OTTAWA, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition is gearing up for its 20th annual March for Life on Thursday and is calling on pro-lifers to come to Parliament Hill to proclaim: “Life, We stand on guard for Thee.” “If you haven’t made plans to attend yet, do so now,” says Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life lobbying group. “The thousands of Canadians who march will send a strong message to politicians of all stripes, Liberal, Conservative, New Democrats, that Canadians haven’t forgotten and will never forget the child in the womb.”
The March coincides with celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, and it also comes a little over two weeks before the Conservative Party of Canada leadership convention. “The Conservative leadership election is a critical moment for the pro-life movement in Canada,” Hughes told LifeSiteNews. “As pro-life Canadians are well aware, the Conservative Party is the only one of the three major parties that still allows pro-life candidates to run, and that still permits free votes on matters of conscience,” he said. “We are tremendously fortunate to have pro-life candidates in the leadership race. One of them could be the next prime minister.” Campaign Life Coalition has endorsed both former MP Pierre Lemieux and current Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost as supportable candidates because of their pro-life, pro-family records and campaign promises. And the two Tory candidates, in turn, have endorsed the March.
“I’m encouraging you to come out to show your support for children, for the unborn,” MP Trost says in a video on Campaign Life’s website. “It will be a great day. But do you know what would make the March even better this better? If you attended it,” points out Lemieux in his video endorsement on the CLC website. The March for Life is Canada’s largest annual pro-life event and commemorates May 14, 1969. That’s the day Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Liberal government passed the Omnibus Bill legalizing abortion under certain circumstances, and which resulted essentially in abortion on demand. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law with its Morgentaler decision, leaving Canada with no law protecting unborn children. About 100,000 babies are killed by abortion in Canada every year, Hughes said. And the toll since abortion was legalized in 1969 is at least 3.5 million killed in the womb.
The March for Life begins Wednesday evening with a Candlelight Vigil for the Victims of Abortion, from 9 to 10 p.m. at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights Monument. A number of Masses and prayer services are held throughout the city Thursday morning in preparation for the March. The March kicks off with a rally on Parliament Hill at 12:30 p.m., with the march beginning at 1:30 p.m. Marchers can then return to Parliament Hill for a concert by the March for Life band and testimonies from women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The day’s events end at 4 p.m. with a closing prayer service led by the Eastern Catholic Chaplaincy of Ottawa. There will be a Rose Dinner featuring President Jim Hughes as keynote speaker in the evening at the same time as a youth dinner organized by Niagara Region Right to Life. There will be a youth conference on Friday, also organized by Niagara Region Right to Life.