Monthly Archives: March 2010

S.L.E.D. Part 3: Environment

by Garnet

I guess I better continue the SLED series if I want to get it done by the end of the term.

When I travel from place to place, or even room to room, does anything about me change?  Or think about yourself: Are you a different person when you enter different surroundings?  For some reason, the idea that environment dictates value gets applied to the unborn.  In fact, it’s quite extreme: on one side of the birth canal, the unborn child has no rights whatsoever (in Canada), but on the other side the child is a person possessing full rights.  So what changed within that child during the birth process?  Not much, even though labour is probably very distressing and traumatic for the baby.

“Oh, but the unborn doesn’t even breathe air, like all humans do”, someone might say.  Even if this were essential for the right to life, it’s not as if the unborn child is not receiving oxygen.  In fact, from the moment of conception, respiration, or air exchange begins to happen.  And as the baby develops, he will start to “breathe” amniotic fluid in and out of his lungs, something that would actually kill us!  If you wouldn’t survive in the unborn baby’s world, how can you expect the unborn baby to survive in yours?

Some babies are born premature or early.  Some are born late.  The moment of birth is such an arbitrary moment in time. Just because you can’t see the unborn, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the right to life.

This argument is another attempt to devalue the life of the unborn child.  Again, we see that it simply makes no sense.

True Support

by Eliza Jane Phillis

I feel I have been blessed with a pretty uneventful life. I have never suffered any tragic sudden loss, been subjected to any type of abuse, abused any type of substance, gone hungry or cold, or even ever really been alone. I have lived a very sheltered and essentially happy existence. While I am eternally grateful for this, I also sometimes worry that this means I am not able to truly empathize with the very women I profess to support as a member of the pro-life movement: women facing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy as well as those hurting after an abortion. All of these women have suffered some, all, or more of the list above. In comparison, I have suffered nothing.

I often ask myself, am I really helping or does my lack of experience make my efforts seem self-righteous and trivial? How can I truly understand their suffering? How arrogant is it on my part to pretend that I know how to help these women? It is easy to help ease their material needs with events such as our annual OSFL Baby Shower, and it is even easier to feel proud of such a little act. But what will I do when a woman who has found herself unexpectedly and undesiredly in the position of an expectant mother reaches out to me for help? What will I do when a woman who is suffering post-abortion confides in me? How will I show her that I love her and long to help her when what she is experiencing is so far beyond my sheltered experience and I cannot for a moment hope to comprehend her fear, pain, regret, confusion, guilt, anxiety, loneliness? All I can do is pray that when that day comes, I will be given the words and the love that she needs.

Yet, we as pro-life men and women are part of a movement that exists to help these women. We should be more prepared and more willing to try to understand the suffering of these women. This means that we need to listen to the stories of those who are brave enough to tell them, and through their courageous act of sharing learn what it feels like to face a situation which many of us will hopefully never have to experience. For this reason, I wanted to share with our pro-life readers this link to the Canada Silent No More website. Here you can witness the testimonies of regretful and courageous post-abortive men and women and learn from their experiences. These men and women are working to end the silence on abortion and bring to light the lies and pain behind the rhetoric. There is much we can learn by listening to their stories of loss and healing.

The website also contains links to resources and help for those suffering post abortion, so that if and when the you are approached by someone suffering beyond your experience, you can direct them to a group who truly understands and can empathize because they have been there too. That being said, what every human being needs most when faced with suffering is to be listened to and loved without judgment. This is within the capabilities of us all, no matter our life experiences or lack thereof.

Canada Silent No More

Loving the Wounded

by Reita S.

I know a little girl who died. Her name was Katelyn. She had a brother named Kyle, who also died. They were about 9 and 11 when their house caught fire. They were with their mother in the second floor bedroom. She tried to convince them to jump from the window and that the fire department would save them. They were too afraid to jump, though, so she told them that she would go first and would catch them. She jumped from the window and called to them to jump. But they were still too afraid. They were dead of smoke inhalation by the time the fire department reached them. Their mother regrets every day that she did not throw them from the window. If she had, they might still be alive.

They say that hindsight is 20/20. If that mother had been able to foresee the consequences of her actions, we know she would have chosen differently. In the same way, post-abortive people don’t need your judgment anymore than the mother of those children needs you to tell her she made the wrong choice. That was years ago and there is so much regret. She needs you to come along side her, to tell her you’re sorry, to help her get over a tragedy she couldn’t foresee.

Women and men affected by abortion believe at the time that they’re making the right choice. They are sold a lie by society and by abortion providers. They don’t see the long-reaching effects of ‘the easiest way out’. If they’re telling you their story, don’t tell them how they should have known better, don’t tell them they killed their children. They know.

On this blog, one post abortive woman writes:

I know that this sounds terrible and helpless, but I cannot underemphasise the gravity of what I did – I murdered four human beings. […] I made four mistakes. The mistakes were not those babies, who were known and loved by God – they were the abortions.

