The pro-life movement is gearing up for a massive March for Life in May to mark 30 years of legalized abortion in this country.
Bill Mullally, public affairs co-ordinator for Campaign Life Coalition, toldThe Interim that CLC has “long held the view that pro-lifers should recognize this date in history,” and that the March for Life is an obligation we have to the unborn to make everyone aware of the tragedy of more than two million babies killed by abortion since 1969.
Last year, the event was labelled the Day of Infamy, but organizers thought it would be better to accentuate the positive. Karen Murawsky, CLC’s director of public affairs, told The Interim that, “We want to keep people going, to be courageous, to look to the future.” The march is designed to energize pro-lifers to continue fighting for the restoration of a culture of life.
Various pro-life groups are throwing their support behind a series of demonstrations on Thursday May 13 and Friday May 14 in Ottawa. On Thursday, there will be a luncheon with spiritual leaders and pro-life activists and politicians. Guests will be welcomed by Ottawa’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Gervais, and hear speeches from the co-chairs of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus: Jason Kenney (Reform), Tom Wappel (Liberal) and Elsie Wayne (PC).
Murawsky said that people should book soon because there are a limited number of tickets for the luncheon. She also stressed that it is important that people should attend, in order to show pro-life politicians there is support for their efforts.
Also on Thursday, there will be a picket in front of the Canadian Medical Association offices calling for the restoration of the Hippocratic Oath. In the evening, there will be an informal social gathering at St. Patrick’s Basilica with guest speakers and entertainment, including renowned pro-life speaker Fr. Ted Colleton.
On Friday morning, there will be evangelical and Protestant prayer services and a Mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica. At 11:30, the demonstration will begin at the Supreme Court, where Rev. Ken Campbell will speak before the march proceeds to Parliament Hill. There will be speakers at a formal program at 12:45 at the Peace Tower.
Throughout the two days there will be religious and pro-life leaders as speakers, including Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Anglican-Catholic Bishop Robert Mercer, Ottawa-area evangelical pastor Bill Buitenwerf, Fr. Jim Whalen of Priests for Life, Jakki Jeffs of Alliance for Life Ontario, Theresa Bell of Human Life International, Jim Hughes of CLC, and Gilles Grondin of Campagne-Quebec Vie.
Both Mullally and Murawsky stressed that the events of May 13-14 have three basic purposes: to demonstrate to parliamentarians that there is a groundswell of support for pro-life legislation; to show religious leaders that Canadians want strong pro-life leadership from the pulpit; and to educate Canadians about the horrible toll of abortion – more than two million dead children and wounded mothers in 30 years.
Mullally said there is a “hostile, pro-abortion media in Canada,” but that people need not be afraid to speak the truth and stand up for the unborn. He said the march is an excellent opportunity to do that. He also urged parents and grandparents to invite high school and university students to join them.
“There are many young people who, if they knew about it, would want to come and be part of this public declaration in favour of the unborn.”