Faytene Grasseschi will lead 25 women on an ambitious awareness walk from Montreal to Canada's Supreme Court in April and May. The women will walk 200 km (nearly 125 miles) for 25 years of abortion in the nation.
"2013 is the 25th anniversary of no laws on abortion in Canada. Many Canadians do not realize it is actually legal to abort a baby up to birth in Canada. ... Because of this we knew we needed to do something special to bring awareness," explains walk organizer Faytene Grasseschi.
It was in 1988 that the R. v. Morgentaler case went to the Supreme Court of Canada. The judge who ruled in the case was Justice Bertha Wilson. She struck down the law at the time and charged Parliament to determine at which point a child in the womb should be deemed worthy of protection. To this day Parliament has never been able to pass such a piece of legislation. Because of this, Canada is joined with only two other nations in the world, China and North Korea, which also allow abortion at any phase of pregnancy.
As the 25 women walk, they are representing the 25 years since 1988. Their goal is not only to bring awareness to the current legal state of the nation, it is also to share their personal experiences.
"We were amazed," explains Grasseschi, "when we put the invitation out for women to apply and began to read the applications. We had no idea that almost every woman would have a very personal reason for applying, and many with very painful abortion stories to share."
She goes on to say: "What we quickly realized was that, in the name of choice, so many women in Canada have felt like they did not have a choice. So many women have been pressured into abortion and carry deep pain from that harassment. This really is the untold story of abortion in Canada."
The organizers are careful to emphasize that the tone and spirit of the walk is not angry or hostile, but simple, loving, honest and authentic. The 25 women are from various cultural backgrounds, regions, social backgrounds and ages, and many are already doing public speaking events where they are sharing their reason for walking. Video interviews of some of the walkers have already been released and are getting strong viewership on the Internet.
The walkers will begin in Montreal on the morning of April 28 and arrive in Ottawa to converge with March for Life, which is expected to draw more than 20,000 Canadians, on May 9.
"With every step we take we are walking for our own restoration, our mothers, our sisters, our friends and our future nation. We count it an honour to share our stories in the hopes it will help other women and open many eyes in Canada," says Grasseschi.
To find out more about the Back to Life Walk visit backtolifecanada.com. Click below to watch a promotional video.