Featured Image
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition during a press conference at the Ottawa Press Gallery.

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Over a thousand people tuned in to view a screening of a powerful film about euthanasia and assisted suicide for day three of the 23rd annual National March for Life in Canada. The event is taking place virtually this year because of the coronavirus.

The screening of Kevin Dunn’s Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death, was preceded by a conversation with Campaign Life Coalition (CLC)’s Youth Coordinator Josie Luetke and Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Schadenberg also served as co-producer for Fatal Flaws.

“It was a joy to see people tuning in not only from all across Canada, from Athabasca, Alberta, to Dieppe, New Brunswick, but also from the United States,” said Luetke.

“I'd watched Fatal Flaws before, but even re-watching it, I was brought near tears once again — to see how fragile life is, and how we've inexcusably permitted physicians to decide just to throw it away if they deem someone weak and helpless.”

Debbie Duval, the national capital organizer for CLC, told LifeSiteNews that one viewer was struck by how “oblivious” Canadians are to the issue of euthanasia.

“What struck me the most about the movie Fatal Flaws is that we are oblivious to the potential dangers of euthanasia in Canada, and after watching the movie and seeing what happened in Belgium and the Netherlands, we should be motivated to stand up against euthanasia,” said viewer G. Keenan.

The live stream of Day 3, and all other days of the 2020 Virtual National March for Life, can be seen on CLC’s YouTube channel

Schadenberg noted in his conversation with Luetke that Fatal Flaws is the second film in a series, with the first film titled Euthanasia Deception.

He noted that Euthanasia Deception focussed on the issue from the perspective of Belgium and Canada, and after its debut, he said he faced criticism that it was “too one-sided.”

This prompted him to begin production on Fatal Flaws, which features interviews from individuals from both sides of the spectrum.

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Euthanasia was legalized in Canada by the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016 with Bill C-14. In their conversation, Schadenberg spoke with Luetke about Bill C-7, which was introduced in February and expands on Bill C-14.

“Bill C-7 is really bad; it’s really, really crazy. If it’s passed, it would make us [Canada] the worst jurisdiction in the world, and it needs to be stopped,” said Schadenberg to Luetke.

Bill C-7 came about as Trudeau's acceptance to a Quebec court decision last September. That ruling struck down the requirement that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” to qualify the person for death by lethal injection.

In an analysis of Bill C-7, Schadenberg said the bill will further expand Canada’s euthanasia laws, allowing for the lethal injection of individuals who are not able to properly consent. This would be for those with dementia and who have issued an advance directive asking to be euthanized in the future.

For Sunday’s kickoff of the Virtual March for Life, more than 3,000 tuned in to view a free screening of global pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha’s documentary Strings Attached. Sunday’s event saw such a high demand that for a brief time, the site crashed. 

Day 2 of Canada’s virtual March for Life featured two powerful pro-life films, Crescendo and Sing a Little Louder

More than a thousand tuned in to view the films, which included a conversation with CLC’s global policy and advocacy adviser, Mattea Merta, and the producer of the film, pro-life activist and film producer Jason Jones, who is the founder and president of Movie to Movement.  

CLC decided in April to hold this year’s March for Life virtually, as the coronavirus health restrictions on public gatherings made it impossible to conduct the march in Ottawa. 

CLC is the largest leading national pro-life and pro-family political lobbying group in Canada. The CLC virtual Canadian March for Life started Sunday and will continue until May 15. This year’s theme is “Be not afraid Canada!”

Being in a virtual format, the 2020 March for Life will replicate some of the March’s usual mainstays, such as the candlelight vigil, Masses, and a rally.  

The “virtual” march will take place on Thursday, May 14. This day is chosen for the March as it is the same day 51 years ago in 1969 when abortion was legalized in Canada. This was the day when then–prime minister Pierre Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s father) passed a heavily criticized omnibus bill that amended the Criminal Code to allow abortions to be done in hospitals.

This law remained in effect until the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the 1969 law as unconstitutional in the 1988 Morgentaler decision. The law was removed on a technicality, however.  The court ruled that it violated a woman’s Charter right to security of the person since the law could not be applied equally across the country. 

The court encouraged the Canadian Parliament to come up with replacement abortion legislation. This effort failed when then–prime minister Brian Mulroney’s draft law failed in a Senate tie vote. Canada has since had no abortion law at all, thus abortion is permitted through all nine months of pregnancy.

Today, there was a pro-life Mass in memory of Fr. Alphonse de Valk, CSB, followed by the virtual candlelight vigil for victims of abortion.

Thursday’s program begins with the National Mass for Life from Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral starting at noon EST. It will be celebrated by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. 

The Mass will be followed by a “Be Not Afraid” pro-life special hosted by EWTN’s Doug Keck. The virtual march will then take place from 2:30 to 4:40 P.M. EST, which will include a “great lineup of pro-life, religious, and political leaders,” according to the March for Life website. 

The Virtual March for Life will end Friday, May 15, with a pro-life webinar organized by CLC’s Youth and Niagara Region Right to Life. 

Before the evening ends, there will be a free one-time screening of the film Because of Grácia, which will include an interview with the film’s director, Tom Simes.