Thousands of Canadians are in Ottawa today for the national March for Life marking 50 years of legal abortion in their country.
But as well as mourning the four million unborn children killed by abortion in those five decades, pro-life advocates are looking ahead to Canada’s federal election five months away.
Ousting Justin Trudeau and his Liberals and electing pro-life politicians in their place on October 21 would be a significant victory for life and family advocates.
Ironically, Canada’s half-century of legal abortion is bookended by the Trudeau father-and-son team.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau brought in abortion with the Liberal omnibus bill of May 14, 1969. His eldest son and current prime minister is infamous for making the promotion of abortion “rights” — and LGBTQ “rights” — the cornerstone of his government’s foreign and domestic policy.
Some of Trudeau’s more notorious anti-life measures include requiring employers sign a pro-abortion attestation to receive Canada Summer Job grants; earmarking $650 million to promote abortion overseas; and earlier in his career decreeing that individuals with pro-life convictions could not run for the Liberal Party.
“Some in Parliament, from both sides of the aisle, including our prime minister, claim that abortion is a human right,” says Matt Wojciechowski, vice president of Campaign Life Coalition.
“This is a lie. The killing of a child in the womb is not a right and no one has the right to kill another human being,” Wojciechowski said at a press conference yesterday kicking off the three-day event.
Campaign Life Coalition is Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group and organizer of the March for Life, the country’s largest annual pro-life event.
“Thousands of Canadians in Ottawa and across Canada will be marching because they refuse to let another 50 years of this human rights injustice pass by,” he said.
“We will be marching because we want abortion to become unthinkable in this country,” added Wojciechowski.
“We want women who face unplanned pregnancies to know that abortion shouldn’t be their only choice. We want those who work in the abortion industry to leave their jobs, and for doctors to stop committing abortions, and prescribing deadly chemical abortions.”
American pro-life advocate Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic manager and founder of the pro-life outreach to abortion workers “And Then There Were None,” told reporters that “any time there is injustice anywhere, there’s injustice everywhere.”
A speaker at today’s rally, Johnson’s book Unplanned, the story of her rejection of abortion after witnessing the ultrasound abortion of a 13-week-old unborn baby, is now a hit movie.
But Unplanned is “effectively banned” in Canada, and anyone wishing to see it on the big screen will have to attend a private screening or go to the United States, co-producer Lisa Wheeler said at the press conference.
That’s an indication of what Canadian pro-lifers are up against, as is opposition to the March itself.
In the past, that has taken the form of semi-nude women rushing the stage; violent protesters disrupting the candlelight vigil on the eve of the March; and a ferocious backlash in 2017 after a pro-life flag was raised at City Hall the morning of the March that resulted in it hastily being removed.
Moreover, the March now follows a different route than it traditionally has because of a “bubble zone” law passed by Kathleen Wynne’s former Liberal government that bans pro-life witness outside the Morgentaler abortion center. There are similar laws in Newfoundland, British Columbia, and Alberta.
But Canadians defending unborn children won’t “be bullied into submission” or “censored or silenced,” says Josie Luetke of Campaign Life Coalition.
“Grassroots members of this movement are fiercely dedicated to going the distance to make a difference,” she said in a Campaign Life blog.
Moreover, “pro-lifers are getting more and more mobilized.”
Campaign Life Coalition has already “signed up thousands of supporters for memberships to various political parties so that they could vote in leadership and/or nomination contests,” she said.
“A large number of them have participated in party conventions and succeeded in getting pro-life and pro-family policies passed.”
With the federal election set for October 21, the March for Life is a kickoff into full election mode, she emphasized.
“This National March for Life is the beginning of a long stretch ahead of us, during which we will become more active in educating our fellow community members about life issues and in volunteering for pro-life candidates,” observed Luetke.
“And we can’t wait to kick into high gear.”
The May 9 hourlong rally begins at 12:30 and is emceed by LifeSiteNews co-founder and editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen and Campaign Life Coalition youth director Marie-Claire Bissonnette.
It is preceded by four morning Masses and three prayer services throughout the city (for information on locations, go here), and followed by the March itself. The day’s program ends with testimonies from Silent No More, and a Eastern-rite Catholic prayer service.
As well as Johnson, rally speakers included Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, producers of the movie Gosnell – The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer; Steve Karlen and Matt Britton of 40 Days for Life; Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto; Conservative MP David Anderson, sponsor of a conscience rights bill; Angelina Steenstra, Canadian coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; and Shalyn McGuin of Save the 1.
Local marches will be taking place on May 9 across Canada in conjunction with the National March for Life. For information on these, go here.