A few weeks ago, members of uOttawa Students for Life did some chalking around campus, helping to bring messages of truth and of love for preborn children and their mothers to our fellow students.
This morning, members of uOttawa Students for Life joined almost one hundred other volunteers from We Need A Law to plant 100,000 blue and pink flags on Parliament Hill. Each of these flags represents one of the 100,000 children killed by abortion in Canada every year since the Morgentaler decision in 1988.
The children represented by these flags were not much loved in life, and have rarely been remembered in death, except perhaps by their mothers and fathers, many of whom grieve by the loss of their children to abortion. But for most of us, these children’s lives ended so soon after they began that their deaths passed us by unnoticed and largely uncared for.
Today we took a stand to remember these children and to witness to the injustice committed against them. These children will never laugh or cry. They were never read a book or watch a play. They will never see a sunset. And they will never feel the embrace of the one they love. They were killed before any of that. They are victims of our individualist and consumer culture, as are their parents. But they will not go unremembered, at least not while we have anything to say about it.
Because we are pro-life. We want the unwanted. We defend the defenceless. And we witness to the beauty, the power, and the meaning of every single human life from conception till natural death.
The abortion debate is characterized by a mess of misinformation, fallacy, and ignorance. Objections about the quality of a child’s life, a woman’s personal choice, a child’s wantedness, and children of rape are all, in reality, surface level arguments that attempt to mask the real problem faced by pro-aborts: how do they redefine a fetus’ personhood? Most people would agree we can’t kill an 3 year old girl because her mother can’t afford to feed her; we don’t give a mother a “personal choice” to end her life because she is unwanted. A university student cannot be knifed in the back because he was a child of rape. These are not the real issues. In order to justify abortion, it must be established that they do not have any human rights; they must be denied personhood.
Denying personhood is not an easy intellectual or philosophical feat, which is why the above arguments are favorites of those defending the killing of unborn children. Science will not help them out; the evidence clearly shows that a fetus is alive, growing, and has human parents. According to the law of biogenesis, this fetus is human. It’s not a parasite, and it’s not an organ. The problem a pro-abortion intellectual faces is the redefinition of life. They must discern when, if not at conception, human rights do apply. Canada’s criminal code defines it as the moment that the child is completely born; this legal definition has no foundation, no scientific rhyme or reason, and is essentially indefensible from a philosophical standpoint. Others have tried harder to find that crucial point at which human rights apply, and have been forced form conclusions that cross accepted social boundaries. Philosopher Michael Tooney argues that in order for a human to have rights, it must be capable of having interests. Because an unborn child or a newborn presumably does not have the ability to take interest in it’s abilities or future, it does not deserve the protection of its life. Taking a similar but not identical stance, Peter Singer states that a being’s humanity is irrelevant to the wrongness of killing it; rather, it is characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that give someone human rights. He argues that infants and the unborn do not possess these characteristics, and therefore should be able to be killed. The problem is that neither of these arguments is more convincing than the other, or is convincing at all. Attempting to redefine personhood opens up a philosophical can of worms; the necessity of defining some sort of personhood in order to protect human rights in some form results in subjective, arbitary ideas of what merits human rights, as shown above.
The effects of denying personhood are tragic, inevitable, and unfortunately obvious. In Canada, from 2000 – 2009, 491 babies died after they were born alive after failed abortions. According to the Criminal Code, these babies should have rights, and the abortionists should be prosecuted for murder; however, respect for personhood has declined to the extent that there was no criminal investigation. In Belgium, Parliament is poised to allow child euthanasia for gravely ill children; in other words, the state is about to sanction the murder of sick kids. Denial of personhood does not only affect children; in the Netherlands, the number of elderly persons killed by euthanasia has more than doubled in the decade since it was legalised.
These tragedies, this complete disregard for human life, is really but the logical outworking of a dangerous philosophy. Taking the definition of personhood into our own hands and changing it to suit our subjective ideas of the what is a valued life, only leads further and further into the moral chaos described above.
There’s a great story today in the Ottawa Citizen about a local man who didn’t let a life-altering accident keep him down. He accepted the cards he had been dealt and turned them into a winning hand. It seems he’s writing a book, which sounds like it would be quite the inspiration, no matter your particular circumstances.
From Signal Hill, a three-minute video that really puts a face to abortion and who it is we miss out on:
In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates that between 100 Million and 200 Million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide.” Last year, the Canadian Medical Association Journal and CBC’s The National reported on increased sex-selective abortion here in Canada.
Join us this Friday, April 19th, at 7pm at the University of Ottawa’s Café Alt (60 University Private) for a screening of “It’s A Girl” – a documentary film that examines this troubling phenomenon – and a discussion of how we can combat it. We’re committed to providing an open, supportive environment in which anyone interested in combating gendercide feels welcome.
After the film (around 8:15 PM), we’ll be hosting our Annual General Meeting and elections, so please feel free to stick around if you would like to get more involved in the pro-life movement on campus.
For the Facebook event, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/146483725529670/
Have questions? Feel free to post them here or email us at email@example.com. Thanks!
