Monthly Archives: April 2010

Pregnant, New Parent, or Post-Abortive?

Local resources available for students and everyone facing these and other circumstances:

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can be a difficult as a student, but there are some really helpful organizations in the Ottawa community, not far from the University of Ottawa, that exist to help and support you. One which stands out for its respectful, compassionate and non-partisan support is First Place Pregnancy Centre.

First Place provides compassionate support and assistance to anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy, and is truly a safe and secure place to explore your options. All services are free and confidential. Information on abortion, adoption and parenting are available so that you can make an informed choice about your future. For those that have already made their decision: post-abortion support, birth parent support, and pregnancy support are also available.

First Place is non-profit and not affiliated with uOttawa Students for Life, nor is it partisan in anyway. For more information about First Place check out their website, or give them a call at 613-228-7475.

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Breaking News: Roxanne’s Law Introduced in Parliament

Bill to Ban Coerced Abortion Introduced into Canadian Parliament

By Daniel Gilman

LifeSiteNews is reporting that today in the House of Commons Member of Parliament Rod Bruinooge tabled Bill C-510, which will be known as Roxanne’s Law. This bill is seeking to stop people from intimidating and pressuring women to have abortions against their will.  This bill recognizes the reality that there are women throughout Canada who are coerced into having abortions. As Mr. Bruinooge clearly stated: “Many women have been forced into unwanted abortions; others have been injured or killed for resisting, like Roxanne Fernando, in whose memory I have named this bill.”

Mr Bruinooge went onto explain, “In early 2007, Roxanne Fernando’s boyfriend attempted to coerce her into having an abortion.  After backing out on the decision to abort her baby, Roxanne’s boyfriend then chose to have her killed.  When someone uses coercion, it can lead to violence.  Roxanne’s Law will communicate to all Canadians that coercing a pregnant woman to have an abortion against her will is unacceptable in a nation that values human rights.”

For further information see LifeSiteNews or continue to check our blog for further updates.

Please consider writing a brief email to Mr. Bruinooge letting him know of your support for this much needed bill: rod@bruinooge.com

It’s about people.

by Theresa Stephenson

Every week I go to the lecture for my mandatory course, Philosophical Issues in Health Care. Every week we discuss various moral dilemmas that confront workers in the medical system. And every week I sit in the lecture hall with other nursing and health science students and discuss medical practices in abstract, theoretical terms: we argue about moral “rights” and “wrongs” and apply these convictions to real-life case studies.

Every week I leave that class rattled and surprised at what my peers have said. We wrestle with topics like euthanasia, the allocation of medical treatment, and neonatal testing. I am floored by the radical arguments that people come up with. In class we often forget that the case studies we mull over are actually real cases, presenting us with real people and real problems. We over-analyze scenarios; we harshly, and often wrongly, judge people’s quality of life. Even though we speak with the best intentions, we get so carried away that we’re more wrapped up in the philosophical arguments than the real, living patients that we will soon be treating.

When we get caught up in philosophical theories we forget what’s actually important – the humanity of our patients.

I have no interest in being a philosopher. Neither Mill’s utilitarianism nor Kant’s ethics serve as my moral compass. Instead, my treatment of patients is/will be guided by their humanity. Only by acknowledging the humanity of each patient can we compassionately serve him or her with integrity and fidelity.

At times, when I listen to my peers talk about human life I fear the future of Canadian health care. I hope that when we arrive in the hospital, fresh out of university, we will know how to justly deal with morally perplexing situations. But if not, if we panic, I hope that we remember the inherent dignity of each human life. Difficult cases are a reality in every hospital in Canada. Human life is in the hands of medical providers: I hope that they will choose treatment over termination and life over death.

Someone had to say it

by Garnet

Here’s an excellent article by Kelly McParland that appeared in today’s National Post that exposes the hypocrisy of pro-choice people objecting to sex-selection-abortion.

In order to support “a woman’s right to choose,” you have to believe that a fetus is not human in the moral sense. This judgment — or lack thereof — is encoded in Canadian law, which permits abortion for any reason, or no reason at all.

If you believe a fetus is not a human life, the fetus becomes no different from any other unwanted appendage on a woman’s body. There is no moral difference to removing it than there is to removing an unwanted mole, or an unsightly wart. It’s just a bunch of flesh, with no human soul or spirit to it, so what’s the difference?

Why, then, would abortion proponents object to women having abortions because they don’t like the sex of the fetus? If a fetus is not human, a woman has the right to abort it for whatever reason she chooses: because she doesn’t feel like going through the process; because it might interfere with her career plans; because she doesn’t like children in general; or because she loves Starbucks and someone told her she’d have to give up caffeine during the pregnancy. What, no latte?

