This article was first published on LifeSiteNews.com, written by Anthony Murdoch.
October 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – COVID-19 restrictions gave organizers of Sunday’s Canadian-wide outdoor pro-life event Life Chain dual “silver linings” by allowing them to expand into new communities as well as seeing new people stepping up to help run the event.
“We weren’t short on silver linings. Due to the challenges that COVID-19 presented, including the social gathering limits, Life Chain ended up expanding into new communities and a number of new organizers stepped up too,” Josie Luetke, Life Chain Canada committee member and Youth Coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), told LifeSiteNews.
Life Chain took place nationwide on October 4 and thousands of Canadians took to the streets in cities and towns while following local COVID-19 guidelines to defend the sacredness of human life in protest against abortion, which claims the lives of approximately 100,000 Canadian babies every year.
Because of COVID-19 gathering limits for the 2020 event, organizers had to work with local provincial COVID-19 regulations.
Luetke noted that Life Chain was able to expand into many new communities in Ontario, such as Sutton, Beamsville, Vineland, and Welland. In addition to the new Ontario locations, Luetke told LifeSiteNews that new Life Chains were formed in Whitehorse, Yukon; Maple Ridge, British Columbia; Grande Prairie, Alberta; and Brampton and Mississauga, Ontario.
Luetke told LifeSiteNews that she could not say with certainty whether the new locations were created due to COVID-19 restrictions, but added that the commitment to the Life Chain with the restrictions in place was great to see.
“The fact that Life Chain went ahead despite all the obstacles and last-minute changes is a great reflection of the tenacity of pro-life grassroots. Our commitment to ending abortion is unwavering,” Luetke said to LifeSiteNews.
Luetke told LifeSiteNews that there were notably few counter-protesters at the 2020 Life Chains.
“While most Life Chains saw a lower turnout, which was expected, the response to the event, especially from participants themselves, has been very positive,” Luetke told LifeSiteNews.
Luetke also told LifeSiteNews that participants “were simply grateful to be able to take part in pro-life activism at all.”
First-time Life Chain participant Jacob Kociuba told LifeSiteNews that the event in Westlock, Alberta, gave him hope for the future by witnessing so many others who share the pro-life beliefs.
“When I arrived I was greeted by around 40 lovely people, most of whom were under the age of 25, which I was not only surprised to see but gave me an assuring sense of hope that many young people share the same beliefs as I do, that human life is sacred from conception to natural death,” Kociuba told LifeSiteNews.
“I thank God that nothing bad happened and it was a very peaceful demonstration. Some people were not happy with us being there, which I knew was going to be the case, but the people who were supportive greatly outnumbered the ones who were not.”
Life Chain took place in every province in Canada except Prince Edward Island and the territories of Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Due to restrictions in place because of COVID-19, event organizers asked each Life Chain group to follow their local guidelines as they pertain to outdoor crowd limits. They encouraged each group to create “mini” Life Chains separated by a few blocks.
Life Chain organizers were also adamant in reminding everyone that even “during a pandemic” people have the right to protest.
Attendees at previous Life Chain events have received opposition for their pro-life witness.
In 2018, a man was caught on video roundhouse-kicking a young female CLC staff member at a Life Chain event in Toronto. The identity of the attacker was later verified and he was charged with assault.
Life Chain events in Canada have been held every year since 1990, with the event first taking place in the United States in 1987, as “a peaceful and prayerful demonstration in support of the inherent dignity of every human being, from the moment of conception until natural death.”
For more information on Life Chain Canada, visit https://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/life-chain.
Life Chain events in the United States also took place on October 4, but another event is also scheduled for November 1.