March for Life marks UN Declaration of Rights

  • April 24, 2008

{mosimage}OTTAWA - This year’s National March for Life in Ottawa May 7-9 will honour the 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The theme of the three-day event, is “Life — the first human right.” The theme is based on the declaration’s preamble which recognizes the “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family,” as set out in the declaration’s preamble, as well as Article 3, which says “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

Despite Canada’s signing this declaration, it is the only developed country that has no laws protecting the unborn child.

“We won’t rest until there is a law to protect the unborn,” said Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) national organizer Mary Ellen Douglas. “We want to highlight that without the right to live, all the other rights don’t fall into place. The right to live is the most basic thing.”

This year’s March will be the 11th that CLC has organized. Last year’s 10th anniversary march drew the largest crowds ever — about 7,000 people.

“We’re hoping we’re going to have more this year,” Douglas said. “More than half of them were young people under 25. We want to encourage the young people to come out again.”

The May 8 March will feature speeches by Alveda King, Martin Luther King’s niece, who is part of the group Silent No More that represents women and men who regret their involvement in abortion. When King spoke at this year’s National March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22, she described abortion as a civil rights issue.

“When you kill a baby you are taking away that baby’s civil rights,” she said. “My civil rights were also affected, because my life was deeply damaged.”

Fr. Frank Pavone and Janet Morana of Priests for Life (U.S.) will join King on Parliament Hill. Douglas said several politicians have already informed CLC they plan to attend. And Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., has said he plans to march. He will also officiate at a pro-life Mass at 10 a.m. May 8 at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Kingston Archbishop Brendan O’Brien will preside over a pro-life Mass at St. Theresa’s Church in Ottawa on the eve of the march at 7:30 p.m. The annual Candlelight Vigil at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument at Lisgar and Elgin Streets starts at 9 p.m. St. Patrick Basilica will host an all-night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament beginning at 10 p.m.

The annual Rose Dinner that follows the march on May 8 features keynote speaker Mary Ann Kuharski, the founder and president of Pro-life Across America and mother of 13 children.

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