Anti-abortion, pro-choice protesters share why they are rallying in Ottawa

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Ottawa Thursday for the March for Life anti-abortion rally — an annual march, but the first since a leaked draft decision by the U.S. Supreme Court revived the anti-abortion movement.

That first draft opinion, written by Judge Samuel Alito and published by the news channel Politico, suggests a majority of U.S. judges are willing to override Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 decision that protected American women’s right to abortion — and return the issue to state lawmakers.

Access to abortion has also been an issue in the Canadian Conservative Party’s leadership race, with all candidates except Leslyn Lewis saying they are pro-choice or would not legislate on abortion as prime minister. Since the leaked advice from the US court, the federal government has announced: millions of dollars in funding initiatives it says it will improve access to abortion services and reproductive health information in Canada.

The March for Life anti-abortion march has been held in Canada’s capital for the past 25 years on the anniversary of the 1969 passing of Omnibus Bill C-150 in Canada, decriminalizing contraception and allowing abortion under certain circumstances, it said. the explanation. his website.

Counter-protesters also gathered in downtown Ottawa, holding a sign that read “Abortion is healthcare.”

Here’s what some protesters from both sides had to say.

Lucie Fortier

“I love, I love everyone. I love the people who take the pro-choice side, I love their babies and my heart breaks for them because I’m sure it’s not an easy decision for them to make a “You can have your baby, you can get help. You can even have your baby adopted, there are a lot of people who, you know, want to adopt.”

“I noticed the pro-choice is closer. I remember walking the streets and they would be in one section and now I notice they are across the street.”

“I just read that Mr. Trudeau spent $3.5 million more on the pro-choice side, I just think that’s wrong. I do. I just notice that life begins at conception, I believe, it is a life, it grows, it lives, it is not dead. Give it a chance.”

Karyann Alix

“I think it’s different, because for the time being the United States was a place where abortion was a normal thing. Like everyone could have it, except some states. But this year, with all the judges wanting to erase what they want the right for women to make our own choices about our bodies and everything that’s in our bodies. I think that’s why this year is different.”

“We still have to fight for our rights. As we see, there are a lot of people who are against women’s rights. So that’s why we’re here. And we still have to fight. And a lot of women and men think that in Canada abortion is something that will stay, but if we want to go back to about 10 years when Stephen Harper was there, he talked about taking the rights for abortion, so we never know if anyone is in power who wants to take their rights back for the women’s rights, we still have to fight for that.”

Chris Bergsma

We just show up to support the unprotected people in the womb. I think they need a vote. Exactly what we see every day in our country, the hundreds of children who are innocently slaughtered. So we’re here to support them, protect them and hopefully change them.”

“I think it helps, like we’re making progress. I think in the United States you see some change happening, some progress happening, so I think we’ll keep making more progress over time as long as we keep coming out to this one, keep talking.”

“We are peaceful protesters, we are only here to support life, we are not here against women, we are here for women. We want to support women when they need support with children.”

Alexandra Arraiz

I came out to show solidarity with everyone who stands up for reproductive rights for all Canadians and all people around the world.

I do not expect [the protest] to be really too dramatic, so I’m just going to join the people who have moved in by the parliament building, and just make our presence known, make our voices heard.”

Faye Latham

“I feel that life is so precious and we are just destroying innocent children. We adopted a boy from Bulgaria. He is now 30 years old and has also had children. But I am so grateful that his mother chose it to give him life … I met people who had seven, eight, nine abortions and his mother did not abort him, so I feel very strongly that as a grandmother I now want to stand up for life.’

“My heart goes out to these young people who are just screaming and angry. And it’s not the way. I was here when Roe v. Wade became law. And I hope it will be destroyed. It’s about time.”

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