Those abortions nearly killed me – in more ways than one. While I developed a thick skin on the outside, what was a very scared and helpless little girl on the inside was crying out from a nearly inexpressible anguish, but no one would listen. In the world, abortion is supposed to empower a woman and give her freedom and dignity, not make her weak and crippled as I was becoming.

Abortion is a scar on the soul of all who participate. When we minister to our communities, let us never forget that post-abortive men and women need us just as much as pregnant women do. They need a safe place to take out a private wound. They need to forgive themselves. They need to be forgiven.

Hard-line tactics do not help the wounded. Love does.

Please, show love to the hurting.

Liberals’ Motion Defeated!

by Garnet

The Liberals’ motion concerning the Government’s G8 initiative was defeated. 138 MPs voted in favour of it and 144 MPs voted against it.  Yesterday the government took a stand against the anti-life ideology so prevalent in Canada, and opted for the truth: that abortion does not help women.  The Canadian government is committed to helping women and children in impoverished countries, and for that we’re proud.

MPs’ email inboxes and mailboxes were flooded with messages from Canadians like you urging their MPs to vote against the motion.  Thank you to those who took the time to let your MP know how you feel about this issue.  You truly made a difference.  This is proof that MPs listen to their constituents, so do it more often.  I will be writing an email thanking my MP for voting against the motion; it’s good for our politicians to hear positive feedback too.

An Apology, Clarity, and A Continued Call for Action

By Daniel

In my initial call to action I stated that, “Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party are scheming to force the Conservative Government to promote abortion as part of Canada’s push to fight maternal and infant mortality at the G8.” This statement was based on an article from the Canadian Free Press appearing  on the CTV and the Globe and Mail as well as reports from 4MyCanada . Having actually read the Motion for myself, I see that it does not explicitly use the word abortion, but I do agree with the assertion that this motion is about abortion.

The Conservative Government had already stated that they are open to including contraception as part of this initiative. The Liberal Motion goes beyond talk of contraception and states: “the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States, which made humanitarian assistance conditional upon a “global gag rule” that required all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding to refrain from promoting medically-sound family planning.” This is referring to President Bush’s “Mexico Policy” that organizations which promote abortion abroad would not receive federal funds.

I should not have issued an urgent call for action without concrete confirmation of the Liberal’s motion. I would like to apologize for doing so. I continue to encourage everyone to continue to contact MPs, letting them know that while you may support promoting contraception, you do oppose exporting abortion. I think the best article I have seen regarding this affair is this one: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/printerfriendly.html?articleid=10032214

Again, please continue to let our politicians know that Canadians do care about improving maternal health and combating infant mortality and that we emphatically oppose exporting abortion.

Abortion Changes You

by Elizabeth Tanguay

“Abortion Changes You”.  Such are the slogans New Yorkers on the subway see everyday. And if they were to look at the website included in the ad, www.abortionchangesyou.com, they would be able to start the healing process after an abortion and to deal with all the changes that come with it. These ads have been labeled as being pro-life, but this website is really to get a conversation going, and let healing begin.

Many seem to be under the impression that after you have an abortion, your life just goes back to normal and that’s the end of it. Everything goes to the way it was before. As can be seen from the numerous stories on the website, this is hardly the case.

Haven’t you noticed that mothers seem to mark time with pregnancies? You’ll often here comments like, “Oh I remember while I was pregnant with Joey, we went on this trip,” or “That happened before Patrick was born but Lucy was still a baby.” A pregnancy is a significant milestone in the life of a woman. A pregnancy involves her whole being. An end to that state can hardly be insignificant.

I was about 6 when my mom suffered her first miscarriage. I don’t remember it too well, but right before my littlest brother was born, when I was about 13, my mother had a third miscarriage. She was able to keep the body after the DNC, and we were able to bury him. I remember crying a long time, holding the little box that contained my little brother’s body. I remember how relieved I was once I was able to cry.

Many women who go through an abortion or a miscarriage feel that they cannot cry. After all, how can one cry over a blob of tissue, a bunch of cells? However, the fact remains that it is not simply a bunch of cells; it is a human person. And yes, the loss of even one such person is ample reason to cry; such an event can change you.

For some further reading, see also this LifeSiteNews article about the ad campaign.

And another interesting article: In 1952, Planned Parenthood told their clients that abortion takes the life of the baby.

Public Lectures ~ “Bioethical Issues in Health Care”

Ottawa Students for Life will be hosting a public lecture evening on March 31st at 7:30 p.m. in Colonel By Room B012.  Two renowned professors and experts in Medical Ethics, Dr. John Patrick, and Dr. Rene Leiva will be speaking on the topic: “Bioethical Issues in Health Care”.  Dr. Patrick is a lecturer and Professor Emeritus of the University of Ottawa.  He was Associate Professor in Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Biochemistry and Paediatrics.  Dr. Rene Leiva is a lecturer at the University of Ottawa and expert in Palliative Care.  He practices medicine at the Elizabeth Bruyere Centre in Ottawa.

