Cross-Canada pro-life knitting bee sends 6,978 pairs of baby booties to March for Life
OTTAWA, Ontario, May 12, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) --- A several-months-long cross-Canada knitting, sewing, and crocheting bee reached its culmination Wednesday when 6,978 baby booties were displayed on the grass in front of Canada`s Parliament Buildings, on the eve of the annual March for Life.
“Each one represents 15 abortions done every year in Canada,” Fiena Dykstra of Houston B.C, told LifeSiteNews. (Because several provinces conceal the number of abortions they fund, estimates of the total vary from 100,000 to 117,000).
Mrs. Dykstra herself crocheted 100 pairs, while teaching several weeks of crocheting classes to men, women and children who wanted to participate in the first-time event organized by the Association for Reformed Political Action, a group of Reformed Church activists aiming to bring Christian moral values to bear on Canadian politics.
In 2014, ARPA organized the planting of 100,000 tiny pink and blue flags in the grass in front of Parliament to demonstrate the abortion death toll. That project involved mainly 80 young people with the strong backs needed for the planting and removal. This time, ARPA organizer Niki Pennings told LifeSiteNews, “We were trying for a different demographic.”
They found it: though Mrs. Dykstra stresses the activity drew men and children, it apparently appealed greatly to women in church groups who knew or wanted to learn how to sew, crochet or knit, and in the pro-life cause found the incentive to do so. “This was a good idea because it was so symbolic of babies. But it was a Catch-22,” she told LifeSiteNews.
Mrs. Dykstra elaborated, telling a small audience gathered beside the 30-ft by 50-ft display of booties on Parliament Hill, “Desire proved strong to show the joy of preborn life. At the same time, sadness of preborn death hovers like a dark shadow.”
Originally ARPA’s idea was to produce 1,000 pairs from across Canada, but Mrs. Dykstra said the project proved so popular that in Houston and the surrounding Bulkley Valley alone, “we produced over 1,000,” as the word spread from church to church and friend to friend. According to ARPA’s Pennings, social media also proved crucial as people displayed their traditional skills via the new media, encouraging many emulators.
“One 88-year-old grandmother sent us 60 pairs,” said Mrs. Dykstra, who learned to crochet from her own grandmother. On Parliament Hill, she and other pro-life crafters spoke for several hours with passersby, then visited their MPs. She and others from Houston met with Skeena-Bulkley Valley New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen. Later packages of booties will be distributed to each MP, most with hand-written notes attached penned by the knitters expressing pro-life beliefs.
ARPA is asking each MP to send them on to pregnancy crisis centres in his or her riding. The bulk of the booties, said Pennings, will be sent directly to the pregnancy centres.
Speaking after Mrs. Dykstra, Conservative MP Kelly Block of Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek in Saskatchewan told her audience that preborn babies’ hearts start beating after only a few weeks, and their brainwaves become detectable a few weeks after that. “Whether there is a law or not does not stop the truthfulness” that these are human beings, she said.
Asked what her grandmother might think of how she had put her crocheting skills to use in Booties4Bablies, Fiena Dykstra told LifeSiteNews, “She would give me a big hug.”