Pro-life and pro-abortion rallies were held throughout the country, from Halifax to Victoria, mostly before or on Mother’s Day Mary 13. An added incentive for further rallies, mostly for pro-abortionists, was the final debate on C-43 Parliament.
In Halifax, over 2500 pro-life supporters participated in a rally on the eve of Mother’s Day, making it “the largest anti-abortion demonstration in the city’s history,” reported the Daily News. It was almost certainly the largest rally in Canada on this occasion.
Organizers called the event the “circle of life” as they formed a human chain around three Halifax hospitals in order to “rededicate the medical facilities to the preservation of life. “We’re here to pray,” said Helen Walsh as the crowd prayed and listened to a seven-piece band perform religious-oriented pop songs.
The Daily News also reported that a much smaller (some 50), but more vocal group of “abortion-rights” advocates rallied in Victoria Park.
The Vancouver community showed its support for unborn babies and pregnant mothers by meeting in the rain to bring gifts to families as well as pray for them.
On Mother’s Day, Mary 13, people began arriving at the Vancouver General Hospital about noon with gifts of flowers and plants, baby food, diapers and layette items. These were left in a decorated one-ton van parked on 12th Avenue.
Many people stayed for a short time to pray in groups on the sidewalk. About 2:30 p.m., some arrived with their own placards or requested protest signs at the scene and began to line both sides of 12th Avenue in a silent vigil.
The rally was held at Vancouver General Hospital because it is the primary location for abortions in B.C. It does some 30 abortions per day in a facility called the “surgical day care center” at 795 W. 13th Avenue.
“We have changed the focus for this year’s rally,” said Betty Green, President of Vancouver Right to Life “Instead of stressing the evil of abortion, we are concentrating on showing that the community can and will help pregnant women and mothers with accommodation, clothes and food as well as prayer and moral support.”
In downtown Edmonton between 700 and 900 people took part in the twelfth annual March for Life on May 13. Carrying placards and singing, the pro-lifers marched from the Law Courts building to the Alberta legislature grounds for a rally to hear speakers denounce the lack of protection for the unborn. The event was organized by Campaign Life Coalition Alberta.
In Moncton, New Brunswick, the Mary 13 Mother’s Day rally was organized by Moncton Pro-life. A good crowd of pro-lifers marched in bright sunshine from the University grounds to Moncton General Hospital.
“We want Parliament to kill the abortion bill, not babies,” said Cecilia Forsyth at the annual Pro-Life Mother’s Day March held May 13. “We still have a situation where there is no legal protection for the unborn child,” she said.
The silent march sponsored by Saskatoon Pro-life, drew nearly 500 demonstrators to the front of City Hospital. Pro-life organizers choose that hospital for the annual event, they said, because the majority of the abortions performed in Saskatchewan take place there.
It was a miserable day, according to Canadian organizer John McManamy, but wind and rain and cold did not dampen the spirit of more than 400 pro-life from Southern Ontario and New York State who staged a joint “Mother’s Day Walk for Life” May 13, in Niagara Falls.
Walkers converged at both ends (Canadian and American) of the Rainbow Bridge in ceremonies that featured throwing red roses into the Niagara Gorge by Canadian and American children – all born since the advent of virtually unrestricted abortion in the two countries.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, close to 900 pro-lifers joined the Mother’s Day Walk for Life organized by the Right to Life Association of Toronto and Area.
Laura McArthur, president of Right to Life, said the rally was also symbolic of the changing of the guard of the pro-life movement as older pro-life members passed on the responsibility of working for pro-life legislation to a younger generation of pro-lifers.
The rally which is staged annually, featured pro-life leaders Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, Marilyn Bergeron, president of Alliance for Life and Alex Schadenburg, president of the Canadian Youth Pro-life Organization (CYPLO).
In Eastern Ontario, a May 12 Walk for Life organized by the Right to Life Association in the Frankford and Quinte areas, raised $11,000 in pledges to support a crisis pregnancy centre in Belleville, Ontario.
Organizer Maria Hissler said the pro-lifers’ walk in Trenton mobilized more than 300 supporters.