Abby Johnson, left, is seen on the set of the movie Unplanned with actress Ashley Bratcher, who plays her. Johnson will be among the keynote speakers at the Rose Dinner Gala during the National March for Life. CNS photo/courtesy Unplanned

Care, not killing enshrined in March for Life

  • February 16, 2024

“I will never forget you.”

This is the official theme and rallying cry of the 2024 National March for Life on May 9 on Parliament Hill and in front of hubs of legislative power across Canada. 

The theme is inspired by Isaiah 49:15-16: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

Campaign Life Coalition, which organizes the March For Life each year, explained in a promotional video why these words of God, given through His faithful prophet Isaiah, were a fitting choice as the theme statement.

“His promise ‘I will never forget you’ is not only a reminder of God’s enduring faithfulness to His people but also an eternal call for all of us to be witnesses to the dignity of each human person,” stated the video.

The National March for Life organizers hope to empower pro-life champions of all ages to urge elected officials never to forget the “unborn child in the womb, the mother with an unexpected pregnancy, a person living with a disability or mental illness or the senior who needs care — not killing.” 

Josie Luetke, Campaign Life’s director of education and advocacy, said “it is very reassuring” to know that while it appears like your government or even family members may “forsake you” when you are contending with a terminal illness or a disability, God does not. She added that “I will never forget you” is also a “pledge each of us needs to make when it comes to the preborn because they are invisible to us unless we are looking at an ultrasound.”

The Feb. 8 live-stream event to announce the theme also invited Campaign Life to promote some of the guest speakers who will feature at the Rose Dinner Gala the night following the rally and march through downtown Ottawa and the Live On Pro-Life summit jointly hosted by Campaign Life and Niagara Region Right to Life on May 10.

Abby Johnson and Shawn Carney are the keynote speakers of the gala at the Ottawa Conference & Events Centre.

Johnson formerly served as a clinic director with Planned Parenthood in the United States, but resigned and became a pro-life activist after witnessing an ultrasound abortion. In 2012, she founded And Then There Were None, a ministry to help abortion workers transitioning out of the industry enter into communion with Christ. The 2019 film Unplanned is based on her life.

Carney is the CEO and founder of 40 Days for Life, a non-stop, round-the-clock, 960-hour prayer vigil movement that has a presence in over 60 countries. The 2024 spring campaign launched on Feb. 14 and will conclude on March 24.

Johnson appeared in the launch announcement to preview the May 8 screening (location yet to be determined) of her new film Unthinkable, which gathered over a dozen former abortion workers for a revealing discussion about what is taking place in these facilities.

“What really struck me was how our stories were so similar,” said Johnson. “My experience was not unique. My experience was part of a pervasive and systemic problem that is taking place all over the country, and we believe all over the world.”

She will also feature in the pro-life summit on May 10. Appearing alongside her is Dr. John Bruchalski, a former abortionist who founded the Tepeyac OB/GYN pro-life medical practice, and Mary Wagner, the Canadian pro-life activist who has been incarcerated multiple times as a prisoner of conscience for entering abortion clinics to counsel women to choose life for their unborn child.

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.