Information & Resources:
Here’s the CBC Report on sex-selection abortion in Canada: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/06/12/ultrasound-gender-testing.html
Here’s the Canadian Medical Association Journal article on sex-selection abortion in Canada: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/3/E163
“It’s A Girl” Film Site: http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/
DefendGirls.ca is an activist group calling on Parliament to pass Motion 408, which would “condemn sex-selection pregnancy termination”: http://www.defendgirls.ca/
Motion 408 Needs YOU!
Mark Warawa’s Motion 408 has been deemed non-votable, even though it met all the criteria for votability, as the impartial analyst from the Library of Parliament repeatedly said. This decision was “shocking and undemocratic” and will be appealed. But your help is urgently needed!
As you slave away on your computer, finishing up those final term assignments, take a break to Tweet and e-mail Prime Minister Harper and the committee members who will be involved with this appeal. Encourage your friends to do likewise!
Our politicians NEED to hear an OUTCRY from the public.
PM Harper can be contacted via:
Here are the committee members who will hear Mark Warawa’s appeal!
Every time you Tweet about this, be sure to include @pmharper and hashtag #M408 !
Give those thumbs some extra exercise and Tweet Tweet Tweet!
E-mail these committee members who deemed Motion 408 non-votable:
Dave MacKenzie – firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Armstrong – email@example.com
Stephane Dion – firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip Toone – email@example.com
Remember that this is not about voting for #M408, but about deeming the motion VOTABLE so that it can be debated in the House of Commons.
Can’t think of a Tweet to Tweet? Here’s some examples:
@pmharper Listen to the 92%! #M408 should be deemed votable!
The library of parliament analyst said #M408 passed the criteria. Will you respect procedure? Allow M408 to go to the House! @pmharper
Canada needs to condemn ALL discrimination against women! @pmharper Allow #M408 to be debated!
92% of Canadians want to see sex-selective abortion banned. Why is the debate being banned? Where’s the democracy? @pmharper? #M408
Disappointed with @armstrong_MP for ignoring the need to protect women with #M408! @pmharper
@ParmGill Be a voice for Canadian women and support the vote for #M408 @pmharper
Support #M408! @TomLukiwski @CostasMenegakis @ScottReidCPC @ParmGill @Armstrong_MP @NycoleTurmelNDP @nathancullen @CraigScottNDP
Be sure to Tweet @MPMarkWarawa to show him your support and encouragement!
Don’t forget to follow NCLN on Twitter to stay updated!
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
In addition, Carleton University is hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary It’s A Girl this Thursday. See the Facebook event for more details and attend to learn more about this international and deadly form of discrimination.
This short clip features interviews with Canadians about assisted suicide. Unfortunately, no one presents any reason to oppose it, but what’s particularly interesting is how the third person arrives at a perfectly logical conclusion based on society’s premises. Indeed, we don’t give preborn children a choice when we end their lives, so what is there to stop consenting adults from ending their own? (Though of course in practice the sick would feel coerced into ‘choosing’ euthanasia because they don’t want to be a burden and disabled children would be candidates for euthanasia because adults deem their life, the only one they have, not worth living by an able-bodied person’s standards.) And really, why do we have suicide prevention programs and hotlines when it all boils down to an individual deciding whether his or her life is bearable? This is not to be provocative – it’s a natural extension “if that’s the logic,” as the young man in the video says.
Many people genuinely believe that being compassionate requires supporting abortion and euthanasia, even when they feel in their heart of hearts that it’s wrong. Active compassion, however, means staying by a friend or family member’s side even when their life takes an unexpected turn, for however long that might take. Isn’t it worth considering that we might not know when the best time for death is? For instance, there are many cases of people on their deathbed who hold on until a family member arrives to say goodbye. Moreover, isn’t it strange that it’s at this time in history, when medicine advances at incredible speed and we can do more than ever to manage pain, that there’s this desire to have death on demand available? The idea that there could be value in suffering and sacrifice, that there are some things that we can’t choose and plan, has become so completely foreign to our society that the general sentiment is that they are to be avoided at all costs, up to and including death. Life is already short, so let’s get out there and respond by educating people with life-affirming logic!
Like the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition on Facebook or follow Alex Schadenberg’s blog to learn more and keep up to date. We should all be able to give an articulate defense of life!
DefendGirls is a new campaign to provide information and raise awareness about sex-selective abortion. I recommend taking a look at the DefendGirls Facebook page or at the website defendgirls.ca. The site offers information about the issue and about Motion 408, the motion recently filed in the House of Commons asking parliamentarians to condemn sex-selective abortions as discrimination against girls. The site also provides suggestions and links for further action and has a very interesting blog. DefendGirls stickers, postcards, business cards and t-shirts can be purchased through the NCLN website.
Margaret Somerville contributes her usual clarity and sound reasoning to this written debate on euthanasia/assisted suicide. Have a look and vote! As a bonus, in this interesting two-minute video Margaret Somerville suggests that though their white coats lead us to think they can do no wrong, doctors are mere mortals too.
While we’re on the topic, follow this link to sign the Declaration of Hope opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation. For news about the push for euthanasia in different countries, read Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.