Monthly Archives: March 2012

Parenthood and Education: Must we choose between the two?

by Thien-An Nguyen

After finishing a relatively brutal midterm, I was having a nice chat with one of my classmates. During our conversation, I learned that he had been a part-time student for more than half my life, and the reason for this long-term relationship with a Bachelor’s degree (as opposed to the standard four years) was that at the start of his post-secondary career, he had a daughter. As a result of her existence, he put his studies on hold for a while, and returned occasionally to pursue his love of learning. I was inspired by his dual commitment to his studies and to his family despite the obstacles.

That conversation got me thinking. Conventional wisdom tells us that there’s a dichotomy between education and family, that you can’t have both. Yet, the university campus is changing. It’s not just the domain of recent high school graduates. Education should be for people from all walks of life, including those caring for their families and, significantly, young single parents. Realistically, this means providing a variety of resources for pregnant women and single parents, such as campus day cares and classes offered online, at night, or on the weekend. In some respects, the University of Ottawa is not doing too poorly, with an on-campus daycare known as Garderie Bernadette Child Care Centre, though other resources could be improved, such as financial aid and scholarships and perhaps even a babysitter referral service.

Check out the deVeber Institute’s study on the availability of resources on Canadian university campuses for pregnant women and single-parent families and see how the University of Ottawa compares to other post-secondary institutions.

Pregnant women and single-parent families should not be forced to sacrifice their education for their families or the reverse. An accessible campus should also mean one that is conducive and open to parenting students.

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Movie Night and Club Elections!

This Thursday, March 22, at 7pm in Café Alt (basement of Simard), University of Ottawa Students for Life is showing the award-winning documentary “The Human Experience.” Popcorn and great people guaranteed! Following the movie, we will have our AGM to vote on constitutional amendments, after which we will proceed with our executive elections. If you would like to nominate yourself for a position, send us an email at info@uosfl.ca

Come one, come all, for one of the final events of the year!

1 in 4 Preborn Children Aborted


by Nicole Pachla

What a terrifying statistic. These words speak for themselves: 1 in 4 preborn children is aborted. What is happening to our nation?! A quarter of our generation has vanished and the next will continue to disappear if things do not change. Abortion is often seen as the default response to an unintended pregnancy and the consequences are deadly.

These preborn children are human beings, from the moment of conception, and they have the right to life just as much as you and I do. Give it a little thought. Those babies were not even given one single chance at life. Is that fair? Is this how a society should function?

Of course, there is no ideal society, but our society should at least strive to protect its weaker members, those who have no voice of their own, instead of mercilessly killing them.

Stand up and speak out for life because this statistic needs to change!

Finding Your Spark

by James Richmond

It is not difficult for people to believe something for so long that they end up forgetting why they believed it in the first place. Unfortunately, this has happened several times in my life, but, thankfully, each time something has happened to reaffirm my belief.

I was raised in a pro-life environment and I accepted the idea that abortion is wrong early on in my childhood. Obviously, as I grew my beliefs were challenged and thus they matured, helping to bring me to where I am today: majoring in Ethics at the University of Ottawa. Almost every day I have the opportunity to debate current controversial issues with my professors and classmates. We cover a broad range of topics like abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, eugenics, and animal rights. While I am so thankful that I have been given these wonderful opportunities to try and change the hearts and minds of my classmates, sometimes I can get caught up in the philosophizing and forget the very real battle that is taking place every day in abortion clinics around the world.

A couple of weeks ago, during the spring break, I was privileged to be able to travel down to Florida with some of my close friends to enjoy the beaches. While we were visiting, the 40 Days for Life campaign was taking place, and the local parish invited us to join them outside the abortion clinic for the hour that they had signed up for. We gladly accepted and spent an hour that evening holding signs and praying for any young couple who was considering an abortion.

I have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign in Ottawa, and I knew that this was not just confined to Canada, but despite that knowledge it was inspiring to see our two nations united in a common purpose. As I mentioned earlier, despite debating life issues frequently in class, it is easy to view abortion in a sterilized, philosophical light, and not as an ongoing reality where lives are lost every day. Standing out on the sidewalk in Florida with a pregnancy crisis centre on one side of the street and an abortion clinic on the other side, I was reminded just how real the battle is that is going on for the lives of our preborn children.

It may seem like a comical comparison, but the two buildings straddling the street with their two very different purposes seemed similar to the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other acting as two opposing consciences. I can only imagine the incredible stress and fear that must go on in a woman’s head as she stands looking at those two buildings on either side of her. While I stood there and prayed for the lives of the preborn and the hearts of the couples considering an abortion, my passion for the pro-life campaign was reignited.

