Ottawa — The Canadian Press Published on Thursday, May. 13, 2010 5:19PM EDT Last updated on Monday, May. 17, 2010 3:22PM EDT
The throng included hundreds of students drawn from the capital's Roman Catholic high schools. Many waved graphic signs with pictures of aborted fetuses.
Priests, ministers, nuns and even monks were scattered through the crowd, which RCMP estimated at about 10,000 people.
The theme of this year's March for Life – the 13th of the annual demonstrations – is that abortion constitutes a crime against humanity.
But politics was also to the fore. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he doesn't want to renew the abortion debate, but he sparked an outcry when he said government money earmarked for ambitious child and maternal health programs in the Third World won't go to abortions.
That won praise from Rev. Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada.
“We support this stance of the government not to finance abortion in countries of the Third World,” he said. “But we would like some more courage, some more courage to do something more in Canada in defence of the unborn.”
Angelina Steenstra of a group called Silent no More echoed the Rev. Ouellet’s statement: “I am pleased to see the prime minister of Canada using the resources of Canada to promote women's health by offering real concrete things to women to bring about life and to support life and to encourage life.”
A group of 21 members of Parliament, 18 of them Conservatives, addressed the enthusiastic crowd.
Dean Del Mastro, an Ontario Tory, said he's ready for a renewed abortion debate in the House of Commons. “Maybe the first step is to determine when this place believes that life begins,” he said. “I'm prepared to put my case forward. ... I'm prepared to have that conversation. Is the other side?”
Rod Bruinooge, a Winnipeg Tory who is president of the Commons' “pro-life caucus,” said the campaign must be waged one step at a time. “In the pro-life movement I think in Canada, it's always important to take steps, small steps, to acknowledge the value of the unborn.”
Jeff Watson, a southern Ontario Conservative, used the biblical phrasing of a preacher in his comments. “We can all declare that first of all we will have in Canada a culture that supports life from conception to natural death,” he said. “We will see that come to pass.
“And secondly, I think we can all declare together an end to the old debate about abortion and the dawn of a new day in Canada where abortion will be unthinkable. I think we can all say amen to that.”
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Harper fails to respect the fundamental principles of democracy and legal
rights. He assumes that because he has a "slight majority" that those who have
his ear, can tell him what to preach.
What is really disturbing is that he is now preaching to women and telling them that his government is on a war against abortion "anywhere"
It boggles the brain that he is cutting funding for abortion in third world countries and effectively dooming tens of thousands of women to death while getting an abortion with the likes of a rusty coat hanger.
Mr. Harper could have got away with cutting funding to the Gay pride groups, who traditionally voted for the No Dads Party.
Mr. Harper has simply show his Republican True Colours, a mindset of religious like decisions, based apparently on messages from god, or his representatives who get his ear in Ottawa.
Mr. Harper also fails to represent the middle of the road, established family values.
Take Equal Parenting. Just why is it that Mr. Harper has not supported a Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting after divorce?
His anti crime crusades are equally mindless and lack any semblance of logical let alone legal reasoning. He wants to reduce pardon times, he wants to incarcerate more all because its attractive to the red neck republican, mindless right who don't really give a dam about the long term effects to society as long as it complies with that insult to intelligence, Republican thinking.
Its enough to make you want to puke.