By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. While my family and I are on vacation, we are running some of our favorite NRL News Today stories from the last four months, entries from our “Roe at 40″ series, and an occasional update.
Canada’s March for Life began last night with a Candlelight vigil for the victims of abortion and continued today with an estimated 20,000 pro-lifers marching on Parliament Hill for their annual rally.
Mirroring the growing importance of the issue in Canada, the March was organized around the theme of ending Gendercide—sex-selective abortion which almost always targets unborn baby girls.
News accounts described the crowd as chanting, “Save Girls.”
According to Life Site News the standing room only crowd that gathered last night for a pro-life Mass at Ottawa’s St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish “marched to the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights Monument in downtown Ottawa for a Candlelight Vigil where 1,600 young and old honored the victims of abortion with prayer, songs, and speeches.”
“Every single person here is put here by God,” said Alissa Golob of Campaign Life Coalition Youth, which organized the vigil. “And every single person here has gifts from God. And every single one of you right now are using those gifts to be the voice for the voiceless.”
On Parliament Hill today, former Liberal Member of Parliament Pat O’Brien was among the speakers at the rally.
“We stand here on Parliament Hill, and we say to the leaders behind us, ‘Be not afraid, be not afraid of the debate. It’s time to have the debate,'” he said, according to CBC News.
CBC News’s Laura Payton added, “Organizers of the annual rally and march through Ottawa’s downtown streets said yesterday at a news conference that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been trying to shut down any form of debate related to abortion. Harper has consistently said he will not re-open the abortion debate while in office.”
At that same news conference to kick off events, Matthew Wojciechowski of the Campaign Life Coalition said Canadians want to talk about an issue the federal government is ignoring. “As thousands of pre-born children at various stages of development are killed every year in this country, our government continues to do everything in their power to avoid having an intellectual conversation on this fundamental human rights issue.”
The fight over even having a chance to address the issue in Parliament has made news for weeks. As NRL News Today reported Tuesday and Wednesday , Conservative Member of Parliament Mark Warawa has worked unceasingly to raise the visibility of female gendercide.
His party has stymied his efforts merely to speak on behalf of his motion to condemn the discrimination against females through “sex-selective pregnancy termination.” But thanks to what’s being described as “landmark” victory, Marawa was scheduled to speak today.
Last month Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled that Members of Parliament “are allowed to make statements and ask questions without their party’s consent,” according to Laura Stone of Global News.
This welcomed turnabout came because Marawa refused to give in. He “complained to the Speaker that his privilege as an MP had been taken away,” according to Stone. “In the days that followed, about 10 fellow backbenchers stood up in the House to support him, a rare sight and symbol to some that Harper’s control over his caucus was waning.”
Although Scheer ruled that Warawa’s privilege as a MP had not been breached, he also said, “MPs have the right to stand up and speak in Parliament without their party’s permission.”
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