Monthly Archives: March 2010

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

The Lord of the Rings, OSFL, and You

By Daniel Gilman

As a little child I dreamed of great adventures, and as a teen I loved Lord of the Rings. But as a student at the University of Ottawa, I’ve had the privilege of making a practical difference promoting respect for all human beings through my involvement with Ottawa Students for Life. Yes. This has everything to do with you putting your name forward for the OSFL election: please keep reading.

Seriously, the closest I’ve ever come to being part of anything like the comradery of the Fellowship of the Ring is through this club. Just like in the Fellowship, we’re made up of a great variety of people united by a respect for the sanctity of human life.

Just like in any of those fairytale adventures, our journey is sometimes rough. It is sometimes discouraging, often feels futile, and always takes time away from home work. It’s a tough cause. Few people today advocate for children in the womb. Few people today take the time to listen to women suffering from an abortion. Few people today are willing to do anything to educate their peers on the reality of foetal development. I don’t always feel as if I’m like living my childhood dream. Sometimes I feel like an integral member of the team, and sometimes I feel redundant and out of sync. But I am committed to this cause regardless of how I feel. I pray that I will have the strength to endure.

Gandhi said that the test of a just society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. I say that society is made up of individuals like you and me. I honestly wish I could spend more of my time focused on school and having a good time; I wish the vulnerable members in our society were cared for, but often they aren’t. Like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, “I wish none of this had happened.” But the reply of Gandalf holds true, “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

And while I used to dream of being part of the Fellowship of the Ring, I now realize that those characters should be envious of me because I am making a difference in the real world, while they’re relegated to the realm of fiction. Being part of OSFL is like being part of Lord of the Rings but way more awesome–it’s real!

So… I suggest putting your name forward for an OSFL leadership position. For more info on how to do this click here

Happy International Women’s Day!

by Rebecca Richmond

Now, I’ll admit that I have mixed feelings about the fact that there’s pretty much a day for everything under the sun. I mean, there’s Towel Day (think Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Pi Day, International Cat Day, World Rubber Day, World Turtle Day and the ever popular International Talk Like a Pirate Day to name a select few.

But regardless, let’s take the opportunity and better appreciate, celebrate, and honour women. I’m all for that. And while we’re doing that, let’s face a grim reality: missing women. Sex-selective abortion has resulted in a countless number of missing women in the world. In my mind, sex selective abortion is one of the manifestations of the way in which abortion oppresses women. It offers parents the “right to choose” to keep or kill their child on the basis of their child’s sex. China and India are two countries where this constitutes a major problem. But it’s also not illegal in Canada. You don’t need a reason to abort. And, by that logic, no reason to abort is wrong. There are laws in Canada that prohibit discrimination against women in employment, but no laws touch on killing your unborn child because she’s a female.

Hmm…. What wrong with this picture?

To borrow feminist terminology: abortion is a mechanism through which gender discrimination and oppression (a.k.a. patriarchy, although the term for feminists represents a more radical vision than the more commonly held conception) reproduces itself as a system that devalues women and violently intervenes within the mother’s womb to alter the composition of the family and the demographics of society.

Abortion hurts women. Not only the individual women who undergo abortions, not only the female babies whose lives are sacrificed on the altar of choice, but women in general. And so, today, Monday March 8th, I’m taking a moment to reflect. Yes, I’m tired and a bit worn out, but I can’t afford to take a break from pro-life. Too much is at stake.

Edit: Check out this article from The Economist about the same topic.

OSFL Elections: March 24th, 7:30 p.m.

Our Great and Glorious Pro-Life Club is approaching times of change. An exodus of leadership is forthcoming, the likes of which has not been seen in this club since beyond our memory. A void in leadership is emerging. Who will stand between us and the forces of Chaos? Who will lead us in the campaign against the Culture of Death? Who will be the next generation of Ottawa Students for Life?

Okay…so that was a little melodramatic. In fact, the club is well-trained and well-poised to continue at the University of Ottawa. However, we do need students to step into leadership roles. Please seriously consider this. The club has been, for many of those involved, a highlight of their time at university. It’s an incredible opportunity to grow as a leader, as a team player, and as a person. Check out our blog in the weeks to come for stories on how involvement in Ottawa Students for Life has affected our current and past leaders. All those who take on leadership positions will receive training and mentoring. Position descriptions can be accessed at this link. Please email us with any questions. If you’d like a chance to sit down with an executive member and ask questions one-on-one, just let us know and we’ll set something up.

