completed her cross-country “Journey for Life,” stirred her listeners with her account of many obstacles that were overcome one by one.  “We meet one night a week for 4 hours of prayer.  Every work we do for the unborn, and every success we have, arises from those hours of prayer.”

Two Moncton ministers also spoke during the day.  For several years, Rev. Craig Carter has been encouraging the Baptist churches to become more involved in pro-life activities.  He knows how often Christians are deterred by the accusations that they are imposing their views on the rest of society.  “But somebody’s view is going to prevail.  We Christians have as much right as anybody else to make our views known, and to try and triumph through the political process.  That is how a democracy works.  It is not imposing our will illegitimately to lobby and work for the day when our laws will reflect a proper morality on abortion.  God’s laws are not for his good, but for ours.  Society will be better off if we Christians win.”

Mr. Bill Steele, a Presbyterian pastor, is familiar to some readers as a recent chairman of the Pro Life Society of Fort St. Joh, B.C.

Concerned about the way the province’s health education program indoctrinates school children in secular humanistic values, Rev. Steele was even then scheduled to present to government officials his critique of the program.

Mr. Steele also spoke of the need for “a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the churches that they might come back to the truth, and that they might give greater attention to the education of their members on fundamental issues.”

“In the long term, we pro-lifers need to go for an amendment to the Constitution and to the Charter of Rights.  Ultimately this is what we need to adequately protect human life within our nation.  Nothing else is going to be safe from the whims of the Supreme Court.”

During the annual general meeting, George Gilmore of Newcastle was re-elected president of NB Right to Life.

A committee was established to study the advisability of organizing a political wing or an educational trust fund in the event that NB Right to Life loses its charitable status.

Citing a number of instances of unfair media treatment, the meeting also established a committee to catalogue specific instances of media abuse and misrepresentation directed toward the pro-life movement.

Moncton MP George Rideout attended the workshops briefly.  Greetings and encouragement were delivered in person by the Honorable Jane Barry.

For all those attending, it was a welcome opportunity to gain inspiration, build morale, become better informed, develop strategies, and establish and strengthen contacts.