The annual National March for Life planned for May 14 in the nation’s capital, and its Alberta counterpart, have been cancelled and replaced with an online event.
However, the cancellation of the marches and rallies of thousands of pro-life Canadians may turn out to be a blessing if – by making the 2020 National March for Life an online event this year – the event’s reach is expanded.
“For all those who have always wanted to attend in the past but couldn’t, now they can participate,” said Debbie Duval, national capital organizer for the Campaign Life Coalition which has organized the event for more than 20 years.
“And for those who were going to attend, they can still participate this year.”
The March for Life is the largest single pro-life event held in Canada each year. The physical marches and rallies have been because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis and physical distancing measures.
Organizers have announced an extensive and wide-ranging series of virtual programing surrounding the March for Life that will be offered for the first time online.
The Virtual National March for Life starts May 10-12 with high-profile pro-life films and interviews, followed by a virtual candlelight vigil on May 13 and then online Masses and religious services on May 14 that will include a livestreamed virtual rally with guests from Canada and around the world.
“It is important for people to come together, gather together and share that experience together and that will never change, but this is something we can look at doing more of in the future,” Duval said. “We will see how it goes this year, what works and what doesn’t and how maybe this can be something in the future in addition to the annual march every year in Ottawa.”
Organizers are planning weeklong, online program building up to the day of the 23rd National March for Life, which marks the May 14, 1969 passing of the omnibus bill that allowed abortion on demand in our country.
“This initiative will also bring awareness to the killing occurring at the other end of the spectrum, near the end of life, with a focus on the proposed expansions to Canada’s euthanasia law,” the National March for Life organizing committee said.
There are also plans for a pro-life special on May 14 to be available on the EWTN TV network hosted by international pro-life speakers Kevin Dunn and Stephanie Gray.
That special “will focus on the most important life issues facing Canadians currently – and what we can do as a nation to rebuild a culture of life,” National March for Life said in a statement.
“Let us never forget that abortion is the greatest human rights injustice of our time, and even during this ongoing global health crisis, the killing of children before birth continues in our country,” organizers said.
“While we may feel immobilized due to stay-at-home orders, it’s up to all of us to mobilize online, in prayer and solidarity. Now, more than ever, it’s time to boldly let our political leaders know that the right to life needs to be protected, and celebrated.”