OTTAWA | Tensions were high yesterday in front of the Canadian parliament as many pro-choice activists were heard by participants of 25at national march against abortion.
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Some counter-demonstrators said they were concerned about the announced decline in women’s right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) south of the border.
“There is a stronger pro-choice reaction to what is happening in the United States. We are afraid that this movement will be followed in Canada”, said Émilie Hamels, as around her demonstrators sang “We are moving forward , we will not back down! “.
Emilie wore a red cape, a symbol inspired by the novel The Scarlet Maidby Margaret Atwood, where religious extremists who took power in the United States treated women like baby incubators, forced to give birth.
Theresa Thomson, who came from Peterborough to “walk for life”, said her ideas were not based on religion: “I only value the lives of unborn babies,” she said.
But, not far from him, priests in cassocks were praying as they walked with a delegation of students from a Catholic school in Kitchener carrying crucifixes.
To the crowd, Michael Wilson waved a Carillon-Sacre-Coeur flag, which he explained symbolized his desire to establish a Catholic state where abortion is not only illegal, but completely unthinkable.
Voluntary termination of pregnancy is back in the news, as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to overturn a historic 1973 decision that led to its legalization in the United States.
The leak has stimulated the anti-abortion movement in Canada, giving “courage and hope” to hear and achieve its goals, according to Jack Fonseca, director of political activities for the anti-abortion organization and Campaign Life Coalition.
An attorney from Louisiana, where elected officials gave their approval last week to a bill banning abortion, even participated in the event yesterday. Mat David Scotton came to talk about adoption as an alternative to abortion.
Well established lobby
In Canada, the anti-abortion lobby relies on many pro-life MPs to advance its cause:
More than a third of Conservative representatives have won here and the movement plays a strategic role in the current Conservative leadership career.
This political context is of great concern to women’s rights organizations.
“I think it’s a right that is not acquired, it can be revoked any time,” worries Elisabeth Viens, who came to Montreal to counter-demonstrate.
-With Guillaume St-Pierre
Recruiting anti-abortion activists to the school
Many children were present at the march in Ottawa.
Far from collapsing, the anti-abortion lobby is securing its future by recruiting directly from schools.
Edgar Acosta explained that he founded a rosary club at his Catholic high school in Ottawa to share his faith and beliefs.
“Life is sacred,” he said. If abortion is acceptable, it means killing someone is acceptable. »
Edgar is participating in a “pro-life” youth summit organized at a church in the capital near two primary schools. Hundreds of young people from across the country participated.
In the crowded church, a group of girls sang religious songs while accompanying themselves on guitar while waiting for the speakers ’speeches. Their kneeling companions are praying.
“My purpose in life is to end abortion in Canada before I die,” said one of the organizers, Julia Bissonnette.
Most of the participants were members of “pro-life clubs” built in public schools. Anti -abortion groups, such as the Oxford County Right to Life Group, also hold poster contests in elementary schools involving cash prizes of $ 50 to $ 150.
Many school delegations participate each year in the national march against abortion, which Joan Hamels annoyingly encounters among the ranks of counter-demonstrators.
“These schools use public money to organize private demonstrations against abortion,” she complains.