Thousands Attend ‘March for Life’ Anti-Abortion Rally in Ottawa

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Thousands of people gathered on Parliament Hill for the annual March for Life anti-abortion rally on May 12, with supporters calling for upholding the right to life for every human being from conception to natural death.

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the organizer of the National March for Life rally, said in a news release that the purpose of the event is to fight “government-sanctioned abortion-on-demand and euthanasia.”

“The National March for Life, at its core, is a protest against the greatest human rights injustice of our age. Because of the urgency and importance of life issues like abortion and euthanasia, we have a duty to hold our legislators to account,” said Debbie Duval, CLC’s national capital organizer. “The law must protect life, not sanction its termination.”

The 2022 March for Life rally focuses on the theme of “I AM,” a first-person declaration of a human being’s rights to exist. The CLC says on its website that “‘I AM’ is a claim to existence—an assertion that says ‘I am her! Notice me!” and “‘I AM’ demands a law to protect the preborn.”

“Debates about abortion are characterized by phrases like ‘women’s rights’ and ‘My Body, My Choice’—as if there wasn’t another human involved and whose rights must be taken into account,” CLC said.

“The preborn are real. They have already entered into this world, even though they may be hidden from us most of the time—revealed only in brief snapshots through ultrasound technology.”

Epoch Times Photo
Pro-life supporters gather for a “March for Life” rally in Ottawa on May 12, 2022. (Limin Zhou/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Pro-life supporters gather for a “March for Life” rally in Ottawa on May 12, 2022. (Limin Zhou/The Epoch Times)

On March 12, demonstrators were seen holding signs that read “I AM a human being” and “I AM equally human, equally valuable” at the rally in Ottawa.

The police told The Epoch Times that over 2,000 people are estimated to be participating in the rally, though the actual number could be higher as the police continue their count.

Support from Pro-Life Parliamentarians

Led by Tory MP Arnold Viersen, a group of pro-life parliamentarians also appeared at the March for Life rally on Thursday to voice support for the movement, including Cathay Wagantall, Damien Kurek, Garnett Genuis, Glen Motz, John Williamson, and Kelly Block.

“I’m happy to stand up for human rights. Human rights begin when the human begins. Modern science tells us that human beings begin when the sperm meets the egg, so human rights begin when the human begins. So I’m happy to stand up every day … to defend human rights, including the human rights of the unborn,” Viersen said.

Wagantall said she is currently working to deliver a private member’s bill on the issue of abortion. Last summer, she introduced the Sex-Selective Abortion Act (C-233), a bill that would amend the Criminal Code to “make it an offence for a medical practitioner to perform an abortion knowing that it is being sought on the grounds of the child’s sex.”

Wagantall also read a letter from Conservative leadership race candidate Leslyn Lewis, who was unable to join the rally in person.

“I want you to know that I stand with you. I stand with you in your fight to be heard by your government, as you call for action on behalf of the vulnerable and the unborn,” Lewis said in her letter.

“I know exactly what it’s like for a woman to be staring at the future you worked so hard towards and to suddenly find yourself pregnant at the beginning of your career. I remember person after person told me I had to choose my baby or my career,” she continued.

“I won’t pretend that it wasn’t a challenge to build a successful law career with a family but I am grateful every day that I did. My children have shown me the power of choosing life. I am pro-life. I believe every single life is intrinsic and undeniably valuable. I have never been ashamed to say that.”

Epoch Times Photo
A demonstrator holds a sign as thousands of pro-life supporters gather for a “March for Life” rally in Ottawa on May 12, 2022. (Annie Wu/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Thousands of pro-life supporters paraded in a “March for Life” rally throughout downtown Ottawa on May 12, 2022. (Annie Wu/The Epoch Times)

Ontario Party Leader and former Conservative MP Derek Sloan also appeared at the rally, where he applauded Lewis for being pro-life, while chastising other Tory leadership candidates for backing abortion.

“I was disgusted that most candidates were tripping over themselves to brag about how pro-abortion they are. That’s very, very unfortunate,” Sloan said.

“It’s time that we say in this country that, to be a conservative, you should be pro-life,” he said. “We may disagree on how to get there, we may disagree on what policies should be used, we may disagree on whether the answer lies in politics or outside of politics in terms of addressing this culture of death. But the idea that someone could be entirely neutral on the issue, could be entirely hands-off when it comes to unrestricted abortion in this country, that is a shame, and frankly, it comes from cowardice.”

A counter-demonstration by a relatively smaller group of pro-abortion advocates also took place near Parliament on May 12.

The March for Life protest comes a week after the re-emergence of the landmark Roe v. Wade case in the United States, which brings renewed attention to the issue of abortion on both sides of the border.

Demonstrators were scheduled Thursday to begin a parade through downtown Ottawa starting from Parliament Hill at 1:30 p.m., and to return to the Hill for a “Silent No More” awareness presentation at 2:30 p.m.

In a statement, Ottawa police advised against travelling to downtown Ottawa, where commuters can expect traffic disruptions due to the pro-life rally. The police said they will carry out rolling road closures starting at 1 p.m. The vehicle-exclusion zone—set up after the three-week “Freedom Convoy” protest at the national capital earlier this year—remains in effect on Wellington Street between Bank Street and Elgin Street.

The Canadian Press contributed to this article.

Andrew Chen

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Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.

Limin Zhou

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Limin Zhou is a reporter based in Ottawa.



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