Monday, October 31, 2011

KW Life Chain and the Counter Protest

On October 2, 2011, KW Right to Life marked its Annual Life Chain Memorial in front of Grand River Hospital on King Street in Waterloo and approximately 150 people attended to bear a silent witness for life. The cold wet weather didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the crowd that lined the streets holding umbrellas over signs that read, “Abortion Kills Children,” and “Life is Precious.” We were joined by over 30,000 people nationwide who decided to stand up for life in their own communities.

This year, I had the privilege of addressing everyone at the end of the event. The theme of my talk was Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” The message was simple: The ‘bad news’ highlights how important our work is to protect life at every stage, and the ‘good news,’ including the progress that we make and the large number of people standing up for life, reminds that we can be successful and encourage each other along the way.

I spoke of the importance of our work and how travesties of justice, like the mother who strangled her newborn baby and was set free by an Alberta Appeals Court using the justification that Canadians accept abortion and would sympathize with the mother, demonstrate how hard we need to work to change our culture.

I also spoke about the fact that we have had a number of successes. That there are many pro life MPs and MPPs, that the federal government has prevented abortion funding from being included in international maternal health funding, and that a new movement is beginning to lobby for the defunding of abortion. (On October 22, a rally at Queen’s Park hosted 2,300 pro life witnesses.)

The really interesting part about this year’s life chain was the presence of a counter protest with 12 pro-abortion protesters on the other side of King Street. Their presence was a clear sign that our work is having an impact. They were not nearly as prepared for the weather as the pro life crowd, as they did not have umbrellas and were soaking wet by the end of it. At one point, I wanted badly to cross over the street and offer to hold my umbrella over them. I chatted briefly with some of the protestors afterward. They were passionate but polite and real. I left hoping that I would get another opportunity to talk to them, to better understand what they are thinking, but more importantly to stress the value all human life.