Monthly Archives: May 2010

Oh, Toronto!

by Rebecca Richmond

[A note from uOSFL: Many people think of university as a time to do ‘crazy things’ that we give up when we become ‘serious adults’. While we hope that she is beyond all-nighters, cramming, and living on ramen noodles, our former President Rebecca Richmond , who has recently begun in her new job as Director of National Campus Life Network, is a testimony to the fact that activism doesn’t end when you receive your diploma!]

No, I will not be a Torontonian or “from Toronto.”  I will simply be a girl from the Ottawa Valley who happens to live in Toronto.

I always vowed that I would never live in Toronto, and I can’t believe that I’ll be moving there next weekend.  But, since the beginning of my involvement with the Campus Pro-Life Movement, you wouldn’t believe all the things I can’t believe I end up doing!

It’s not easy to be a campus pro-life leader.  There is so much to be done, but so little time with all the other commitments you have to juggle as a student.  Fortunately, we’re not alone.  UOttawa Students For Life has benefited so much from the help and support of National Campus Life Network (NCLN).  NCLN is the only national organization that exists to educate, support and network pro-life post-secondary students across Canada.   NCLN has trained us to be more effective as club leaders and as pro-life advocates.  They’ve provided us with effective resources designed for university campuses.  They’ve connected us with other pro-life groups, including other campus groups as well as community and national groups. They’ve given us advice and encouragement, helping us to set goals and carry out our plans.  NCLN made club pro-life advocacy more manageable, maximizing our effectiveness and minimizing the burden of additional work.

During my time with uOSFL, I repeatedly said, “I want to do this full-time!”  Now, I have that opportunity.  I am very excited to be working full-time with NCLN, now that I’ve graduated from my studies at uOttawa.   It is an incredible honour and privilege to be able to support campus pro-life clubs in Canada.

I will miss Ottawa terribly but I know that the sacrifice of moving away from Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley will pale in comparison to the joys of working with NCLN.

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A Shame and a Sham

by Marissa Poisson

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking home from the March for Life with my little sister in my arms and my cousin by my side. A group of people had been walking in front of us since we left Parliament Hill, and we were about to pass them on the sidewalk. One young woman, who must have been about my age, looked at us and said, “Shame on you.” Caught off guard, I offered a faint smile and we kept walking.

A few days later, a part of Bank St. was closed due to an accident. I saw a person on a stretcher being taken to an ambulance, and I hoped he or she would be okay. Then I remembered that a few blocks up the street, a short walk from Parliament Hill, there was another life-and-death situation occurring. I wished I could tell the paramedics that the next place they needed to go that Wednesday morning was the local Morgentaler Clinic because there were lives to be saved and people to be healed there. The real shame is that while we would never say that helping someone who is lying injured on the street is none of our business, not enough people want to think of the women and unborn children who find themselves on the threshold of abortion facilities.

If I could talk to the woman who said those three words to us on the street, I would ask what motivates her support for abortion and challenge her to inform herself about what an abortion does to the two people who are subjected to it. For a wealth of factual information, I would recommend Signal Hill to her.   For a look into the minds of passionate and compassionate pro-life individuals, I would point her to ProWomanProLife and, of course, this blog. I think that if she decided to seek the truth at the heart of the matter, she’d see abortion exposed for what it really is: a sham. Drop one letter from “shame” and you’ve got an apt descriptor of death and pain coated in words like choice, freedom and reproductive rights. It is high time we move toward love, support and intellectual honesty.

S.L.E.D. Part 4: Degree of Dependency

by Garnet

Time for the final installment in the S.L.E.D. Series.  I’ve dealt with the first three common pro-choice arguments, all attempts to dehumanize unborn children based on either size, level of development or environment, and so make abortion excusable.

The last argument has to do with the degree that the fetus is dependent on his/her mother.  Some people say that since the fetus is so dependent on his/her mother to survive, and would not survive on his/her own, the mother has no obligation to keep the fetus alive, and thus may abort it.  The fetus, they say, cannot survive on its own, so it must not have a right to life, since it can only survive as part of the mother.

This argument breaks down in a number of ways.  Unborn children are not the only human beings dependent on another for survival.  A newborn cannot survive without a caregiver.  A diabetic cannot survive without insulin.  A person with a heart condition cannot survive without a pacemaker.  Does this dependency make them less of a person?  Of course not.  Dependency is not a criterion for determining the value of life for born individuals, and it should not be applied to the unborn.

An embryo is very dependent on its mother at the beginning of pregnancy, and gets less dependent as the 40 weeks go by until it is ready to leave the comfort and warmth of the womb and face the cold, harsh reality of this world. The umbilical cord can be cut, but does this end the baby’s dependency on Mother?  No.  From what I understand, a mother’s responsibilities toward that baby grow exponentially after the baby is born.

