Every May, anti-choice protesters arrive in Ottawa for the "March for Life" -- the largest demonstration against the right to choose.
This year, COVID-19 has cancelled this in-person event, like many others. But what will it take to cancel the "March for Life" for good?
It may be easy to think about demonstrations like this one as being not a big deal -- after all, it only happens once a year. We know that most Canadians are pro-choice -- and most feel confident abortion is not under threat in Canada.
But "March for Life" events that happen in Canada and the United States share common goals, like ending access to abortion, that would result in taking away bodily autonomy and rolling back rights for many people in Canada.
Abortion isn't the only target. Many supporters of "March for Life" support conversion therapy and oppose same-sex marriage -- which has been legal for nearly 15 years. They oppose the right to die and legislation that protects transgender people from discrimination. They are some of the same groups that fought against Ontario's sex-ed curriculum, which had been updated to include topics on sexual orientation and gender identity.
To better understand how the intersection between the anti-choice movement and others pushes to roll back human rights, Action Canada reached out to Reverend Alba Onofrio, co-executive director of Soulforce, an LGBTQ+ non-profit organization that works to stop the ideological violence of Christian supremacy that is used to harm marginalized peoples. They explained that throughout the history of Christianity, there have been many different theologies on abortion and reproductive choice. But Christian supremacy is tied into the idea that to be Christian means to be anti-choice, and that it is morally righteous to harass and discriminate against people for exercising their right to choose: "This is not Christianity. This is about controlling bodies by punishing people who step out of line with patriarchy."
Learn more about Christian supremacy and Soulforce here.