This event, although geared toward those going into a career in medicine, is open to anyone interested!  A question period and reception will follow the lectures.

Please join us at 7:30 p.m. in Room B012 in the Colonel By Building on Wednesday, March 31st.

Click Here for a map of the campus.

Urgent Call to Action!

By Daniel

Your voice is needed urgently! Whether or not you are Canadian, please take a few minutes and email Canadian Members of Parliament ASAP!

Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party are scheming to force the Conservative Government to promote abortion as part of Canada’s push to fight maternal and infant mortality at the G8. The G8 is an annual summit for the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, and Canada as well as the European Union (I know that makes 9). Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced:

As president of the G8 in 2010, Canada will champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world’s poorest regions. Members of the G8 can make a tangible difference in maternal and child health and Canada will be making this the top priority in June. Far too many lives and unexplored futures have already been lost for want of relatively simple health-care solutions.

But the Liberals are introducing a motion in Parliament on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 that would force the Government to include abortion and contraception in this effort to help mothers and infants among the world’s poor.

Please email your Member of Parliament, as well as other Members of Parliament, letting them know that you oppose this move by the Liberals that would take a great initiative and turn it into an opportunity to force abortion on the world’s poor. There isn’t time to mail letters via snail mail, so I suggest sending a brief email. For information on finding out who your MP is and how to contact her or him see: http://4mycanada.ca/ParliamentaryContacts.html

We’d like to thanks 4MyCanada for informing us of this issue. You can read more about it and they’re call to action here: http://4mycanada.ca/Emails/20100320.html

Please contact all interested friends and family regarding this issue and encourage them to make their voice heard ASAP!

“Alright you’ve got a point… but what do you want me to do about it?”

by Amanda Hennessey

I am a rational person. I ask questions, I doubt, and I do not trust something to be true without reasoning through every possibility. So when it comes to the question of abortion I had a lot of questions to answer. In my first year at university I had to take an ethics philosophy course (insert gag here). One of the topics we covered was abortion. Yes the professor did present a pro-life position, but it was a very poor one. To be honest we read and listened to him lecture for hours about how abortion is a women’s choice as it is in her body. That’s right; he did not argue the common “it is her body” but rather admitted that of course it is not her body. The baby is a total other person with its own heart, mind and soul. When we take pro-life training most of the course will be on how to prove that the fetus is in fact a child because if we can do this then the child automatically has the fundamental right to live right? Wrong. Well at least that’s what my professor argued. He wanted us to believe that carrying a pregnancy to term is an act out of the ordinary; mothers should be given daily thanks for their sacrifice and be treated as heroes. Didn’t you know? Pregnancy is not normal.

So every week, as I listened to my professor go on and on about how inconvenient childbirth is, I found myself getting progressively more and more upset. Is it fair that this man can brainwash hundreds of first year students with his garbage? Where is the voice for the voiceless? Yes, I did speak up often in class… and he very quickly learned my name and my opinions, but there had to be more that I could do.

In my second year I found the Ottawa Students for Life. And I was elated! For one year I was very involved with all of the events and gave my opinions at meetings. I started to find opportunities to speak to others about my views. Or maybe rather, these opportunities were already there before but I did not have the knowledge or confidence to take advantage of them. I hope that I was able to get others to start thinking, and not just believe that abortion is ok because the teachers and government say it is. Currently, I am finishing up my third year, and my first as an official member of the exec. Next year I will be starting my forth, and hopefully will be even more involved with the club. I hope that I can continue to learn, to question, and to find opportunities to share the truth.

But what about you? What can you, the reader, do to make a difference? First of all, if you are a student I encourage you to get involved with your pro-life club on campus. If you do not have one… why not start one? For more information and advice on joining clubs on campus feel free to e-mail us at ottawastudentsforlife@gmail.com.

For those of you not in school or just finishing up, you can help too! First of all, get educated. The more you know about these issues the more confident you will be to speak about them. And do speak about them. Share the message with your children, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. You never know who they might be able to pass the message along to. Be supportive and compassionate. If you know someone who is thinking of having an abortion make sure that you remember that they are in a very stressful and sometimes tragic situation. In order to get more information and to know where to send someone experiencing an unexpected pregnancy please go to Birthright Ottawa or First Place Pregnancy Centre. Please also remember that it is important not to judge those who have had abortions and to be loving and compassionate with them. Find out where your Member of Parliament stands on the abortion issue. Send them letters and e-mails asking for their positions. Protest. Here in Ottawa there are many opportunities including the March for Life as well as the 40 Days for Life. And finally, pray. For those of you of faith, your prayers could save a life. You can make a difference.