Beyond the March for Life

By  Virginia Mervar, Youth Speak News
  • May 22, 2014

I was one of an estimated 23,000 people of all ages and religious backgrounds on Parliament Hill for the 17th annual National March for Life, joining a busload of students from Msgr. Percy Johnson, Don Bosco and Fr. John Redmond Catholic Secondary Schools who joined the Salesians from St. Benedict’s parish.

But now that the march is over, I have to pose the question: how can students support and remain engaged in the pro-life cause beyond the March for Life?

Much of the excitement of the march remained in Ottawa, but much information was provided to the youth to take back to their schools and peers about the pro-life movement. Students were given plentiful resources, literature and web sites to visit from Campaign Life Coalition to develop ideas and arguments against abortion. They were also encouraged through workshops and speakers to use social media to promote the pro-life message, such as tweeting their Member of Parliament to bring political awareness to the movement.

The march through the streets of Ottawa on May 8 began and concluded on Parliament Hill. It was a peaceful walk, though a few pro-abortion protesters tried to disrupt the rally. Following the march, men and women from the Silent No More Campaign testified that their lives had been affected by the choices they made to have an abortion and the suffering they endured post-abortion, until they sought out healing. Students can use such testimonies as motivation to keep them metaphorically marching. Students feel that we are never told that men and women regret their abortions.

The night before, the Human Rights Monument outside of City Hall was the stage where Campaign Life introduced speakers who inspired with their personal testimonies and encouraging words for the march.

Representatives from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, the Sisters of Life and Campaign Life are willing to visit high schools or parishes to speak on any life issue topics to spread the pro-life message.

Following the rally, Campaign Life Coalition hosted a youth banquet where more than 1,000 young people listened to speakers on topics of chastity and theology of the body. Catholic author and chastity speaker Jason Evert spoke on seeing the beauty of the human person. Through facts and personal stories, he proclaimed that not only do we as humans deserve the right to life, but we also deserve the right to be loved.

Initiatives like the youth conference can empower young people, teach them to spread the message that human life has inviolable value and help them understand and educate others so that future generations will help make abortion illegal and an unthinkable act against human life.

Abortion not only harms the unborn child, but the parents of that child, and thus remaining silent against such an injustice is in itself an injustice. It’s a message that needs to go out every day, not just one.

(Mervar, 18, is a Religion and English student at the University of Toronto.)

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