Monthly Archives: March 2010

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.

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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.

Blood Money

by Daniel Gilman

Behind the veneer of pro-choice rhetoric is a very lucrative abortion industry. This money making industry is documented in a brand new documentary called Blood Money. This documentary has not yet been picked up by any distributors, ostensibly with the thought that few people care about these issues.

Click here to sign the petition and let them know that you care. And here’s the trailer:

Olivia’s Justice

by Dante De Luca

Once upon a time there was a girl named Olivia Talbot. You can read her story here, but I will give a little summary thereof for your ease of reading.

In short, she was a girl who lived in Edmonton. Like most people, she had her problems, and her particular problem was a drug addiction. However, after she became pregnant, she made great progress in putting this problem behind her. But then disaster struck: Jared Baker, a childhood friend and also a drug addict, stopped by one day with a gun and killed her. This was in 2005.

The interesting thing about this story is that Baker’s intended target was her unborn baby Lane; his first three shots were aimed at Olivia’s abdomen. Although Lane only received a scratch on his bum, the death of his mother was enough to kill him. The paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but failed; he died as well.

But of course, Baker was only found guilty of killing one person.

Despite the efforts of two bills in Parliament (both of which were partially inspired by Olivia’s death, and both of which never passed), the unborn are not legally protected in any way in Canada. Lane was treated as a non-entity in the legal and medical procedings. But Olivia’s mother Mary Talbot is continuing the movement to recognise the unborn in such situations. “I held that little boy. I saw two people in the casket, not one,” she said here. “For me, it’s black and white … I just can’t understand why they can’t see it that way.”

As Baker appeals to the Supreme Court on Friday (March 19), she has created a Facebook group entitled Olivia’s Justice to spread awareness of the issue and make a stand for the rights of unborn victims of crime. She requests that you join the group, but at least keep her and her family in your thoughts (and prayers), as well as Baker and his family, and all who are involved in these sorts of events. As Talbot says, “All women deserve to be protected from such evil but especially the ones who are carrying babies our future.”

PS on that sombre note, happy St Patrick’s Day, and remember St Patrick was pro-life too!

Right to die?

by Theresa Stephenson

Here in Canada, euthanasia is on the forefront of bioethical dispute. Bill C-384, which will soon go through its second debate in the House of Commons, seeks to legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. “Active euthanasia” is the intentional premature termination of another person’s life by direct intervention.

We live in a time when medical treatments are advanced, and we have the ability to provide pain relief to enhance the quality of life for patients. Palliative care provides a comfortable end of life experience for those who are nearing death. Rehabilitation centres prove to be effective alternatives to help disabled patients recuperate. Euthanasia, however, offers doctors another option; instead of treatment, they have the power to give a lethal injection that ends the patient’s life.

The Hippocratic Oath provides basic moral rules for doctors to guide their actions. The first mandate is a clear prohibition of killing their patients. The laws against euthanasia, which are currently in place, are there to prevent an abuse of power; mandating doctors to provide health care and not executions.

We’re being constantly bombarded with rhetoric of a “right to die”.   Does this translate to a “right to kill”? Doctors are given the power to administer a death sentence to those who have no “quality of life”. This leads to the victimization of those with an illness, be it physical or mental. Indeed, a “slippery slope” exists in the euthanasia debate, where the inalienable right to life is denied especially to vulnerable groups.

The act of euthanasia itself devalues human life.  People’s lives should not be judged as “worth living” or not, but instead must be treated with respect and dignity — from conception to natural death.

Snowflake Babies

by Reita S.

Imagine a couple, unable to conceive a child. They consider adoption, but they want to badly to give birth to something that is a ‘part of themselves’. After consultation with their doctor, they undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process which harvests eggs from the woman’s ovaries and fertilizes them in the lab with collected sperm. While the mother undergoes treatments which boost the receptivity of her uterus, these fertilized eggs are cultured in a lab and, while still about 100 cells each and undifferentiated, implanted into the woman’s womb. How great is her joy when she discovers she is finally going to be a mother!

Sadly, IVF doesn’t produce only one or two of these embryos. It may produce one hundred. It may have a woman implant 20 of these embryos, since all will not survive the process. It may lead her to undergo a selective abortion to reduce the number of babies she carries. But it also produces leftover embryos, cryogenically frozen until the parents decide to use them. They may never make this decision.

These frozen embryos, “snowflake babies”, have an extensive ‘shelf-life’. They may spend years in stasis, waiting to be implanted into someone’s womb. They may be discarded by their parents and used in embryonic stem-cell research. They may be thrown out. There are an estimated 500,000 frozen embryos in the United States right now.

“Snowflake baby” is a term you likely haven’t heard. I know I’ve only read about it – never discussed the matter with anyone, even at a pro-life function; however, some dedicated pro-lifers have clearly seen this as a problem. They decided to adopt the snowflake babies.

Embryo adoption allows the implantation of the child into the womb of the adopting mother. It is a safe process, far less expensive than an overseas adoption, and provides that coveted ‘experience of pregnancy’. What’s more is the opportunity to allow a child a chance to LIVE, rather than to sit in a refrigerator until it ‘expires’, a process which shows that even children, even LIFE, has become a commodity to our culture.

Ottawa Students for Life has a very catchy mandate, if I may say that. We are committed to “defend the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death”. Unfortunately, the issue of conception is a touchy one in our culture, with arguments advocating for anywhere from fertilization or implantation to the first trimester or birth. This can be a divisive line, even within the pro-life community; however, I challenge you, dear readers, to consider the plight of every “snowflake baby” and then try to tell yourself that it is not alive.

If you have ever considered adoption, please remember every “snowflake baby”, a tiny unborn child who needs your body and your love in order to take a single breath.

For more information, please visit:

Nightlight Christian Adoption Snowflakes Program

Embryo Adoption

Embryos Alive Adoption Agency