Well said, well said.  Once again, the abortion debate comes down to the humanity of the unborn.

Pro-life and… Feminist?

by Rebecca Richmond

I have a confession to make: I am a flawed human being. The flurry of activity that constituted my Easter weekend flowed into the craziness of paper-writing and, failing to check the blog schedule, I realized only today that I was supposed to have submitted my blog entry last night.

As such, my offering is short and sweet.

I grew up rather angry at feminists. I blamed them (not suffragettes but the feminists of the sexual revolution era) for damaging society. Oddly enough, I now consider myself a feminist, although with an understanding of gender that conflicts with most other feminists out there (I believe in integral complementarity, in case you’re wondering).

There are, as I’m sure you’re aware, pro-life feminists out there. Check out Feminists for Life  and some of their articles: “Women Deserve Better than Abortion” and “The Bitter Price of Choice”. Feminists for Life continues in the tradition of early feminists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who were pro-life.

I’m writing a paper (due tomorrow) for my feminist theories class on maternal feminism (think of the Famous Five and the Persons Case) and new feminism/integral complementarity (think of John Paul II and Edith Stein). It’s interesting stuff, let me assure you. One of the authors I’m reading wrote something I thought I would share with you:

“May will see a betrayal of justice – and assuredly of feminism – in any suggestion that women may bear a special responsibility to nurture the culture of life, which alone can protect our future….No doubt the ideals of service and sacrifice run directly against the grain of our culture, but if we deny their claims we place ourselves at high risk. Until now, feminism in general – and we all know there are marginal exceptions – has waged a fierce battle to permit women to behave like men and, in the areas in which they cannot, to guarantee them the same results as if they had. A new feminism requires that we must the courage and the faith to reverse this paradigm. Women throughout the world are in desperate need of policies that respect and protect them as women – not policies that ensure their access to abortion so that they can become as “free” as men. A feminism grounded in the defense of a women’s right to “choose” to have an abortion is inescapably a feminism that promotes the culture of death. It is never easy to go against the grain, especially when doing so exposes one to social and economic risks. But without the will to defy prevailing ideas, we will condemn ourselves to more of the same….Who knows? If we succeed in defending a culture of life in which personhood is understood as mutual recognition rather than autonomy and no person is ever objectified as the means to an end, men – within the constraints of their differences from us – may follow.”

Excerpt taken from: Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, “Equality, Difference, and the Practical Problems of a New Feminism,” in Women in Christ: Toward a New Feminism, ed. Michele M. Schumacher (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdsman Publishing Co., 2004), 310-311.

Well, that’s my contribution for the day. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I must return to essay writing.

No Choice in Publicly Funded Abortions

by Marissa Poisson

It’s been a beautiful Easter weekend and signs of spring abound. There are buds on the trees, the birds are chirping and Canadians have emerged from hibernation. Yet I can’t help but think about the new lives that aren’t welcomed into the world. Abortion may not be a pleasant subject to contemplate on a sunny day, but recent events remind us that we are all involved whether we like it or not.

Abortion funding has been receiving a lot of attention lately with the United States’ health care reform and Canada’s G8 maternal and child health initiative. There was much debate in the U.S. about whether abortions should be publicly funded under the new legislation, and in the end Barack Obama signed an executive order against using tax dollars to pay for abortions, though it was seen as a largely symbolic gesture. It bears remembering that in Canada, where abortion is legal at any point during a pregnancy, publicly funded abortions are standard practice; taxpayers are billed over $80 million for the 100,000 abortions performed every year. However, we don’t stop at funding abortions domestically. The International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world’s largest abortion provider, has received $18 million from Canadian taxpayers over the past four years. Ottawa Students for Life has supported a petition that calls for the Government of Canada to cease this funding. The G8 maternal and child health initiative should be a noble, straightforward effort to provide women and children in developing countries with access to clean water, nutrition programs, inoculations and trained health care workers. Any aid dollars used to export abortion would be aid dollars taken away from those goals.

Interestingly, public funding of abortion doesn’t fit with some of the pro-choice rhetoric. If abortion is all about choice, why are those who oppose it nevertheless forced to fund it? Is an abortion really only between a woman and her doctor when it is paid for by the public? Of course, the financial cost should be the last reason used to oppose abortion. But we can’t say abortion doesn’t concern us when we’re funding it. By remaining silent, we remain complicit. Canadian tax dollars should be used to provide real support to women who are faced with challenging pregnancies because women and unborn children deserve better than abortion in Canada and around the world. This spring, let’s work together to celebrate and support life even when it is born of difficult circumstances.