Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Non-Conformist Mind, A Reflective Mind

by Sophia Neppel

This fall term is already almost half over and still I find myself thinking back to the first week of classes, particularly to the table that uOSFL had during Clubs’ Week.

If I have ever experienced anything truly out of the ordinary in my university career, it has always taken place at one of our club tables. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because that is when we stand in public as pro-lifers, making ourselves available for dialogue with passersby. But that’s another set of stories for another time.

At the moment, I would like to focus on an exchange that I had with a friend that my sister brought around to our table that first week. They are both first-years, so you can imagine how exciting it must be for them to be experiencing university life for the first time: nothing would be more exhilarating than walking down the bustling pedestrian walkway, surrounded by a teeming multitude of clubs and fellow students. Surprise… stop… “hey, look, it’s my sister at a table, let’s say hi.” So they stop and she introduces us. After exchanging the words that people who meet for the first time exchange, plus a few more, he asked what the club that I was representing was about.

I proceeded to introduce him to the club and told him what we were about. He was surprised, in a reflective sort of way. I could tell that the issue of abortion was not new to him, that it had been weighed in his mind before, and that he had not yet become complacent towards it… smart kid. He said that he liked to consider abortion from two sides, the pregnant woman’s and that of the foetus she carried. He could see both perspectives and sympathize with each. He had not settled on a position: he could see how a woman could have an abortion because she found herself in a position she didn’t want to be in, but at the same time he felt sad that a life would be ended, would be no more, would never grow and experience life as others do. He was reasoning backwards, starting with what life would be like as an adult and thinking that the aborted would never have that, and it saddened him: how could a life that has come into being just be gotten rid of, undone, ended?

The exchange gave me hope because it showed me that there are young people out there, products of society (we could say), who are not conformists: they are able to reflect on highly controversial issues with an independent mind.

Advertisements

Pro-Lifers Appear on Michael Coren Show

On October 21, former uOSFL president Rebecca Richmond, and current Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, appeared on the Michael Coren Show. She appeared along with NCLN President Theresa Gilbert, and Carleton Lifeline’s Ruth Lobo and James Shaw. Jojo Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform and Alanna Campbell of the Calgary Pro-life club appeared via satellite.

The panel met to discuss the issues of university censorship of the pro-life message, which came to a head in the arrest of 6 pro-life students attempting to display the Genocide Awareness Project at Carleton University earlier this month. In the past three years, 8 university pro-life clubs have met with antagonism from their university administrations over club status or other club rights because of their unpopular and controversial viewpoints. These clubs include UVic, Lakehead, Brandon, and York. Jojo Ruba also highlighted the student protesting he has encountered attempting to deliver his lecture “Echoes of the Holocaust” at St. Mary’s and McGill.

uOSFL would like to thank the University of Ottawa for the fair and even-handed treatment they have given us, in that we have neither lost our club status nor our club funding. However, we have received antagonism from pro-choice groups on our campus, most notably the Women’s Resource Centre, which was very antagonistic of our annual baby-shower fundraiser, which supplies maternity and infant clothing and supplies to women in adverse circumstances trying to raise children, through our partnership with First Place Pregnancy Centre.

We encourage people to watch the video of the Michael Coren Show and to think about the ramifications of this type of thinking not in terms of the pro-life message, but in terms of freedom of speech and censorship.

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity

by Dante De Luca

It has been a tradition at uOSFL for the past two years to participate in the annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. This year, however, it seems to have slipped our minds, most likely due to the flurry of recent events (notably our Debate and the GAP affair at Carleton University).

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity: uOSFL 2009

So, despite the fact that we are not congregating in the cafeteria with red duct tape over our mouths today, I still encourage each and every one of you to take a moment of silence today to remember those who will never have a voice.

Live Birth Abortion – Infanticide?

by Reita S.

Part of the rhetoric in the abortion debate revolves around the question of the born and pre-born child. In Canadian law, for example, the born child is awarded retroactive legal rights through all nine months of pregnancy. (This means that in the instance of pre-birth assault, a born child and its mother can BOTH sue the offender.) However, a child who dies before birth or is aborted does not have these legal rights. (So if the child did not survive the pre-birth assault, the mother can still sue, but the child, as it was never live-born, cannot.)

While I lament that the Unborn Victims of Crime bill in Canada did not pass, which would have allowed legal process on behalf of a wanted pre-born child killed in an assault, I am at least pleased to see that Canada legally acknowleges that at the moment of birth the child has legal rights and is deserving of protection.

Imagine my anger, then, at the controversy in the United States over “live birth abortion”, also known as “induced labour abortion”. In this process, performed in late-term pregnancies, the doctor gives the woman medication which causes her to go into premature labour and expell the baby, rather than using a D&C or saline procedure.

The horrible part of this is that the child is often not “born dead”. In fact, children born through this procedure can live for hours – and they receive no medical treatment. They are treated as ‘medical waste’ and are wrapped in a blanket and left to die alone. They are issued both birth and death certificates, but never receive any of the medical help a premie baby would receive.

Consider the testimony of nurse Jill Stanek:

“It is not uncommon for one of these live aborted babies to linger for an hour or two or even longer. One of them once lived for almost eight hours. […] In the event that a baby is aborted alive, he or she receives no medical assessments or care but is only given what my hospital calls “comfort care.” “Comfort care” is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket until he or she dies, although even this minimal compassion is not always provided. It is not required that these babies be held during their short lives.”

“One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down’s Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about ½ pound, and was about 10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall. After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken.”

How is this not infanticide? Since when is being ‘wanted’ the only thing that matters?

Carleton Pro-Life Students Arrested

uOSFL would like to express support for and solidarity with the university students arrested on Carleton University’s campus today in connection with their display of the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP). The students were denied a public space to air the peaceful protest, and were instead offered a closed room in a remote section of campus.

This is an issue of censorship of an unpopular message by the Carleton University administration, and a shameful violation of the rules laid out in Carleton’s own student handbook.

The students were charged with trespassing.

THE GREAT DEBATE – Abortion: a Human Right or a Human Rights Violation?

You don’t want to miss this epic debate on Tuesday, October 5 at 6:30 pm! Both sides will be defended by excellent debaters. On the pro-life side, we have Stephanie Gray, who is coming all the way from Calgary, and on the pro-choice side we have Romeo Maione, who will be going all the way to Botswana to compete in the World Debating Championship later this year.

There is no cost and refreshments will be provided. The location is Roger Guindon Hall, Room 2005 (it’s at 451 Smyth Road, not the main U of O campus). For more info, please check out the Facebook event or contact ottawastudentsforlife@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!