Thousands converge in Ottawa for Canada’s March for Life

March for Life

Inspired by recent developments in the United States where the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was overturned, Canadian pro-lifers sought to emulate the momentum on May 11, with thousands gathering in the nation’s capital to take a stand for the sanctity of life.

This year’s March for Life, organized by the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), carried a resolute and empowering theme: “Stand Firm.” Massive crowds embraced this rallying call as they gathered in Ottawa to stand firm in their unwavering commitment to protect the preborn and speak out against euthanasia. 

“’Stand Firm’ is a call to be strong for those who are weak and vulnerable,” said Debbie Duval, National Capital Organizer for CLC. “’Stand Firm’ is a promise not to cede one inch of ground. We will not compromise on life. We will not be swayed by popular opinion. We will hold tightly to principle. We will ‘Stand Firm’ for the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death, without exception. Most importantly, ‘Stand Firm’ is a reminder to put on the armor of God, spiritually fortifying ourselves with truth, justice, and faith.”

Now in its 26th year, CLC’s march is the largest annual pro-life demonstration in Canada, attracting thousands from across the country. The event included the Candlelight Vigil for victims of abortion, several Masses and religious services, the annual Rose Dinner and Youth Banquet following the Rally on the Hill and the March for Life, and a full-day Youth Summit the next day.

According to The Catholic Register, this year’s March for Life witnessed a significant shift in dynamics, as the presence of pro-abortion counter-protestors, who traditionally formed a sizable contingent, was notably diminished. The contingent, consisting of fewer than 100 individuals, predominantly consisted of teenagers and young adults. 

Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1988, and the country is one of only seven where abortion is legal on demand for all nine months of pregnancy. 

In addition, as Live Action News has previously reported, Canada has some of the most permissive assisted suicide laws in the world. Tragically, a new law set to take effect in March 2024 will permit individuals with mental illness as the sole reason to qualify for physician-assisted suicide. In addition, the rate of assisted suicide in Canada is a striking 22 times higher than that of the United States.

But the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the U.S. has given the Canadian pro-life movement hope.

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“The backlash to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States has been sharp and swift everywhere, including in our country,” CLC President Jeff Gunnarson said. “In Canada, abortion on demand continues, the federal government is still threatening to strip pregnancy care centers of their charitable status, access to chemical abortion is expanding, pro-life speech and expression continues to be under attack, and, on the other end of the spectrum, euthanasia is drastically increasing. ‘Stand Firm’ is how we respond to these attacks on human life.”  

While Canada has some of the most lenient abortion and assisted suicide laws in the world, the overwhelming turnout at the march showcased the strength and determination of the Canadian pro-life movement, underscoring its growing influence and commitment to protect the rights of preborn.

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