WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ
Norma Chamut told the Alberta March for Life that the guilt for abortion goes deeper than anyone can imagine.
When Norma Chamut found herself pregnant with her fourth child she had an abortion.
"I believed abortion was my only choice," the woman told a large crowd at Edmonton's Churchill Square May 9. "I was just a drug-addicted prostitute back then and I didn't know Christ."
Chamut already had three children from three different men and wanted no more babies. She was five months pregnant when she had the abortion and learned her unborn baby's gender when a nurse approached her in hospital and said, "We made sure we got all of her."
With tears in her eyes, Chamut told the crowd, "She wasn't a clump of tissue. She was my baby and I killed her."
Chamut, a member of Silent No More, was one of several speakers at the sixth annual March for Life, which went from the Alberta Legislature to Churchill Square and then back.
Several hundred people took part in the event carrying signs that read: Life, the First Human Right; Life is the Only Choice; Life Before Birth and Creating a Culture of Life.
Speaking at Churchill Square, Chamut said she was at home breastfeeding her eight-month-old son when the guilt started to eat her.
"I couldn't do enough dope to take away that pain. I started doing drugs and I ended up giving my other three kids up because I couldn't look at them knowing that I'd killed my daughter."
That led her back to the streets.
"I was involved in sexual exploitation from the age of 12 to the age of 40," she told the crowd. "I understand that abortion hurts. It's a silent hurt that we carry. The guilt goes deeper than anyone can imagine. Every day I thank God that he's forgiven me for murdering my child."
One day she asked God for a way out and after doing rehab she joined a Christian Church in downtown Edmonton. "God heard me in my addiction, in my pain," she said. "He hears all of us. We need to stand up as a nation and quit killing our children."
Chamut said in Canada there's a $250,000 fine for wrecking an eagle's egg, yet women are allowed to have their babies killed.
"Stand up. Speak for the unborn children," she said. "I speak for my daughter when I stand up here and say 'I killed her' but yet I do no time because it's legal."
Paulette Dahlseide brought nearly 20 teens from Cold Lake, including two of her own, to the march. "We want to create awareness that abortion is wrong," she said.
WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ
Participants in the Alberta March for Life gathered in front of the Legislature befor walking to Edmonton City Hall.
That was the same goal of Patti Montgomery, who came to the march from Edson with her daughter Mikayla, 5, and her 16-month-old son Isaiah. "We came to celebrate life and to create awareness of the fact Canada has no law to protect the unborn," she said.
Carl Fakeley, a Catholic high school teacher in Red Deer, also spoke at the march. Abortion, he said, is not a religious issue but an issue of science and an issue of human rights.
"In fact, abortion is no more a religious issue than is any homicide you read about in the daily newspaper," Fakeley said.
"It's insulting when someone says to me, 'You believe that abortion is wrong because you are a Catholic.' No, I believe that abortion is wrong because taking the life of an innocent human is wrong."
Abortion is an issue of science, he said, because "it is science that reveals that human life begins at conception. Abortion is a human rights issue because the unborn child is a human and deserves all rights given to any other human being, the most fundamental of which is the right to life."
Fakeley said pro-lifers need to evangelize their friends and neighbours with the faith as well as with the truth about life and the unborn.
"We need to create a wold where all people regardless of faith, religious belief or lack of religious belief, are just as horrified when hear about the slaughter of the innocent unborn as they are when they hear about a horrific murder," he said.
"We need also to create a world where a woman who finds herself contemplating abortion has all the possible support she needs so that she will consider allowing her baby to live. It is up to us."
The March for Life is organized annually by the Alberta March for Life Association, an independent pro-life group whose mission is to promulgate the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the dignity of disabled people.
One strong supporter of the march is the Knights of Columbus, who led the marchers through the streets of downtown Edmonton.