In addition, humans continue to become less dependent on others as they get older.  Toddlers are less dependent than babies; teenagers are (read: are supposed to be) less dependent on parents than toddlers; adults are less dependent than teenagers.  So the trend of a lessened dependency begins in the womb and continues throughout life long after birth.  Birth, actually, is quite an arbitrary point to say that babies are sufficiently independent to be given rights as persons.  Often at the end of life, elderly people become more and more dependent on others, but this does not take away their right to life.

Essentially the argument to say the unborn have no right to life because of its dependency is age discrimination, and should not be tolerated.

Being pro-life at uOttawa

by Theresa Stephenson

This is my speech from the National Campus Life Network dinner that followed the March for Life, regarding my experience in leadership and pro-life activism on the uOttawa campus.

~ ~ ~

A few days ago I met up with a friend of mine for a chat over a cup of coffee. Our opinions tend to differ on every possible subject and topic. When he asked me how I enjoyed my first year at uOttawa I told him all about the pro-life club – its members, activities, events – and about the amazing things I had learned from my involvement over the past year.

His reply to me was “Theresa, I understand your opinions on these issues. I know you’re pro-life and you can make valid arguments. You’re a rational and intelligent person, but I could name a hundred things that are more worthwhile to protest than abortion.”

He couldn’t be more wrong.

When life and death is in the balance, nothing could be more important. Every year, almost 100,000 beating hearts are stopped by abortion in Canada. Women are being brutally battered, physically and psychologically hurt by these procedures in clinics and hospitals. Families are being shattered. And all of this is permissible by law. All of this is considered the status quo. These issues are the most important to be fighting against.

It’s not easy being pro-life. We’re certainly not the cool kids on campus. At best, our peers might put up with us if we’re fairly quiet about our radical opinions. At worst, our freedom of expression is denied and our voices are silenced. All this makes our work that much harder.

We’re standing up for each person’s right to life while most people ignore it. We’re standing up against injustices and that goes against the grain. It’s a hard thing to do, and I know there are times when I feel overwhelmed by the unfathomable daily loss of human life.

But the dark clouds part and the shadows are dispelled when the truth touches the heart of even one person. Last September, I met a remarkable young woman who has become a very close friend. She was pro-choice. After a couple of months and many conversations, I saw her heart change. She is now actively pro-life. Seeing this one mind change is truly encouraging. Seeing this one person bravely embark in the new territory of pro-life activism is inspiring. One such transformation is the perfect antidote to discouragement.

This past year, I made some incredible friends in the club. The strength and camaraderie in the group inspires me to keep fighting and working. And not only the members of uOttawa Students for Life, but tonight as we gather from various campuses we remain united in the goal to make abortion unthinkable.

The 10 lies we tell (supposedly)

by Elizabeth Tanguay

As I was trying to find the uOSFL group on Parliament Hill while at the March for Life, pro-choicers were handing out pamphlets entitled, “10 Lies that Anti-Choice groups are telling you about abortion.” I kept it because I figured it needs to be refuted. Eventually I plan to write a rebuttal and send it back to them (studies and all), but for now here it is as some “food for thought”.

Here is the pamphlet from the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC).

To contact them about their pamphlet:

info@arcc-cdac.ca

ARCC-CDAC
P.O. Box 2663
Station Main, Vancouver, BC
V6B 3W3

On a completely different note, sign up to support this excellent documentary that is having its premiere in New York this week: Blood Money Film.

The Hippocratic Oath

by Paul T

Doctors can often be the most influential figures for women who are confused and nervous about their unplanned pregnancy. Women see doctors as healers, role models, even important figures when they have no one else to turn to. These doctors, however, even under the Hippocratic oath, are often keen to suggest abortion as the first and only option for the woman seeking help. I seem to remember and quote one of the most important lines in the Hippocratic oath:

Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

It seems to me this part of the oath remains as true to the doctor’s role now as it ever did. Isn’t the doctor the one who heals? The one who cures? The one who cares for patients? Let’s remember that pregnancy is not a disease, it is the natural reproductive cycle of the human species. Thus, terminating it is not curing anything. It’s not healing anything either, nor is it caring for the patients, the woman and child.

The doctor plays an essential role in the lives of men, women, and children, and his Hippocratic oath is explicit in its defence of life in all instances. The doctor’s role of curing, and healing, and protecting life can be no more evident in the role of delivery at childbirth. The doctor’s role of delivering the unborn child and handing it to the mother is a much different picture than that of the “doctor” who aspirates the unborn child into a machine, or dismembers it within the mother’s womb. It is up to us, as a just and responsible society, to stand up for the giving of life in all circumstances, and not to be turning a blind eye to “doctors” who recommend and perform the spilling of innocent blood.