New Brunswick March for Life sets highest attendance record ever; 16 MLAs take part
FREDERICTON, May 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Organizers of the March for Life held yesterday in New Brunswick’s capital city, Fredericton, were delighted with the record crowd that came out to show their support for life and demand an end to abortion. Some 450 people - the biggest crowd in the past 12 years of the event - took part.
“The crowd was bigger, more youthful and more upbeat than ever,” said NB Right to Life’s executive director Peter Ryan.
Ryan told LifeSiteNews he is especially pleased that 16 of the 55 Members of the Legislative Assembly took part, including nine of the governing Conservatives and 7 Liberals. “It’s good for us to have the political respect. We are now looking for them to roll up their sleeves and work hard to protect the unborn and mothers.”
A new feature at the New Brunswick March for Life this year was the Mass for Life held prior to the event.
Two of the province’s four bishops, Most Rev. Robert Harris of Saint John and Most Rev. Valery Vienneau of Bathurst, concelebrated the Mass. In his homily, Bishop Harris said, “God is love, and from that love comes the free gift of life beginning at conception.”
“From that moment,” Bishop Harris said, “everyone has the right to life.”
Ryan told LifeSiteNews that altogether at least 16 clergy of several denominations took part in the March.
The theme of the 2012 NB March for Life was, “Pro-Woman, Pro-Child, Pro-Life,” and was co-sponsored by the NB Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women’s League of NB.
The rally gathered in front of the Legislature heard two women give moving testimony about their mothers’ choice for life rather than abortion.
Elisha Lakin and Lynn Bertin shared how their birth mothers chose life and adoption.
Elisha, now 23, said her now deceased mother had great courage at the age of 17. “She had a pregnant belly in front of her teenage peers, she dealt with all the scrutiny of disapproving looks from others, the disappointment of her parents, being pregnant without the man who fathered me to rely on. And she did all of that for me. She put a pause on her life so that I may live. She could have aborted me, she could have saved herself the trouble, but she didn’t. She was very brave, and she knew she was doing the right thing, not the easy thing.
“When one chooses abortion, they choose to say ‘no’ to someone just like me,” Elisha concluded.
Pro-life musician-activist Kathleen Dunn, who also performed at the National March in Ottawa, sang a song recently composed by her (http://kathleendunn.ca/) band “Survived ‘88” (referring to the Morgentaler court decision in favor of abortion), and addressed the crowd beginning with a quote from a youth of heroic example, Blessed Pierre Giorgio Frassati, who wrote: “To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth - that is not living, but existing.”
“This quote,” Dunn said, “gives me the inspiration to continue fighting for the truth amidst temptations to ‘go with the crowd’ and to ‘not ruffle any feathers.’ Often people try to convince me that standing up for the truth is only offending people and I should keep my mouth shut. But what a load of lousiness is that? Have any of the greatest world-changers of history been people who have kept their mouths shut? NO. They are people who have proclaimed the cold hard truth, often straight to their deaths.”
Kathleen went on to state, “Abortion, which tears the woman from her motherhood in a most concrete way, goes completely against her nature to love, to receive, to nurture - all that it means to be “mother.” Through abortion, woman is forced to be at odds with herself, in every sense of her existence: her body, her soul, and her nature. Abortion opposes woman’s natural tendencies towards hospitality, compassion, tenderness and acceptance of the other. To be direct, abortion is one of the greatest enemies of women as it attacks the deepest treasures of her femininity.”
Following the rally at the Legislature, pro-lifers marched along city streets to the Mother and Child House next to the Morgentaler abortuary, where a short prayer vigil was held. Later in the day roses were placed at the three main abortion sites in New Brunswick, in memory of some 1,000 New Brunswick babies aborted over the past year.