The purpose behind this blog post is not to just tell you about an experience that I had, but to challenge readers to find their spark. Go out and find the spark the reignites the fire in your heart so that when you begin to question why it is that you are going to a club meeting when you have a paper due the next day, you will think back to that spark and be inspired. Whether it be seeing the horrific graphic images of aborted foetuses, standing on a street corner outside a clinic or high school, or debating with your friends, I hope that everyone fighting for the rights of the preborn has something that stirs up their passion for defending life.

Down Syndrome and Abortion

by Elizabeth Tanguay

The latest fad these days in obstetrics is the Integrated Prenatal Screening test (IPS). Doctors may offer this screening, a combination of blood tests and nuchal translucency ultrasound, for neural tube defects and chromosomal anomalies to pregnant women over the age of 35. These tests can detect the probability of the fetus having spina bifida or Down syndrome. If the chance is greater than 1/200, the screen is considered positive and the parents are then offered further testing, such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, which carry a small risk to the fetus. After this, if the fetus is deemed to have Down syndrome, or trisomy 18 or trisomy 13, the obstetrician will offer the parents the option to terminate the pregnancy. There is no real prenatal cure or treatment for Down syndrome, or trisomy 18 or trisomy 13 or spina bifida, except perhaps later in the pregnancy and in utero, which wouldn’t cure the problem, but would perhaps treat some of the heart, nerve and other organ defects. The reason obstetricians and family doctors offer this treatment so early is to give the parents a chance to abort.

Isn’t it strange, that in this post-Nazi, post-World War II age, in times when we have equal opportunity employers, disability benefits, special parking places for people with a disability, the Special Olympics and the Paralympics, that 90% of children with Down syndrome are aborted? Our modern, tolerant society that says that people with a disability are gifts to society would rather kill them than allow them to be born. This is a classic example of modern eugenics at work, as well as the consumer society we live in. We need to understand that children are not products to be consumed, items to purchase, the latest “thing” you must have: they are gifts, loaned to us for a short time to bring joy, laughter, simplicity, and wonder to the world.

But why would we want to rid the world of children with Down syndrome? The number of people who know a person with Down syndrome is decreasing, but those of us who know them can attest to their gentleness, sensitivity, friendliness, and their genuine love for other people. Parents of these children say that the whole family learns so much more from this child with a disability than they could ever imagine. A lesson we all need to learn is that those with genetic differences have just as much of a right to experience life, love and happiness as anyone else.

Check out these excellent articles written by Canadian parents of children who have Down Syndrome:
There’s no such thing as the perfect child
Our daughter’s Down syndrome has taken us on a beautiful journey
Adoption of children with Down syndrome is also increasingly popular: A demand for Down’s
Another great, touching article by the father of a man who has Down Syndrome.

Female Feticide

From Aborting Women’s Rights:

So prevalent is this trend that the delicate balance required to maintain healthy populations is becoming badly skewed. According to an article in The New Atlantis:

“The practice has become so ruthlessly routine in many contemporary societies that it has impacted their very population structures, warping the balance between male and female births and consequently skewing the sex ratios for the rising generation toward a biologically unnatural excess of males. This still-growing international predilection for sex-selective abortion is by now evident in the demographic contours of dozens of countries around the globe – and it is sufficiently severe that it has come to alter the overall sex ratio at birth of the entire planet, resulting in millions upon millions of new ‘missing baby girls’ each year. In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.”

When feminists talk about abortion, they do so in terms of women’s rights. Legalized abortion empowers women, they assert, because it puts them in control over their bodies; it gives them the choice whether or not to bear a child who has been conceived. What these proponents of “liberty” fail to consider, however, is that in many cases women are “choosing” abortion at the behest of someone else. Cultural pressures, fear of retaliation, and other factors are driving them to end the lives of their unborn children because daughters are deemed undesirable. Thus, abortion is being used as an instrument of oppression against females, not as a tool of liberation.

No doubt abortion advocates would argue that it is not abortion that is at fault here, but backward cultures that are misusing the tools of liberty in order to further their misogynistic agendas. Third world abortion might be an abusive, repugnant phenomenon, but that says nothing about its use in the western world. Such logic is nothing short of delusional. When it comes to questions of life and death, there is little gray area. You are either an advocate of life, a supporter of inherent human dignity, or you aren’t. You can’t justify the killing of the unborn the name “choice” and then complain when others exercise that choice in ways you find objectionable.

So this leaves the feminists of the west in somewhat of a pickle. What will they make of these new demographic trends? Will they stick to their guns and defend the use of abortion even as a tool of gender-based infanticide? Will they attempt to somehow construct a “morality of abortion” in which only certain motivations for the procedure are deemed justifiable? Will they evade the issue altogether?

For the sake of millions of unborn women around the world, here’s hoping this trend puts some pressure the pro-abortion movement to reconsider the implications of their inhuman and inhumane conception of human “rights.”