WASHINGTON - The tens of thousands of participants at the annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 25 demonstrated just how determined they are not only by showing up in such large numbers on a bitter cold day but by continuing a 40-year tradition of protesting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion.

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For a quarter century Canada has had no law against abortion, but the quest for change continues

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OTTAWA - Pam Stenzel has made it her mission to make sure no teenager or young woman ends up with a sexually transmitted disease or unwanted pregnancy.

She told the more than 800 high school-age participants in the Youth Conference associated with the National March for Life that she did not want any of them leaving saying “Nobody told me” about the consequences of sex outside marriage.

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OTTAWA - The National March for Life drew almost 20,000 people to Parliament Hill May 10, making it the noisiest, youngest and most densely packed gathering in the March’s 15-year history.

An estimated 60 per cent of marchers were under 30, marching on the theme “Abortion Hurts Everyone.”

Marchers arrived on the Hill around noon to find police had barricaded about one-quarter of the lawn, reserving it for pro-abortion demonstrators. This forced the March for Life participants to crunch together, shoulder to shoulder, though only about 50 people appeared to represent the other side. The lawn reserved for pro-abortion demonstrators remained empty, as the counter-demonstrators formed a thin but noisy line along a section of the metal barricade.

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OTTAWA - Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast blasted the false sense of personhood that results in abortion on demand in Canada.

“We need to challenge the false idea that abortion is merely a private, personal decision,” the archbishop said in a homily at one of several Masses in conjunction with the National March for Life May 10. “The truth is, abortion hurts everyone — the developing child in the womb, the mother, the father, the extended family, the community and even our culture.

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OTTAWA - Organizers are anticipating a record turnout of marchers and bishops for the 15th National March for Life to be held May 10 in Ottawa.

More than a dozen bishops participated in last year’s March for Life, which drew 15,000 people, the largest crowd in the event’s history. An additional 10,000 people attended marches in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“We were absolutely delighted with the turnout last year and we’re looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year,” said Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) national organizer Mary Ellen Douglas.

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TORONTO - Three days after Christmas, the altar and pulpit of St. Michael's Cathedral were still adorned with wreaths and festive decorations. Parishioners and visitors filled the pews for a Wednesday evening Mass, only two blocks from the mid-Boxing Week rush at the Toronto Eaton Centre and other downtown retailers.

But the congregation wasn't gathered to celebrate the birth of Jesus — the people were there to pray for those yet to be born.

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OTTAWA - Whether it was the national anthem, the music echoing from Parliament Hill or the chants erupting in the streets of Ottawa, the voice of the 2011 March for Life was a youthful one.

That voice first belonged to 16-year-old singer Carly Taylor, who began the May 12 pro-life march by singing of O Canada. But she was quickly joined by the estimated crowd of 15,000, including thousands of youth and young people from more than 70 schools, chaplaincies and youth groups from across Ontario.

“You’re the landlords here,” MP Royal Galipeau of Ottawa-Orléans told the young people gathered in front of Parliament Hill. “People like me are just the tenants.”

Galipeau was one of more than a dozen speakers and witnesses to take the podium. That list also included Mario St. Francis, a former model and actor who came to the march from Washington.

Published in Youth Speak News

Coming on the heels of Mother’s Day, Deborah Morlani believes the timing couldn’t be more right for the National March for Life.

"It’s perfect timing for women to be showing that they’re proud to be mothers and that motherhood is a blessing," Morlani, a pro-life speaker and Catholic writer, told The Catholic Register.

The annual National March for Life takes place in Ottawa May 11 through 13, mere days after Mother’s Day. This year’s theme is "Abortion kills a human being." The aim of the march is to promote respect for life at all stages, from conception to natural death.

Morlani, along with taking part in the march, will be among the guest speakers at the march’s youth conference on May 13.

"I was conceived in rape when my mother was raped when she was 16, so I’ll be sharing my testimonial with youth," she said. The title of her talk is "Every human being deserves a chance at life: no exceptions."

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The annual March for Life in Ottawa on May 12 could be affected by the Alberta bishops’ decision to not take part in the Edmonton version of the march the same day. (Photo by Deborah Gyapong)

OTTAWA - Campaign Life Coalition has expressed disappointment at the Alberta bishops’ decision to forgo participation in the Edmonton March for Life.

The march takes place May 12, the same day of the Campaign Life-run National March for Life in Ottawa.  

“They should be there, supporting, participating and leading,” said Mary Ellen Douglas. 

But she noted that the fact the Alberta bishops were also involved in organizing the march might have been part of the problem. A pro-life march is not a Catholic event, as such, so it should not be run by bishops, she said.

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Archbishop Richard Smith

EDMONTON - The Alberta bishops will not participate in this year’s March for Life because organizers could not guarantee that placards displaying dead fetuses would not be present at the event.

Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, liaison bishop with march organizers, said the presence of images of aborted babies at the march is not consistent with the message the bishops want to portray about the dignity of human life. The graphic images “have started to become a predominant image in the march,” Smith said. Given that the Alberta bishops have been in the forefront of organizing the march, people could naturally assume that they have “given our blessing” to those images, he said.

This year’s March for Life is scheduled for May 12 and Smith said the bishops “will not stand in the way of anybody else participating.”

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2010 March for Life

OTTAWA  - The largest ever March for Life May 13 marked growing momentum for the pro-life movement.

The crowd estimated at 12,500 celebrated the recent defeat of the euthanasia and assisted suicide Bill C-384 and Parliament’s vote to not include abortion in a Canadian-led G8 maternal and child health initiative.

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