Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 24, 2010
Many voices witness at March for Life
Bishops, members of Silent No More, school superintendent offer their views on life's beauty
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Pregnant at 19, a confused Amanda Jepson went to the Morgentaler Clinic to get information on her options.
But, as the mother of two told hundreds of pro-life supporters May 13, "they never talked to me about any options."
"They said if I wasn't ready to have the baby, then abortion was the safest and easiest option for me."
Jepson, now 30, said clinic staff told her the abortion would be painless and quick and that there would be no long-term side effects.
"And I am here today to tell you that those were all lies," a sobbing Jepson told the pro-life crowd. "It was very, very painful. It was painful emotionally and physically."
Jepson, a member of Canada Silent No More, a non-profit support society for people affected by abortion, was one of several people who spoke at the third annual Alberta March for Life.
THE WORST CHOICE
"My message to you today is that of all the things I have done - and I have been a single mom, a teenage mom and a married mom - the worst choice I ever made was to terminate a life," she said.
"Abortion not only affected me but it affects my born children and my husband. Abortion not only kills small babies but it kills the soul of a mother."
Under the theme Life Before Birth, about 1,300 people gathered at the Alberta Legislature to hear speeches before they marched through the city centre to Churchill Square for more speeches and back again.
Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith and Calgary Bishop Fred Henry were among four Alberta bishops who made the six-km walk. The Knights of Columbus led the march, which was held in conjunction with similar demonstrations in Ottawa and in cities across Canada.
According to Denise Mountenay, founder and president of Canada Silent No More, 10,000 abortions are performed every year in Alberta and about 100,000 across Canada.
Life has dignity in all its aspects from its very conception, said Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton.
"Let us be vigilant in our call to lift up our hearts to God by ensuring that our voices are heard among our own families, among our friends and neighbours, among our spiritual and government leaders that human life is indeed sacred and that every human life is sacred from conception until its natural end."
"We believe that a complete approach to life issues seeks to value every human person and defend every life from beginning to end against injustice," said Joan Carr, superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools.
Carr said those who defend the right to life of the unborn must also support "the quality of life of the powerless," including the hungry, the homeless, the sick and the unemployed.
"Your presence here today is an affirmation that the life of every person, regardless of age or status, should be protected."
Some speakers also applauded the Harper government for its stance against funding abortions in the developing world.
"I came to show that abortion is morally wrong and there are better options for people that are thinking of having an abortion," said demonstrator Justene Poulin, 22.
"Rather than having an abortion, mothers could give up their babies for adoption," added Poulin's friend Emma Bergeron, 13.
Maryann Testa of Beaumont attended the rally with her two children "to demonstrate that, contrary to what is believed, there are people who are against abortion. "
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