Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 4, 2002
Pro-lifers brave the cold
Group of 40 protests lack of abortion law
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Edmonton Pro Life's spirit was warmer than the -25C temperature when members picketed in front of the Alberta Law Courts Building Jan 28.
Organizers hoped for at least 10 people to show up, but more than 40 men, women and children walked with placards to protest 14 years of abortion lawlessness in Canada.
The day marked the anniversary of the day in 1988 when Canada's Supreme Court ruled that the country's already weak abortion law was unconstitutional.
With that ruling, the number of abortions skyrocketed to more than a hundred thousand a year. In Alberta alone, more than 10,000 abortions are performed annually.
As they walked along 98th Street, the pro-lifers displayed huge pictures of babies, aborted babies held in hand, and one of an aborted baby labelled "Canadian holocaust" parallel to a photo of Hitler's holocaust.
Slogans like, "Abortion kills children," "Abortion hurts women," and "Human right number 1 is the right to life" printed in bright colours greeted passersby on their lunch break.
It was sunny but definitely chilly. Thus, Irene Vanderveen, president of Edmonton Pro Life, was pleased with the attendance.
"We are here today to draw people's attention to the fact that for 14 years there has been absolutely no law protecting the unborn," Vanderveen told the WCR.
The group urges the government to reinstate the law that will protect unborn children and their mothers.
They also want the provincial government to stop paying for abortions, Vanderveen said.
Protesters drew some interest from people passing by and talked with some while others shrugged their shoulders.
After passing the protesters, a woman who did not want to be identified, expressed her disbelief that the protesters would be out in the cold to air their cause.
"Help me understand this. If this group is pro life, why would they bring their children out in the cold? They can get sick," the woman told the WCR.
Talitha, 10, came with her mother, Sherri Barsy to participate in the protest.
"We are here today, because we are protesting against people killing babies," Talitha said. "I came here today to say that what they are doing is not right, because God respects life."
Sherri Barsy believes "a lot of Canadians do not realize we don't have an abortion law at all and that is not acceptable."
"I don't think it is acceptable to kill a child inside a mother's womb."
When people have sex, the possibility of procreation is there. They already made a choice. When a baby came out of that act, their responsibility is to look after that baby and not to kill, Barsy said.
Denise Mountenay, author of Forgiven of Murder: A True Story, also took part in the rally.
"We just want to be witnesses for the unborn and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves," Mountenay told the WCR.
"I'm also here on behalf of women who have had an abortion and are hurting," said Mountenay, whose book is a account of the effects of her own abortion.
Thousands and thousands of women have had abortions and they are suffering in silence, Mountenay said.
"We want to warn women that abortion can hurt them physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically."
She believes that it is important to participate in public awareness actions.
"We want to tell the government that there are a lot of Canadians who do not condone abortion as a form of birth control," Mountenay stressed. "We do not want to pay for abortion with our tax dollars."
Teenagers Patrick Schiller and Mark Isinger both believe that "abortion is one of the biggest crimes that is going on in the world."
Patrick came with his mother, brothers and sisters to protest and say, "The innocent are being killed without cause."
Mark hopes the protest will reach others. "We want to let the government know and other people that we are still out here and we still fight for the right to life."