Monthly Archives: May 2010

National March for Life 2010

Yes indeed my friends, it is once again time for the National March for Life. Tomorrow (being the 13th of May), we will show our fellow Canadians what our pro-life community is made of. For the official agenda, see here. For the uOSFL version, keep reading.

Now, as you may have guessed, the March for Life involves marching, so I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing water. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 17°, so umbrellas and coats may be unnecessary but you may want to bring hats and sunglasses. The March itself begins at 1:30 pm, and may last about an hour. After the March, you may recuperate from the strenuous journey through the streets of Ottawa.

This, then, is the plan. We will be meeting on Parliament Hill at 12:00 noon. The club will be meeting at the halfway point between the Centennial Flame and the southeast corner of the lawn. So: if you are at the Centennial Flame, facing the Peace Tower, turn right and walk towards the East Block; you should bump into us about halfway across the lawn. We can be recognised by our enormous banner.

We encourage all students from the campuses to meet up with us by 1:15pm (just before the march starts) so we can all march together!

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“The times they are a-changin’…”

by Eliza Jane Phillis

I’ll be the first to admit that for someone who has lived in Ottawa for four years, attending classes mere minutes away from Parliament Hill, I know very little, and to be perfectly honest, care very little about most of the political process. I vote more out of a sense of obligation toward the strong women of the suffragette movement than anything else, and that’s about it. However, I would really have to have my head in the sand not to have heard about the recent increase in interest in the abortion debate. I don’t really know what the G8 Summit is and only just realized it was happening in my own country this past week; yet, I can’t help but feel grateful for its unexpected side effect. It seems Prime Minister Harper’s has proposed plan of action to combat maternal health tragedies in developing countries which is wonderful and important. Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff’s appears to have pushed for the incorporation of access to abortion in this commendable initiative, and the Prime Minister said no. However, the discussions didn’t end there and the proposal and its opposition have really stirred the pot on the abortion debate. It seems Mr. Ignatieff, in trying to insinuate abortion into a proposal in which it has no place, has achieved what pro-lifers have been trying to do for years with minimal success: bring the abortion debate back to the public’s attention.

Listlessly flipping through a bus station newspaper yesterday waiting for my 96 downtown, I came across no less than three articles concerning abortion. One of these actually showcased the situation of University of Calgary students who are facing expulsion for participating in a controversial pro-life display. I was shocked! I’ve participated in a national March for Life which (legally) shut down whole streets in the capital city and seen no mention of it in the paper the next day. This type of exposure over a debate which the powers that be would like us to believe is closed and old news only demonstrates that the exact opposite is true. Yes, most of the articles had to do with the pro-choice side, but they still hopefully made my fellow readers think about where they stand in the debate which we pro-lifers know never really ended, but which many people on the street would likely rather ignore. This is an opportunity for us to explain our well-reasoned positions on life issues. This could be the unexpected spark which ignites a change in the hearts of those like myself who know little about politics but instead vote according to my personal moral convictions. I challenge all pro-life men and women in this time of great potential to take the time to really consider why you are pro-life. We all have our own personal reasons which keep us anchored to an ideal which sometimes seems so counter-cultural, and being able to clearly articulate and express these reasons is how we will change hearts one person at a time. We can’t all be politicians creating laws to preserve the dignity of life, but we can all explain why we as individuals maintain and promote this ideal. I commend the work of brave pro-life politicians, but I truly feel that politics will not in the end be the solution. Society needs to change, and no laws will bring this about, but individuals having respectful, intelligent, and open conversations have the power to end abortion in this country.

All good things must come to an end

by Rebecca Richmond

I spent Saturday in my living room, surrounded by mounds and mounds of papers. Four years worth of paper to be exact: neat notes I took in class, well-cared-for coursepacks, assignments, journal articles, receipts, financial records, bits of this and that. Much of it – perhaps even most of it- got recycled. The end result was a feeling of nostalgia that has lingered…

See, I finished my last exam of university last week and now, I must turn to the daunting task of packing up. My roommate and I have given notice to our landlord and are trying to figure out, after four years, who owns what in this place. “Whose casserole dish is this?” “Aw… I don’t own any cutlery of my own!”

The rather sad task of saying goodbye to friends has begun and I fall asleep dreaming of the best manner in which to pack the over abundance of belongings I seem to have accumulated.

University has been a good four years. Not always easy, but always interesting. I believe, and I hope, that I’ve developed my intellectual capacities, my critical thinking and writing skills, and, perhaps, gained a better understanding of the world. But I can’t recall anything from that one economics class I was required to take, and I doubt I can tell you many facts or figures from various other classes.

But for two and a half years I’ve been a pro-life activist with uOttawa Students for Life. It’s been the highlight of my university career. I certainly remember more from that than from economics! It gave meaning to my studies and helped define these past four years.

