Mary Ellen Douglas, the national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition. Register file photo.

Conference puts focus on life

  • March 29, 2014

To people who say they oppose abortion except in cases of rape, Mary Ellen Douglas would like to introduce them to Rebecca Kiessling. She is the “except,” a child conceived by rape.

“This is a beautiful young woman who is thankful to God for the gifts that she has received in her life and she’s prepared to go out there and let other people know,” said Douglas, the national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition.

Kiessling, a lawyer and international pro-life speaker, will give a banquet address at the National Pro-Life Conference April 4-5 in Toronto. She will recount her personal story from conception, to adoption, to dealing with the pain “that she was born as the result of rape, the knowledge that she was unwanted by her birth mother and the fact that our nation is filled with people who agree that her birth mother had the right to abort her,” said Douglas.

This year’s conference theme is “Every Human Being Deserves Protection.”

“We want to protect human life from the time of conception until natural death,” Douglas said.

Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life movement, was founded 36 years ago to combat abortion but it has subsequently taken up the fight to help prevent euthanasia and assisted-suicide being legalized in Canada.

Conference participants will have the opportunity to charge the batteries of newcomers and recharge the batteries of those who supported the pro-life movement for years.

“We need them just as badly now as we did in any other year that we’ve been active,” said Douglas.

It’s “important to bring people out, give them an opportunity to hear excellent speakers,” said Douglas. In addition to Kiessling, other speakers include former Liberal MP Tom Wappel and current Conservative MP Kyle Seeback. The two will be part of political training session where attendees will learn how to become politically active for the pro-life cause.

On Wappel, Douglas says, “We call him the dean of the pro-life politics in Parliament because he was so actively supporting life all through his political career and he is now the advisor for the campaign life coalition.”

Seeback became actively involved after hearing Kiessling tell her story.

“It boils down to having the people out there in every one of the constituencies across Canada, from coast to coast, prepared and ready to go in and see their own MP ,” Douglas said.

Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes will draw upon his years of experience for the introductory address on the Saturday, followed by prayer and a talk on spiritual focus by Fr. Paul Nicholson, missionary preacher of the New Evangelization, and Rev. Elmer Manzo, senior pastor of the Kipling Avenue Baptist Church.

“Prayer is the beginning of everything,” said Douglas. “We don’t work without it.”

Participants can expect a focus on the proposed Quebec euthanasia bill, abortion in Latin America and youth engagement.

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