Pro-life supporters rally during a past National March for Life on Parliament Hill. This year’s march is May 11. CNS photo/Art Babych

Roe v. Wade looms over March for Life

  • May 4, 2023

The buzz leading up to the 26th National March for Life in Ottawa on May 11 is very encouraging to event organizers at Campaign Life Coalition.

In recent years, robust crowds of over 5,000 rallied on Parliament Hill on behalf of the unborn. Debbie Duval expects the 2023 demonstration could attract “over 10,000 people.”

“We have double the amount of buses coming from out of town compared to last year,” said Duval. “We have really spread (the word) far and wide. Our staff has done a great job sharing the information with parishes and youth groups.”

Duval added that the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year by the Supreme Court of the United States has energized the pro-life community north of the border.

“We need to have something like that happen in Canada,” said Duval.

In-person and online events will be staged on the days before the march starting on May 7. One of the notable items on the schedule — hosted on May 9 — is an early-preview screening of the documentary Roe Canada: The True North in a Post-Roe World, which is directed by award-winning Catholic filmmaker Kevin Dunn. A round-table discussion will feature Dunn and his creative partners, Campaign Life’s Josie Luetke and Ruth Robert. The three interviewed expert voices in both Canada and the United States for a comprehensive portrait of the legal landscapes in both countries. They also presented the facts of what it would take for the Canadian pro-life community to enjoy a seminal victory akin to the American decision.

Duval said she would like to see more people participate in the Mass and candlelight vigil hosted the eve before the march.

“It is a really wonderful, prayerful night. The attendance fluctuates. I believe last year there were over 300 people. It is really great. There is prayer, a blessing, praise and worship music and testimony. It is the prayer component of the march — after all we cannot do anything without Him.”

Ottawa Auxiliary Bishop Yvan Mathieu will preside over a Mass at St. Theresa Church. Afterwards, attendees will trek over to the Canadian Human Rights Monument for the vigil.

The spiritual dimension of the fight for the preborn is evident in the march theme “Stand Firm,” which is derived from Ephesians 6:14: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.”

“It is much a perfect Scripture for this time,” said Duval. “In fact, I like the entire (passage) as it tells us to ‘put on the full armour of God so you can stand firm against the deeds of the devil.’ Right now, we need to stand up and be firm in our beliefs. This is evil.”

The rally on Parliament Hill will begin at 12:30 p.m. The march through downtown Ottawa will begin at 1:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m., special guests will share their Silent No More Awareness testimonies. At 3 p.m., the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute will lead the closing prayer service.

Provincial marches will also be hosted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, B.C., Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

Visit for more information.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.