The Aid to Women crisis pregnancy centre in Toronto is located in the same building that houses an abortion clinic. Google Street View

Virtual pro-life march inspires young supporters

By  Bernadette Timson, Youth Speak News
  • June 3, 2020

COVID-19 has shut down schools and halted public rallies, but it couldn’t stop young pro-lifers from supporting their cause at the second Toronto March for Life on May 15.

Following the lead of the National March for Life, the Toronto event was live-streamed over its website (torontomarchforlife.ca) and organized by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR), Toronto Right to Life and the activist organization We Need A Law.

“Our goal for the March is not just to have one day where we affirm each other in our pro-life position, but to have one day where we can re-equip ourselves, encourage each other and then get back out there in the culture to change hearts and minds on this issue,” said CCBR communications director Jonathon Van Maren.

The web event brought together people from pastoral, political and educational fields to share their passion and insights for the cause.

The webinar’s message left a strong impression on Nina Govaert, a member of Youth Protecting Youth pro-life group at York University in Toronto.

“It’s not just a religious issue. If you believe that abortion ends a human being’s life and that all human beings deserve human rights, then you are pro-life,” said Govaert.

Adam Sinclair, the president of the Ryerson University branch of Toronto Against Abortion, tuned into the event because he says there is a need for more men to join the fight against abortion.

“If men can somehow benefit, even financially from abortions, either by performing them, exploiting their girlfriends or even forcing them to get abortions, then there should be men to speak against it,” he said. “The March for Life helps you to become aware of where the resources are, like where to sign up.” 

Success and setbacks were both on the agenda for the virtual event. One topic was the effects of Ontario’s Bill 163 — the so-called bubble zone law passed in 2017 that prohibits pro-life demonstrations or counselling up to 150 metres from a abortion clinic.

Another presentation spotlighted the work of Aid to Women, the only pro-life crisis pregnancy centre in Canada that is located in the same building occupied by an abortion clinic.

The Toronto organization has seen its client intake rise “over 700 per cent” the past two years, according to Mary Helen Moes, the centre’s executive director.

She attributes some of this  growth in the 35-year-old centre to an increased online presence and more young people becoming involved in the pro-life movement.  

“We work with women to provide whatever is necessary to help them make life-affirming choices,” she said. “That can be practical support, professional counselling, housing, financial, legal and material aid such as diapers, clothing, strollers and car seats. And this support is a firm commitment, not just until the child is born, but until the child is two years of age.”

(Timson, 21, is finishing her Event Management studies at Humber College in Etobicoke, Ont.)

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