With the failure of Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 to examine when human life begins, the discussion on abortion did not fizzle as Canada’s abortion cabal had hoped. Rather, discussion in the traditional media, blogosphere, and social media has been almost incessant since the motion failed to pass last Wednesday. It helped, of course, that Conservative MP Mark Warawa proposed another abortion-related motion almost immediately, this one calling on Parliament to condemn sex-selection abortion targeting females.

So what, exactly, did the pro-life movement gain from Motion 312? What does the Canadian debate look like following the uproar surrounding a motion that many originally thought to be inconsequential? What should the pro-life movement do moving forward?

First, it is important to remember that while politicians can force a discussion on abortion that the media can’t ignore, a top-down debate will not create the grassroots consensus needed for abortion restrictions. It is up to the pro-life movement to put boots on the ground, and use these opportunities to define abortion in the minds of Canadians. The average Canadian is extremely unlikely to change his or her mind on abortion based on what a pro-choice or pro-life Member of Parliament says in the House of Commons or in a media interview. However, with abortion being pushed to the front of national consciousness, it is imperative that the pro-life movement utilize this opportunity to explain to the Canadian public exactly who the pre-born child is and what abortion does to him or her.

Second, we must preserve and build on the level of engagement generated by Motion 312. An enormous amount of people who would normally be disengaged from the abortion debate, regardless of their pro-life views, got involved in an active sense by sending letters, e-mails, and making phone calls to their Members of Parliament. This can hopefully be carried over into the fight for Motion 408, but action items and ways to get involved with existing pro-life groups should also be pushed in order to swell the ranks of an already growing movement.

Third, any national discussion on abortion that creates a public dialogue is beneficial because it reveals to the Canadian public just how out of step Canada’s abortion pushers are with the views of the average Canadian. Are a minority of Canadians pro-life? Absolutely. However, it is important to remember that only a small minority of Canadians support the views of the extremist group the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) as well. Groups like ARCC and others are fully supportive of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason or for no reason, and paid for by our tax dollars. They don’t even get queasy about sex-selection abortion. Whenever they bare their claws and go after any public figure happening to deviate from their bloody orthodoxy (like Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose), the public is treated to a glimpse of how extreme their views actually are. This is very positive, as it leaves many people uncomfortable with calling themselves “pro-choice.”

Fourth, while it is essential that we continue to rally around those courageous politicians who are willing to put the lives of pre-born Canadians before their career ambitions, it is very important to expose the views of those politicians who continue to champion abortion. Politicians like Niki Ashton and Irene Mathyssen as well as Justin Trudeau, who suggested that Quebec separate from Canada if the government should ever deem it necessary to legislate on abortion, continually get a free pass for their illogical and unscientific views while pro-life politicians get hammered in the press. The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform is already taking the initiative to correct this problem by developing its “Face The Children” project, which will seek to educate Canadians on the positions of abortion-supporting politicians both online and with on-the-ground grassroots outreach.

Finally, it is important to recognize that the fight for abolition of abortion will be a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s important not to get discouraged following political failures. William Wilberforce spent two decades attempting to pass various pieces of legislation before finally succeeding in abolishing the slave trade. It’s going to take many more motions and bills before we get near our final goal—but it is not a goal that is out of reach. Great injustices have been faced and conquered throughout history—injustices that were just as ingrained into society as abortion is today.

As Stephen Woodworth so eloquently put it after Motion 312 failed to pass: “I want Canadians to remember that no great issue is ever determined by a single vote in the House of Commons. It remains for the Canadian people to rise up even more strongly in defense of laws which honestly reflect reality and in defense of human rights which are so shamefully violated by sub-section 223(1).”

It’s time to get to work.