Participants take part in the New Abortion Caravan rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery on May 29. Photo by John Espadero

Caravan puts pro-life twist on pro-choice campaign

By  Greg Van Dyk, Catholic Register Special
  • June 7, 2012

VICTORIA, B.C. - A team of Western pro-lifers has begun a month-long trek to Ottawa in what the group is calling the New Abortion Caravan.

“Our journey will begin with how the opposition began (in 1970) — with a caravan,” said Stephanie Gray, the executive director of Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR). “They did graphic, bloody dramatizations of illegal abortions. We will demonstrate with graphic, bloody images showing the reality of all abortions.”

Gray understands that CCBR’s tactics may cause controversy, but notes the graphic images are necessary to focus discussion on what actually happens in an abortion.

“The pictures of abortion are shocking because abortion is shocking,” she said.

“The images are disturbing because killing a child is a disturbing thing.”

The caravan launched on May 29 from the Vancouver Art Gallery amid shouts of protest from pro-abortionists. It is a project of the Calgary-based CCBR. 

In 1970, a group of woman gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery to begin its Abortion Caravan — a touring protest demanding unrestricted access to free abortions on demand in Canada.

The group made its way from Vancouver to Ottawa, where it burned then prime minister Pierre Trudeau in effigy and dumped a coffin full of coat-hangers at his Sussex Drive residence. 

Eighteen years later, the Supreme Court repealed all restrictions on abortion.

The CCBR has turned the tables and will retrace the 1970 caravan by travelling through British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario before reaching Ottawa on Canada Day weekend.

The tour kicked off with a rendition of O Canada by Vancouver Canucks’ anthem singer Mark Donnelly. He said the event was for all Canadians and hoped it would spark a national debate on abortion. As he sang, protesters chanted: “This isn’t a Canadian issue.”

“We have taken the sacred cow of Canada’s abortion rights movement and are using it to advance the cause for pre-born children,” said Gray.

“Last year, we announced our new EndtheKilling plan to eradicate abortion from our country in our lifetime. We have given ourselves an 18-year deadline to achieve justice for the pre-born.”

Many of CCBR’s staff were born after Canada’s abortion laws were struck down and see themselves as a part of a survivor generation.

“Too many of our peers have died and now the young people of Canada are standing up to lead the New Abortion Caravan,” said Lauren Kyfiuk, a CCBR summer intern.

“It’s our responsibility as survivors to speak out for those who have been killed and to be a voice for the voiceless.”

The group will engage the cities they tour using a variety of mediums. Young pro-lifers will drive trucks with large posters of aborted children on the outside, while other staff will demonstrate on street corners holding large signs with similar images. CCBR will circulate graphic postcards at peoples’ homes and will engage the public through debates and presentations.

“We must bring that which is done in darkness into the light and confront the culture with the graphic reality of abortion,” said Kyfiuk. “We must have the courage to tell the truth in love if we aim to EndtheKilling in our lifetime.”

After several stops in British Columbia, the tour was to visit Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina from June 6-9, and then stop in Brandon, Man. June 12 and Winnipeg June 13, before making these Ontario stops: Thunder Bay June 16, Sudbury June 20, Brampton June 21, London June 25, Toronto June 28 and Ottawa July 2. For more information visit: www.unmaskingchoice.ca.

(With files from the B.C. Catholic)

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