Thousands turned out for a recent March for Life event in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy Campaign Life)

Pro-lifers gear up for Canada’s biggest rally

National March For Life challenge to the Church: “RU-4LIFE?”

OTTAWA, ON—Canadians are rising up en masse, rallying around one word: life. During the last several years, the National March For Life has experienced exponential growth, increasing 25 per cent last year alone. RCMP officers told march organizers the crowd, which neared 25,000, is the largest annual gathering on Parliament Hill, outdone only by Canada Day.

“There is something exciting and exhilarating in participating,” says Johanne Brownrigg, a lobbyist with Campaign Life Coalition. “It’s a powerful witness when we come and pack the Hill and walk the streets. There’s something very exciting about being part of something larger than yourself. Participants build strength seeing others there.”

Now in its 17th year, the national march evolved from a humble beginning of 600 people to a three-day powerhouse event including prayer services across Ottawa, a candlelight vigil at the Human Rights Memorial, a youth conference attended by hundreds, speeches, dinner events and a mass rally on Parliament Hill. This year events are scheduled from May 7 to 9, with the rally kicking off May 8, at noon.

“When MPs look out their windows, they see Canadians making their voices and their votes known. MPs who are pro-life and go out on a limb repeatedly upholding the dignity of the unborn, they pay a price. When they see tens of thousands gathered, cheering them on, that is emboldening and encouraging.”

This year’s theme is RU-4Life. Brownrigg says it’s not just a catchy rally cry, but also an opportunity to educate voters about the RU-486 abortion pill. Clinical trials for the pill were stopped in 2001, following the death of a Canadian woman, however, the company recently filed a new application with Health Canada.

“RU-486 is a very dangerous abortive agent,” Brownrigg explains. “It’s imperative that we educate young people so they can talk to each other about the kind of drugs [companies] are trying to make available.”

Brownrigg believes the National March For Life challenges the government to recognize the voice of Canadians, calling for a law to protect the pre-born and saying no to dangerous abortifacients, like RU-486.

“This is one day in the year for Christians of all denominations to set aside their differences in theology and stand united with each other for the unborn, and that glorifies God.”

View a full-page PDF of this story: SOM Campaign Life 04-2014

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About the author

Senior Correspondent

Craig Macartney lives in Ottawa, Ontario, where he follows global politics and dreams of life in the mission field.