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Canada’s March for Life in Ottawa: an Overview

Pro-lifers from across Canada gathered this month to march for life in Ottawa, Canada.

Newsroom (May 17, 2023, Gaudium Press) March for Life Week in Ottawa comprised a series of events organized by Campaign Life Coalition, a Canadian Pro-Life Organization working to acquire protection for human life from conception to natural death.

Wednesday’s events included mass celebrated at St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church, presided over by Ottawa Auxiliary Bishop Yvan Mathieu with numerous concelebrants including a priest visiting with a group of women from Nunavut who support women in crisis pregnancies. The celebration of the pro-life mass was followed by a candlelight procession to the Human Rights Monument, where a candlelight vigil took place to mourn the millions of lives lost to abortion in Canada.

Pro-lifers gathered around the monument to listen to meditative songs led by
Steadfast Worship and testimonies from various speakers, including Pastor Isaac Gimba, former abortionist Dr. Haywood Robinson, executive director of Aid to Women Mary Helen Moes, and 40 Days for Life Campaign Director Steve Carlen. A mother who chose life also came with her baby to give her witness about the beauty of choosing life.
These powerful events led up to the day of the march on Thursday, located on Parliament Hill.

Marchers were invited to participate in the National Mass for Life at Notre Dame Cathedral at 10:00am presided over by the Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall Marcel Damphousse. Following the bilingual Mass for Life, Marchers began to gather at Parliament Hill for the commencement of the rally at 12:30 pm. Pro-life speakers included among others, March for Life Organizer Debbie Duval and Campaign Life Coalition National President Jeff Gunnarson, MP for Peace River-Westlock Arnold Vierson, and the Canadian Coordinator of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign Angelina Steenstra.
After the talks, marchers gathered on the street with their pro-life signs and banners and began marching through the streets of Ottawa.

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Meanwhile, this year the pro-choice countermovement did not prove to dampen the spirit of the pro-life gathering, present in small numbers and as an isolated group.
On Thursday Evening, the Rose Dinner and Youth Banquet took place simultaneously at 6:00 pm at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre. In their respective events, adults and youth were able to meet fellow pro-lifers from near and far, engage in meaningful discussions, and hear from keynote speakers including the president of Campaign Life Coalition Jim Hughes at the Rose Dinner, and author and spokesperson for Turning Point USA, Isabel Brown, at the Youth Banquet.

Thursday’s action-packed schedule was followed by a day just for youth on Friday May 12th. On this final day of March for Life Week, young pro-lifers were invited to participate in a youth summit sponsored by Niagara Right to Life, beginning with morning mass at 8:00 am, followed by workshops and keynote speakers from 9:00 am –2:00pm. Keynote speaker Autumn Higashi from Students for Life of America passionately shared her personal call to the pro-life movement and why she continues to fight for life, and Dr. Callum Miller, Research Associate at Oxford University & UK Medical Doctor, discussed the dangers of the abortion pill.

The date has already been set for next year’s National March for Life in Ottawa, on May 9,

By Sarah Gangl

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