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The National March for Life will not be gathering on Parliament Hill this year, but events will continue online. Register file photo by Deborah Gyapong

March for Life continues online

  • April 18, 2020

OTTAWA -- The annual National March for Life planned for May 14 in the nation’s capital has been cancelled.

But organizers hope the cancelation turns out to be a blessing if making the March an online event this year ends up expanding the event’s reach.

“For all those who have always wanted to attend in the past but couldn’t, now they can participate,” said Debbie Duval, national capital organizer for the Campaign Life Coalition which has organized the event for more than 20 years.

“And for those who were going to attend, they can still participate this year.”

In an April 8 statement announcing the cancelation of the physical march and rally in Ottawa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced an extensive series of virtual programming that will be offered online for the first time.

If going online proves to be successful, more online programming, in addition to the actual gathering in the nation’s capital, could be considered as a way to expand the event in years ahead.

“It is something that we have talked about,” Duval told Canadian Catholic News.

“It is important for people to come together, gather together and share that experience together and that will never change, but this is something we can look at doing more of in the future.”

Organizers of the largest single pro-life event held in Canada each year plan to hold a week-long, online program building up to the day of the 23rd National March for Life, which marks the May 14, 1969 passing of the infamous omnibus bill that opened the floodgates to abortion on demand.

“This initiative will also bring awareness to the killing occurring at the other end of the spectrum, near the end of life, with a focus on the proposed expansions to Canada’s euthanasia law,” according to an April 8 statement from the National March for Life organizing committee.

The online activities will all be available through MarchForLife.ca, starting May 10-12. Programming will include pro-life films and interviews, a virtual candlelight vigil on May 13 and online Masses and religious services on May 14 that will include a live-streamed virtual rally with guests from Canada and around the world.

There are also plans for a pro-life special on May 14 to be available on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) that would be hosted by international pro-life speakers Kevin Dunn and Stephanie Gray. That special “will focus on the most important life issues facing Canadians currently — and what we can do as a nation to rebuild a culture of life,” the statement said.

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