Knights protest abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide at the 26th National March for Life in Ottawa
Canadian pro-life advocates, including many Knights of Columbus and their families, pledged to “Stand Firm” at the 26th National March for Life in Ottawa. Gathered on Parliament Hill for the May 11 rally and march, they took renewed inspiration from the overturn of Roe v. Wade in the United States to fight abortion and other threats to vulnerable human life in Canada.
Supreme Director Arthur Peters, past state deputy of Ontario; Supreme Director Arcie Lim, past state deputy of British Columbia; Supreme Director Daniel Duchesne, past state deputy of Québec; and Ontario State Deputy Marcel Lemmen were among the participants, and an honor guard of Fourth Degree Knights led the post-rally march through downtown Ottawa.
The annual event is organized by Campaign Life Coalition with support from the Knights of Columbus and other sponsors.
“This is God’s battle, we are his soldiers. Victory is guaranteed. We need only to follow him, be bold and step out of our comfort zone,” said Jeff Gunnarson, president of Campaign Life Coalition and a member of Galt Council 2184 in Cambridge, Ontario.
Also speaking at the pre-march rally, Supreme Director Peters emphasized the Order’s commitment to the dignity of life from conception to natural death.
“Today 28% of Canadians believe it is acceptable to include poverty and mental illness as justification to seek a medically assisted suicide. What a reminder of the importance of our efforts here today and all year,” he said. “Not just today but throughout the year, as Knights we stand united with the pro-life movement to oppose any attempt to harm a human being at any stage.”
Canadian Knights, Peters added, have donated almost CA$110,000 to pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes in the last 10 months through the Order’s ASAP (Aid and Support After Pregnancy) initiative.
“We will never yield in our support for mothers and children, both born and unborn,” Peters said. “And at the same time, we support the call for compassionate care options for those who are ill and need assistance to live. Providing support for the ill and dying should not mean taking care away from them, and poverty should not force people to seek a medically assisted suicide.”
Archbishop Marcel Damphousse of Ottawa-Cornwall, who earlier that morning celebrated the National Mass for Life in Notre Dame Cathedral, opened the rally with a prayer. Other speakers included Christine Gauthier, a disabled military veteran who was offered “medical assistance in dying” by a veteran representative as she sought a wheelchair ramp for her home; Angelina Steenstra of Silent No More Awareness, who spoke about her regret after receiving an abortion; Tanya Patry, a mother who rejected pressure to abort her daughter; and Dr. Calum Miller, a British doctor who changed his position on abortion during medical school at the University of Oxford.
“We have the truth on our side. And that is why we can have hope, because pro-choice people like me … can change their minds, however long it takes,” Miller said. “So never stop telling the truth and never stop telling it with love and grace. … That is what this movement is built on — it is built on telling the truth with love. So let’s keep doing that, and stand firm as if lives depend on it. Because they do.”