Charlottetown. The people are “for life,” but they feel helpless, and they don’t know what to do,” Helen Walsh of Bedford, N.S., told the national convention of Campaign Life Coalition and Alliance for Life, meeting in Charlottetown, June 23-26. “I want them to know that they’re not helpless.”
The slender, ash blonde, 44-year-old mother of five ser out on foot from St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Mothers’ Day, in a raging snow storm, to begin a 3600 kilometer Journey for Life. She hopes to reach Thunder Bay by October 1.
“I walk because I want to convince ordinary people that they have a great deal of power. We can make the electoral process work for us and for unborn children, especially in this electoral year.”
To drive home her “Give Life” message, she gives countless speeches at rallies, in community halls, to church organizations, wherever she goes.
“We can’t keep saying it’s our politicians’ fault; that’s copping out,” she tells her listeners. “We are not called to spill our blood on foreign soil like men of valour did during the two world wars. But we are called to lay our lives down in other ways, to be heroes, right here, right now.”
As she walks and talks, Helen Walsh collects signatures for a petition urging protective legislation for the unborn. She is convinced that if Canadians believed in life and prayer as much as Morgentaler believes in death, they would be willing to be the heroes who would turn the whole abortion situation around.
Helen has found it particularly difficult to leave her family for such a long period, “especially my three-year-old son, Michael Edward, who is adopted and could have been an abortion statistic. But my family has life already, and they need me less than those who have no chance at life at all.”
Give Life Canada, the organization coordinating Helen’s walk, has not mounted a great fund-raising drive to support her walk. Instead, she depends largely on the people along her journey to provide assistance with transportation, accommodation and publicity. She has been greatly encouraged by their generosity, concern and response. Already she has seen the churches of central Newfoundland commit themselves to establishing a crisis centre for mothers-to-be.
Helen Walsh describes her journey for life as a prayer mission for the unborn. She starts her day with prayer and as she walks she prays for the needs of everyone she meets, as well as or mothers-to-be, and those who destroy the unborn. “And daily I raise Morgentaler up to the Lord in prayer.”
Helen also collects prayer pledges (promises to pray for the unborn for at least the 15 minutes it takes for her to walk a kilometer). It is Helen Walsh’s dream that “a man of prayer” will be moved to start from the West coast on a similar journey for life, in time to join her at Thunder Bay in bringing the petition to Ottawa.
She sees the involvement of both a man and woman as symbolic of life giving, and of the joint responsibility of men and women for protecting the unborn.
A few hours after this conversation took place, Helen Walsh, who sees life as so precious, received word that her eldest daughter had been killed in a traffic accident in British Columbia. Consequently, Journey for Life is temporarily suspended. She can be contacted through Give Life Canada, Box 125, Bedford, N.S., B4A 2X1.