Join us then, as we choose the future leadership of our club. Help us to select the ones who will lead us forward. Or even, put yourself forward as a champion of the Right to Life. Let this club of ours remain strong and united as we continue to build a culture of life!

The technical details:
Event: OSFL General Elections
Date: Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30 pm
Place: stay tuned
What to do if you are interested in running: peruse the Official Job Descriptions Page and send in your self-nomination to ottawastudentsforlife@gmail.com .
Your nomination should include:
> Name
> Year
> Program of study
> Past involvement with the club
> Position(s) of interest

Where to Turn

By Eliza Jane Phillis

As support coordinator of OSFL, I would like to bring attention to some of the organizations in Ottawa which exist to help women facing an unplanned or crisis pregnancy. These organizations work hard to defend the rights of the women they support and their children. Therefore, I believe they deserve some recognition for their work. Also, I hope that if anyone reading this, or someone they care about, is ever faced with the fear and confusion of an unplanned pregnancy, they will remember that these organizations are there to help with options counselling, physical and emotional support, and, if needed, post-abortive counselling.

As well, if you are interested in learning more about these organizations or volunteering with them, I strongly urge you to follow the links below.

First Place Pregnancy Centre is an organization which we have supported in the past as a club. They offer real options counselling, support for women during and after their pregnancies, and support and counselling for women suffering after an abortion.

Birthright of Ottawa is another organization dedicated to counselling and helping women facing an unplanned pregnancy. They provide one-on-one support during the difficult decision making process, as well as referrals to a number of important services such as medical care, professional counselling, and other community resources.

The Miriam Centre in Orleans offer assistance and support to mothers during their pregnancy, as well as assistance and resources for new mothers/parents facing difficulty, and support for parents who have lost a child to miscarriage, abortion, or infant death.

Rachel’s Vineyard is an international organization which organizes retreats to bring healing to post-abortive men and women. They are holding a retreat in Ottawa next month. Please check their website for more information. The information on who to contact specifically for the Ottawa retreat can be found by clicking here.

I strongly urge every pro-lifer to check out the links above and to become familiar with the services offered by each of these wonderful organizations. An unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone at any time, and having the resources readily available for the woman who comes to us seeking guidance can make all the difference in the world. But remember, that the first resource for these women is you, and the greatest gift you can give is love.

Changing the Rhetoric

by Reita S.

When I was about 7 years old, I learnt all about cells from TV. I suspect it was either Bill Nye the Science Guy or Magic School Bus. Using Lego or blocks or grains of rice, they demonstrated that all living things are made of little pieces. Every person is composed of three trillion cells, if I recall correctly, and cells die and replace themselves at different rates.

All this to say that from a very young age, educational programming taught me that, at my basic level, I am a mass of cells. The same TV shows also explained that I had something called DNA, which was rather like a zipper or a ladder. (They knew from the start I would never be a scientist.) Apparently my DNA wasn’t like anyone else’s, unless of course I was an identical twin, which I’m not.

So, to recap, I am a bunch of cells, several trillion, all with unique roles and life spans, and I am also genetically unique from everyone else in the world (except potential evil twins).

Why then is the pro-choice cry so often “the foetus is just a clump of cells”? Simple: dehumanization. My roommate and I recently had a discussion about meat. Though she loves fish, she is unable to go purchase a whole fish from the store. Why? She can’t eat “something with a face”; however, fillet that fish and serve it to her and she’ll eat it happily!

In the same way, saying abortion kills an unborn child (which it does) is “eating the animal with the face”. You feel guilty because you feel empathy for the child. You know that it had to suffer and that it had to die. You are angry at the injustice when you remember every child you ever held.

Getting rid of the “unwanted clump of cells” is having your fish and chips. You are totally divorced from action that produced your desired outcome – you don’t feel guilty because there was never anything real to convict you.

This is an issue of rhetorical double-talk. Pro-choice activists and abortion clinics have convinced the public that the foetus is practically a non-living thing. It is a package of parts which can be assembled at birth, if the mother so chooses, to create a ‘real child’.

Rhetoric’s purpose is to persuade. Rhetoric’s goal should be to persuade people of the truth. Don’t be fooled by pro-choice rhetoric, which seeks to validate its own position by redefining simple biology. From the moment you are conceived to the moment you die, you are “a clump of cells”. Does that mean you deserve life any less?

For more information, please see this interesting post by John Sutherland at http://www.johnonlife.blogspot.com.