Monthly Archives: June 2010

Equal Rights? Lose Your Femininity.

by Theresa Stephenson

Abortion advocates say that I require an operation to be equal to a man. Apparently, a woman must have free access to abortion in order to exercise the same freedoms as a man.

But, as a young female, I ask: why do I need to divorce myself from my fertility in order to be equal to a man? Why do I need to deny the essence of my womanhood? Why do I need to destroy my natural dignity as a woman for the sake of so-called “reproductive rights”? Why should I change myself to be a man to be equal? I don’t. Functioning female anatomy intact, I am equal to a man.

My equality and my liberation are not dependent on the ability to kill my child. I don’t need that “choice.” I don’t want that “choice.” It degrades me.

This entire debate is wrapped in ambiguity and abstractions. The pro-choice world is obsessed with ideas of “reproductive rights” and “choice”. But what do those ideas represent? What concrete, physical reality do they reflect?

When you only think in such terms, it’s easy to forget that that the “choice” to “terminate” is actually stopping the beating heart of a child in the name of “reproductive rights.” But, abstractions aside, abortion – the willful termination of pregnancy – infringes on the right to life of another human being. When we discard those ambiguous terms we will see what is actually at the root of abortion: murdered babies and wronged women.

I won’t allow proponents of abortion to rob me of my personhood, my identity as a woman. I refuse to submit to the idea that my sexuality must be “reigned in” or mastered by means of a surgical procedure. I don’t need a surgical procedure to exercise my liberty as freely as a man. But a woman’s dignity will only be secure when the dignity of all human life is protected. Both mother and child are equally endowed with the inalienable right to life. And that is equality worth fighting for.

Advertisements

“Human Beings Are Not Commodities”

by Reita S.

[While this is not strictly within the parameters of uOSFL’s mission, in light of the recent poll uOSFL produced, I thought it would be important to say a few words about human trafficking and the sex trade.]

I spent most of my life in a blissful ignorance about the realities of human trafficking. I knew that there were prostitutes all over the world, but I had never seen one. I heard stories now and then of child prostitution, but my mind filtered this to mean older teenage girls, not six year olds.

I was swiftly shown the light when I discovered the organization Love146. They are dedicated to rehabilitating, healing, and training former child prostitutes after they are liberated from brothels. In their e-book on slavery, they rightly state that “Human beings are not commodities; children are not for sale.”

As pro-lifers, we believe that all life has intrinsic worth and value. Slavery, whether sexual or not, strips value from human lives – it make them things to be bought and sold, used and discarded. So much of the rhetoric surrounding the choice of the mother towards the unborn child is echoed here that it surprises me that abortion is legal and slavery and sexual exploitation is a crime.

Please, as pro-lifers, consider that we cry to “protect, celebrate, and defend the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death”.  Consider the lack of dignity and protection of the slave and the sex worker. Consider widening your perception of pro-life to want dignity and value for each of the 27 million people trapped in this multi-billion dollar business.

Survivors!

by Elizabeth Tanguay

Recently, the famous blind Italian musician Andrea Bocelli revealed that he was almost aborted. Fortunately for the music world and for his fans, he was not.

Here is a beautiful clip of him playing the piano and telling his story. (It’s in Italian but there are subtitles):

This is what he shared with the audience in the video:

“A young pregnant wife has been hospitalized for a simple attack of appendicitis. The doctors had to apply some ice on her stomach, and when the treatments ended, the doctors suggested she abort the child. They told her it was the best solution because the baby would be born with some disability. But the young brave wife decided not to abort and the child was born. That woman was my mother, and I was the child.

Maybe I’m partisan, but I can say it was the right choice. And I hope this could encourage many mothers that sometimes find themselves in difficult situations, in those moments when life is complicated, but want to save the life of their baby.”

Hey, maybe I’m partisan too, but I know of two young people in my church who are adopted. Their birth mother could have aborted them too, but she gave them life. And I can say that this brother and sister are also very glad that their mother made that choice.

We are all survivors of the abortion holocaust. Our mothers chose life. And I think they made the right choice too. To see more stories like this, please visit www.IAmWholeLife.org.

A note from uOSFL: While it would certainly be a loss to the music community to lose Mr. Bocelli, we must remember that every aborted child never has the chance to be missed. Whether they might have grown up to be prodigies of some sort, of just to be regular people, they are missing. And the number of missing children is frightening because when we grieve them, we don’t even know what we miss.

40 Days for Life

While this may seem premature in a wet and chilly June when many of us are dreaming of summer, we would like to remind you all that 40 Days for Life Ottawa will be beginning on September 23, 2010 and lasting until November 1.

40 Days for Life is a 40-day 24-hour prayer vigil outside the Morgentaler Abortion Clinic, located at Bank and Sparks. Teams are invited to sign up for a one-hour slot during the event. Although this vigil is organized by a Catholic organization,  uOSFL has always been and remains a non-religious organization; however, even as a non-religious organization, we support the work of 40 Days for Life as it calls constant public attention to the plight of the unborn.

