TORONTO, Ontario, October 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Over 2,000 pro-life Ontarians stormed Queen’s Park on Saturday, calling on the province’s politicians to ‘Defund abortion!’ (See LSN video report on the rally)
“The only word I can say that would describe the rally is success,” said organizer Alissa Golob, coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition Youth. “2,000 people showed up to show their support to de-fund abortion. It made quite a statement – a statement politicians cannot ignore.”
The crowd, estimated at 2,300 by CLC national president Jim Hughes, called on Queen’s Park to drop abortion from the list of procedures covered by provincial tax dollars.
The rally followed a poll released October 13th showing that over 60 percent of Ontarians oppose the status quo of paying for all abortions.
The pro-lifers were challenged by a pro-abortion counter-protest of around 30-40 people. Though no elected pro-life politician showed up, NDP Member of Parliament Peggy Nash joined the pro-abortion rally to pledge her party’s “fierce” resolve on behalf of “reproductive choice.”
The pro-life crowd included a busload of 53 students and professors from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario.
Kathleen Dunn, 20, a third-year student at the college and president of its pro-life club, said she was convicted of the rally’s importance by her work in the health care system the last few summers, where she says she saw “the hurting that women go through when they have abortions.”
“Abortion is such an available option. And I think that if it wasn’t so available because of the fact that it’s funded, women wouldn’t feel pressured as much into choosing it, because it wouldn’t be such an easy thing to grasp for them,” she explained.
“From my experience, it was definitely a very, very important rally to be a part of, because defunding abortion is a huge step in making abortion unthinkable,” she added.
The event featured talks by youth leaders from across the province, as well as medical professionals speaking on the negative physical and psychological effects of abortion, a parent of an autistic child whose treatment is not covered, and a post-abortive woman who testified to the money drain that abortion has on taxpayers.
While the legality of abortion is a federal matter, the funding of abortion falls under the provinces’ jurisdiction over health care. The Canada Health Act requires provincial health insurance plans to fund medically necessary services, but it does not define abortion as medically necessary. As a result, if Ontario legislators deem an elective procedure to not be medically necessary, it does not get insured.
“The rally is just the beginning. Now is the time to force politicians to feel the heat,” said Golob. “It’s time to download the petition, visit your MPP, do your own demonstrations in front of your MPP’s constituency office – everything you can to send the message that the $30-50 million spent on abortions annually can and must be directed toward genuine areas of healthcare.”