Anti-abortion protesters hope Harper will re-open debate
Thursday, May 12, 2011
By Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA – Thousands of protesters gathered on Parliament Hill Thursday and marched through Ottawa streets to demand the federal government outlaw abortion.
“We won’t rest until, once again, a culture of life has been restored to Canada,” said Jim Hughes, the National President of the Campaign Life Coalition.
The anti-abortion organization has held an annual rally in Ottawa for 14 years. Church and school groups are among those who attend every year.
During the election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government would not support opening up the abortion issue.
“The government will not bring forward any such legislation and any such legislation that is brought forward will be defeated as long as I am prime minister,” Harper said.
Anti-abortion activists are not holding their breath for Harper to change the law. Instead, they are hoping newly elected MPs will lead the charge.
“Harper has never been pro-life and so we don’t expect much from him,” said Hughes. “We expect a lot from the backbench MPs though. We think the numbers have grown as a result of this election and we’re hoping they will bring private member’s bills that will begin limiting abortion and, eventually, if Mr. Harper is there as prime minister or not, the law will change.”