40 Days also offers training for volunteers in ‘sidewalk counselling’, which is engaging the people who are seeking out the Clinic and trying to help them arrive at a better solution than abortion.

If you are a member of a club, group, or organization that supports life, regardless of your religious inclination, consider signing up for 40 Days for Life  – your presence is just as important as your prayers.

UPDATE: uOSFL will be particpating in 40 Days for Life every Friday from noon ’til 3pm. If you would like to participate in the vigil but are unable to find a group to attend with, consider coming and standing with us.

Father’s Day Frosty Weekend

by Dante De Luca

I am sure that many of you have heard adoption touted as the ideal alternative to abortion. I know that when I was growing up, my family would participate in Life Chain protests, and among the “Abortion Kills Children” and the “Abortion Hurts Women” signs, there were other signs that said “Adoption: The Loving Option”. Even now, a quick Google search for “Alternatives to abortion” gives adoption as the number one hit. The fact is, there are not many options you have if you are pregnant but unable to raise a family, and abortion is out of the question.

That being said, many pro-choice people (and others) will be quick to point out that adoption is not quite as easy or happy as we sometimes make it out to be (for instance, consider this comment to Rebecca’s post on pro-life feminism). In particular, many will point out that there are already huge amounts of children in foster care waiting for adoption in Canada; according to the Adoption Council of Canada and the Children’s Aid Foundation, the number is approximately 22 000, while only about 1700 end up getting adopted each year. (This argument has been used several times in discussions I have participated in.)

The moral of the story is, if you want to promote putting up unwanted children for adoption, it would probably be a good idea to also promote adopting unwanted children.

One promoter of the adoption of these children is the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (their usual website is currently down, but here is an archived version from 2008). It was founded by Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s restaurants. Through Wendy’s, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption raises money to help get these huge amounts of children into the happy loving families that we pro-lifers like to talk about.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post: next weekend, Wendy’s is having their annual fundraiser for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, called “Father’s Day Frosty Weekend”. Basically how it works is that if you buy a Frosty on June 20 or 21, Wendy’s will donate 50¢ to the Dave Thomas Foundation. Now, I am not going to tell you to go buy a Frosty on Father’s Day (I’m not being paid to advertise), but I will say that it does seem to be a fairly easy (and rather tasty) way to promote adoption as a viable option in the pro-life debate.

Where’s Your Joy?

by Reita S.

Just before Easter, my co-workers and I were going out for dinner. As we walked from the university to the restaurant, we passed about a block below the Morgentaler Clinic, and site of the 24-hour vigil, 40 Days for Life.

Though the vigil wasn’t taking place at the time, one of my co-workers commented, “That’s where all the pro-life people congregate.” Of course, I waited somewhat anxiously for his opinion of us. “You know,” he continued, “They just seem really miserable. Every time I walk past, I see a bunch of old ladies hunched over signs that say ‘God loves you; Save babies’ and clicking their rosaries. Where’s their joy? It just seems like a duty or something.”

I must admit I really didn’t know what to say to that and I’m glad the subject was dropped as we continued on; however, I’ve been turning that comment over in my mind for the couple of months since. Did he just go by on a bad day, when the weather was terrible and only a few wet volunteers made it out? Was he reading some personal biases into the people’s expressions? Or did he see something of a scary reality – we feel like saving babies is a duty or obligation?

The pro-life movement certainly has significant ties to religious groups, specifically the Roman Catholic Church. This does not mean that all pro-lifers are Catholic, Christian, or even religious. Pro-life is a moral ideology that is not limited to one particular faith or age group. Why then do people hear the word ‘pro-life’ and think we must all be elderly Catholic ladies, intent on judging the young or some such nonsense?

Clearly, trying to marginalise a position makes it easier to criticise. I think that my co-worker found it much easier to dismiss the prayer vigil by reducing it to two groups which endure a lot of criticism ‘the outdated elderly’ and ‘the crazy Catholics’. Perhaps he saw one woman like that and assumed the whole group was like that? I’m not sure. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t ask.

All I can say is that as pro-lifers, we need to be careful that our burden for truth and justice never becomes a burden of obligation. While protesting injustice is not something to rejoice over, we should certainly have the joy of our convictions and the knowledge that we are not compelled to do this. In fact, it would be so much easier to turn a blind eye! We are pro-lifers because we love justice and we have the hope that one day our efforts will change hearts and minds, and thus change laws and actions.

Don’t fall into the trap of letting this become a burden or a chore. Few people have respect for a reluctant activist. One of the biblical psalmists wrote that “zeal for your house has consumed me”. Let us take that as an example. Let our passion for justice transform our actions – let no one say that we’re only there because we have to.