2012 Back to Life walkers in the U.S. The Back to Life walk will happen for the first time in Canada from April 28 to May 8. Photo courtesy of the Back to Life Movement

Pro-life walk raises voices against abortion

  • April 20, 2013

Twenty-five women will walk from Montreal to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa at the end of month to remind Canadians that abortion has had no legal restrictions in this country for the past quarter century.

The Back to Life walk will take the women — each picked for their personal connection to abortion — on a 200-km journey from April 28 to May 8. They will walk about 20 km each day, ending up in Ottawa on May 8, just in time to join the March for Life the next day. And on May 10, they will have their wrap-up rally in front of the Supreme Court.

The walk has two main goals, said director and organizer Faytene Grasseschi: to create awareness of the “legislative vacuum” regarding abortion and the “reality of abortion harassment.”

Referring to the 1988 Morgentaler Supreme Court case, “a lot of Canadians, at this point, 25 years later, are not aware of that case and the fact that it basically struck down all the laws on abortion,” said Grasseschi.

But there’s also the case against what she calls “abortion harassment.”

“There’s sort of an untold story to abortion,” she said, defining abortion harassment as a situation when a woman is pressured and harassed into feeling they have no choice but abortion.

“In the name of choice, a lot of women have actually lost their voice.”

On backtolifecanada.com, videos of the 25 women and their experiences will be posted. Grasseschi refers to Ashley’s story. At first, Ashley’s boyfriend supported her decision to keep their baby, but changed his mind and wanted her to abort. He later had another change of heart, but it was too late. Ashley became suicidal after aborting her baby at five months, but now calls herself an advocate for women.

In another story, one of the women is walking to thank her birth mother for her courage, said Grasseschi. The woman’s birth mother was raped and then pressured by her own mother to abort the baby. Instead, she ran away from home and gave the baby up for adoption.

“Her mother decided to bring something good out of a horrible situation,” said Grasseschi.

Then there’s Laura, a family physician, who has questioned how the medical community deals with unplanned pregnancies.

“Different women are walking for different reasons, but there are several stories... where in the name of choice, the different girls felt like they didn’t have a choice,” Grasseschi said.

She wants to emphasize that the group’s motivation is love and it is working hard to keep the walk from having a harsh political edge.

The final gathering is at the Supreme Court of Canada, said Grasseschi, because “that’s where the whole thing began in 1988.”

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