I will miss city, the University, the club, my friends, and being (relatively) close to my family. But all good things must come to an end. One chapter of my life closes, and another begins. I’m sad to leave uOSFL but I’m also happy, knowing that it is in such capable hands. I’m confident that Theresa, Amanda and the amazing leadership team will take the club to new heights next year, building on a foundation that I was privileged to help lay.

Pro-life has always been a passion of mine. Now, it’s more than that. It’s a choice that I’ve made. Pro-life isn’t just something I believe; it’s a mission I have to live. Leaving Ottawa and uOSFL isn’t the end of that choice and that mission. No, it’s just the beginning.

A consensus on abortion?

by Paul T

There is a striking distinction to be made in recent political developments. The opposition parties are standing in full contrast against the government in regards to the funding of abortion in the G8 Maternal Health Package. The government, much to the relief of pro-lifers, is not backing down from its announced stance on rejecting funds for abortion in developing countries. These opposition parties are calling on the government to remain true to the “consensus” that has remained in Canada for 25 years. This “consensus” is supposedly pro-abortion, according to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

I don’t think I could be any clearer; never, in the last 25 years of politics in Canada, has there been a “consensus” on abortion, for or against. Never has there been legal ground to promote or demote abortion services in Canada. The House of Commons had passed a bill intending to offer some legal framing in regards to abortion services shortly after the R. V. Morgentaler decision, but this legislation died in a Senate tie vote, effectively promoting a free roam on abortion services, for anyone who wanted them, at any time. What does this mean for pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike? More importantly, what does it mean for women, and their unborn children? It means a woman can receive an abortion at ANY stage in her pregnancy, even the moment before birth. The unborn child has no recognized status in the eyes of the government until it has FULLY exited the woman’s body.

Even more striking, there is no legal framing to protect women who may be coerced into having an abortion by their family, their boyfriend, or significant other, their doctor, or any person of influence in their lives. The result has been effectively a battleground over the woman’s body for anyone who wants to take part. We as a society have been so keen to give women this right to abortion, that we have completely looked past any commitment to protect women from the implications that this brings on to them by people of influence in their lives. Pro-choice activists are vehemently against any attempt to protect women in these vulnerable situations. This can be great ground to build off of as pro-lifers in an attempt to care for the woman and her unborn child at the same time.

CBC coverage of censorship of pro-life clubs

by Rebecca Richmond

All in all, not bad coverage.  So much for the abortion debate being over….

Click here for CBC Video Coverage

It’s awful what groups like that of the University of Calgary and Victoria and have to endure.  Their examples of courage, selflessness, perseverance and determination are inspiration for us all.

The Ghetto and the Merry-Go-Round

by Daniel Gilman

An excerpt from my notes written while in my history class on the Holocaust

In the spring of 1943, right next to the Warsaw ghetto, a merry-go-round was built for the recreation and regeneration of the polish citizens. While professionals slaughtered the Jews of the ghetto, their neighbours laughed and played. They did not laugh about what was happening to the Jews. No, many of them were likely against such things. Most of them simply never thought about it. But right when the Jews most needed neighbours, these individuals continued on with their lives as if everything was normal.

Would I have done any different? Would I have made faith, family, school, and recreation my priorities? Or would I have sacrificed my comfort for the wellbeing of the marginalized and the decimated. I cannot answer that question, for I would have been one of those starving in the ghetto, and even if was a gentile Polish citizen it would only be speculation as to what I would have done. But I can answer the question with regard to how I will respond to the human rights violations of today. My question to myself is not how have I lived thus far, but rather what will I do today?

A parallel universe

by Marissa Poisson

Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently claimed that “intelligent alien life forms almost certainly exist.” This led me to wonder what aliens would think about a debate we are having here on Earth. As I follow the controversy surrounding the G8 maternal and child health initiative, at times I feel like I might be living in a parallel universe. The Canadian government’s decision not to include funding for abortion in its plan to help save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable mothers and children continues to elicit outrage from some. Over in my parallel universe, it is incomprehensible that ending the lives of unborn children in impoverished nations would constitute humanitarian aid. Hunger, disease, violence, war – sadly, these are all-too-present in developing countries. But how does it follow that we can help others by promoting death as a solution? Because that is what opposition to abortion boils down to: abortion is wrong because it kills a human being. It doesn’t matter whether a pregnant woman is Canadian or Congolese: the child growing inside her has a right to life. An abortion is an act of violence, and the countries the G8 initiative will help certainly don’t need more of those. Women the world over need to find compassionate support when they look for help during a crisis pregnancy, not an offer to abort their baby.

Sometimes it’s easy to think that few people inhabit my parallel universe. The National March for Life is an excellent opportunity to see that that is not at all the case. On May 13th, thousands of people will gather on Parliament Hill to march through the streets of our nation’s capital and be a voice for the voiceless. If you live in the Ottawa area or can make the trip, I strongly encourage you to come to this important event. Who knows, you might even meet a friendly uOSFL earthling!