The EFC at March For Life and Canadians' Mixed Feelings on Abortion
May 9, 2012
OTTAWA – On Thursday, May 10, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s (EFC) President Bruce Clemenger and Vice-President Don Hutchinson will speak at the national March for Life rally held in on Parliament Hill (Ottawa).
Shortly after noon, Hutchinson will open the rally in prayer, followed by Clemenger who will offer words of encouragement to participants. The March through downtown Ottawa will start at 1.30 pm, following the rally.
“Attendance at the March for Life has been growing for years,” states Hutchinson. “Last year, estimates put attendance at over 15,000 people. It’s a great opportunity for Catholics, Protestants and pro-life individuals from all backgrounds to take action in demonstrating their support for life, at all its stages. Outside of Canada Day celebrations, this is the largest annual event on Parliament Hill.”
The EFC will also be participating in a non-denominational Protestant church service at 10.00 am on Thursday. Information on the service is available below.
Increased attendance at the March for Life, as well as consistent national discussion on this issue, reflect Canadians’ general sense that there should be some form of restrictions on abortion in Canada. In February, the EFC released the report Abortion Polls in Canada: A Compilation by Topic of Opinion Polling in Canada from 2007-2012. The report contradicts the oft-quoted notion that ‘most Canadians are pro-choice’.
“The reality is that most Canadians aren’t aware that abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy in Canada. Only 21% of participants in a 2010 poll knew that ‘a woman can have an abortion at any time during her pregnancy, with no restrictions whatsoever,’” explains EFC Legal Counsel Faye Sonier. “While 13% of respondents were unsure about access to abortion, the rest, 66%, thought that there were restrictions on in abortion in Canada. Many thought a child could only be aborted within the first three months of pregnancy.”
“Canadians have mixed feelings regarding which limits should be placed on the practice of abortion, but most believe that limits should be set,” continues Sonier. “Asked when they believe life should be legally protected, 22% of participants in a 2011 poll said from birth, 59% believed that the unborn child should be protected at some other point during gestation. And, 92% of respondents in a 2011 survey felt that sex-selection abortions should be illegal.”
“Again and again, the statistics found while preparing this report demonstrate that a majority of Canadians believe there should be some limits on abortion in Canada,” states Hutchinson. “While Canadians who hold such a position may not refer to themselves as ‘pro-life’, they also don’t fit into the classic definition of ‘pro-choice’ either. But something tells them, whether their gut instinct or common sense, that there’s something wrong with abortion on demand, in any case, at any point and for any reason. Canadians are also frequently surprised to find out that the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1988 decision on this issue struck down a specific law because of Constitutional problems in applying the law as it was worded; and the court endorsed that Parliament has and can exercise its jurisdiction to establish legal protections for children in the womb.”
Don Hutchinson and Bruce Clemenger are available for interviews at the March for Life rally and throughout the day. Faye Sonier is available for telephone interviews.
The report, Abortion Polls in Canada: A Compilation by Topic of Opinion Polling in Canada from 2007-2012, is available for download here.
10.00 am at St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s Anglican Church
Protestant Non-Denominational Service
152 Metcalfe Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1N9
All are welcome.
For more information or an interview contact:
Rick Hiemstra, Director of Media Relations
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
(613) 233-9868, ext. 332