OTTAWA, Ontario, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As pro-lifers prepare for the National March for Life on May 10th, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging bishops and the faithful across the country to join their local marches.

At the same time, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), which was co-founded by the Canadian Bishops and the Knights of Columbus, is calling on the faithful to join the March as part of their “obligation” to ensure Canada’s laws protect the right to life from conception.

“Every year in Canada, some 100 000 of our most vulnerable neighbors are sacrificed on the altar of ‘choice’,” writes COLF in a new statement issued Monday. “We should … work tirelessly to insure that our laws are reformed in order to reflect the humanity and the fundamental right to life of our tiniest neighbors.  This is our obligation as free and responsible citizens.”

The Canadian bishops’ recently-announced Pastoral Initiative for Life and Family includes having the CCCB participate in the National March for Life on Parliament Hill and encourages “all members of the Church” to participate in the Ottawa march or in a local event held on the same day in most of Canada’s provinces.

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As part of the initiative, passed at their October plenary assembly, the bishops also plan to host a National Week for Life and Family from May 12-19, 2013, immediately following the March for Life. They urge the use of bulletin inserts to promote the event, including using one that will “stress the importance of supporting – with our presence where possible but, in every instance, with our prayers – the National March for Life.”

“Ideally, each Bishop will join his flock for the March for Life,” the bishops add.

In COLF’s statement, they warn that a failure to protect the right to life of the unborn has dire consequences, even for civilization itself.

“A society which tolerates abortion is a society which makes the human being a mere means to an end,” they write. “A society which continues to tolerate the destruction of its weakest members is one which will inevitably tolerate the destruction of the relatively weak, the disabled, the sick, the marginalized and the inconvenient.  Can anyone be safe and truly flourish in such a society?”

Along these lines, they highlight the recent call by ethicists in an Oxford University journal for “after-birth abortion.” The article showed us “where the logic of a pro-abortion culture leads: Infanticide becomes acceptable,” writes COLF.

They end with a call for pro-lifers to unite behind Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth in his effort to pass a motion calling on Parliament to reconsider the humanity of children in the womb.

“Clearly, it is the time to bring pressure to bear on our legislators to reopen the public debate on abortion,” they say. “Let’s begin by making it clear to our Members of Parliament that we support the efforts of MP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) to have Parliament revisit the scientific evidence regarding the humanity of the unborn.”

Find the Catholic Organization for Life and Family’s statement: The Urgent Need to Build a Culture of Life.

Find info on the National March for Life and the regional marches in provinces across Canada.