7,000 March for Life

  • May 22, 2007
{mosimage}OTTAWA - Concern for human rights and the growing use of abortion for sex selection dominated the annual March for Life May 10.
Canada is known around the world for its support of human rights, but one right is missing and that’s the unborn child’s right to life, Deputy Supreme Knight Dennis Savoie told the nearly 7,000 people on Parliament Hill, the largest crowd in march’s 10-year history. Savoie, a Canadian who is number two for the worldwide Knights of Columbus, said Canada needed more politicians who were pro-life so this gap in the law can be filled.

Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone said a country cannot advance social justice, peace on earth or end terrorism unless it “starts at the beginning and stops the killing of the unborn.” Pavone said the United States’ pro-life movement has “made some progress” with the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the partial birth abortion ban.

Liberal MP Paul Steckle and Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, co-chairs of the Parliamentary pro-life caucus, held a news conference preceding the march to reveal research on the growing use of prenatal sex selection. Vellacott said sex selection abortion is not only a massive problem in China, but also occurs illegally in Canada.

“Selecting preborn girls for termination, simply because they are female, is an important example of the violence and discrimination that still exists against women and girls in Canada today,” said Steckle, who introduced a private member’s bill last June that would not allow abortion after 20 weeks gestation.

About 10 members of Parliament, Conservative and Liberal, greeted the crowd and others sent regrets. Several more, including cabinet ministers Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney, appeared at the annual Rose Dinner following the march.

The human rights focus echoed the message the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) issued April 30, stressing the fetal rights. COLF urged Canada to fill the “juridical void” because Canada lacks any law protecting the unborn. The message stressed the scientific evidence revealing the humanity of the child in the womb.

“Only three weeks after conception, its heart is already beating,” the message said, noting that at 12-16 weeks the fetus can “yawn, swallow, suck its thumb and hiccup.”

“From the first moment of its existence, the human being must be respected as a person,” the message, available at www.colf.ca, said. The Knights of Columbus co-sponsors COLF with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Campaign Life Coalition president Jim Hughes, who uses a clicker to count marchers, said he counted about 6,800 who marched through Ottawa and another 100 people who remained on Parliament Hill. Organizers hoped to reach 10,000 participants, but seemed pleased numbers exceeded last year’s by nearly 1,000.

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