Pro-life activists planted 100,000 tiny wire-stocked flags, half of them pink for girls, and half blue for boys, in the grass for 400 metres along Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday.
Expect to see them soon in provincial capitals across Canada.
The flags were planted by 80-plus volunteers and staff associated with the pro-life group We Need a Law in the early morning, and retrieved in the late afternoon.
“The flags have everything to do with awareness,” the organization’s spokesperson, Mike Schouten, told LifeSiteNews, noting that 100,000 is “approximately” the number of abortions done annually in Canada. “We are sending a message to parliamentarians to enact a law to protect pre-born babies and stop treating them as a political liability.”
Schouten said the public reaction was “mostly positive” with “many good conversations” generated with passersby. He was surprised by his own response, he admitted, and by that of his volunteers. “We had a visceral reaction in our guts. It’s kind of overwhelming, when you see this sea of flags and realize what every single flag represents.”
Schouten said the demonstration was also intended to encourage the many pro-life individuals in Ottawa to hold fast to their views and work for laws protecting the pre-born. “I think there is a groundswell of opinion here that is pro-life.”
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He added that “we want to partner with all kinds of groups across Canada,” mounting small-scale displays of 10,000 flags each in at least four provincial capitals.
Pro-choice advocate Joyce Arthur of Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada took a dim view of the demonstration. “It’s not possible to pass an anti-abortion restriction without compromising women’s Charter rights and discriminating against them,” she told LifeSiteNews. “Laws that only impact women are automatically discriminatory.”
Mike Schouten responded that “those in favour of abortion rights suffer from a cognitive dissonance that simply will not admit what science makes perfectly clear and everybody knows—that abortion involved another human being other than the pregnant woman.”
Schouten added that Thursday’s display of flags challenged “government to recognize the rights of those other human beings.”