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Chalking on Campus

A few weeks ago, members of uOttawa Students for Life did some chalking around campus, helping to bring messages of truth and of love for preborn children and their mothers to our fellow students.

Abortion By The Numbers in Canada

The National Post recently published a very informative and sobering infographic that breaks down the number of abortions that happened in Canada in 2009 by province and age of mother and child. (Note that the data underestimates the number of abortions because they’re not all reported.) What will you do to help decrease the number of preventable deaths where you live?

On a similar note, it was recently reported that 491 babies were born alive and left to die following botched abortions in Canada from 2000 to 2009. Have you emailed your MP?

Coming Up in Ottawa

First Place OPTIONS is holding its 20th Anniversary Dinner & Auction this Friday, October 19th, from 6pm to 10pm. Our club supports this pregnancy resource centre every year through our December baby shower.

Life Canada‘s National Pro-Life Conference is October 25-27 and takes place not in Ottawa but in Toronto.

Kathleen Gray of the Centre for Reproductive Loss will be at Saint Paul University on Saturday, November 3rd in Room 102 (through the main doors, up the stairs, and straight down the hall to your left) for a training session from 9:30-10:30am and Q&A from 10:30-11:30am, regarding the Healing Process Model © for use by counselors, clergy, etc. in acknowledging and compassionately addressing the emotional, spiritual, and psychological distress of individuals and families affected by such loss as miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, adoption, SIDS, infertility, and sterility.

On the evening of November 3, Action Life has a fundraiser with Brian Lilley called Changing the Culture by Changing Hearts and Minds at St. Maurice Parish (4 Perry Street). Cocktails are at 6:30pm, the lasagna dinner is at 7pm and the cost is $35.

The 40 Days for Life campaign continues until November 4th.

A Rachel’s Vineyard retreat weekend will be held in Ottawa the weekend of November 9-11 to offer non-judgmental post-abortion healing for women and men.

A Wine and Chocolate Tasting Event to benefit Campaign Life Coalition and the Miriam Centre will be held on Sunday, November 18 from 2pm to 5pm at St. Francis Xavier High School (3740 Spratt Road). The event will be hosted by Nick Vandergradt from CFRA and Stephen Woodworth will be the guest speaker.

Also in Toronto rather than Ottawa, the deVeber Institute‘s Annual Dinner and Public Lecture will be on November 22 at 7pm. Margaret Somerville will speak on The Deadly Debate: Physician-Assisted Suicide on Trial at the University of Toronto. Email bioethics@deveber.org for more info and to RSVP for this free event.

After Motion 312, What Now?

Wondering what to do now that the vote on Motion 312 is over? First, see how your MP voted and send an email thanking them or expressing your disappointment.

Next, take a moment to support Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister for the Status of Women, who has been getting quite a bit of flack for having an open mind and supporting M312. Add your name to the petition supporting Minister Ambrose and send off a quick email to the PM to let him know you stand behind her.

And if that isn’t enough for you, you can also make a video showing your support:

Remember, the defeat of Motion 312 is not the end, just the beginning! Canadians are tuning into the debate, so keep making your voice heard.

Call to Action on Assisted Suicide

From NCLN:

Action Needed: BC Court Strikes Down Assisted-Suicide Ban

On Friday June 15th, the B.C. Supreme Court passed judgment on the Carter v. Canada Case. As Will Johnston, Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of B.C., stated in a National Post opinion piece, the decision “purports to create constitutional immunity for those who provide assistance to those seeking to kill themselves — a judgment that stands at odds with the Supreme Court of Canada’s Rodriguez ruling in 1993. …. Current law will stand for at least a year (the sole exception being the plaintiff in this case, 64-year-old ALS patient Gloria Taylor)”.

Allowing euthanasia and assisted suicide in our country directly threatens the lives of people with disabilities as well other vulnerable people in our society, and opens up further avenues for elder abuse.

A recent press release from the Canadian Association for Community Living concerning the Carter case decision stated, “Our concern, therefore, is that rather than advancing equality rights for Canadians with disabilities, this ruling will have quite the opposite effect. We fear that by embedding in Canadian law the message that some forms of human life are less worth living, the historic disadvantages faced by Canadians with disabilities that the equality rights provisions of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms were to address, will only be more deeply entrenched.”

We need you to raise awareness about the harms of legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide:
Sign this petition to the Attorney General of Canada, requesting that he adopts the strongest possible opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia
Read these talking points provided by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and send letters to your local media outlets outlining your opposition to the court’s ruling as it is a recipe for elder abuse, and creates a slippery slope which discriminates against people with disabilities and leaves them at risk
Contact the Justice Minister, the Honourable Robert Nicholson, asking him to stay the Carter decision and appeal it to the BC Court of Appeal
Become educated on this issue by checking out some of these articles and resources.

We hope you will do all you can to make your voice known in this matter. Our society has ultimately failed if our solution to problems is to eliminate the sufferer, rather than find measures to alleviate their suffering.

“What does it mean to give informed consent to one’s own death?
Is it meaningful to say that we can appreciate and understand the nature and consequences of that decision, when that decision means that we will no longer be here?
Isn’t autonomy about the right to non-interference, in the name of protecting one’s integrity, not undermining it?
Doesn’t the right to self-determination only find meaning because we wish to lay claim to our future?”
~Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President,
Canadian Association for Community Living

Also, check out the personal, thought-provoking piece by NCLN’s Executive Director, a uOSFL alumnus.

In Ottawa on Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mark your calendars for a day-long conference called The Justice Summit, or better yet register online now. Human trafficking is an affront to human dignity and all too often hidden.

It is estimated that 27 million people are enslaved around the world at any given moment.
80% of the victims of sex trafficking are women, 50% of these are children.
Human trafficking has risen to become the second most profitable crime globally after the drug trade.
Young women have been and continue to be trafficked in Ottawa and forced into sex slavery.
The Justice Summit will feature presentations by international human rights advocates, human trafficking survivors, and activists.

Up for Debate

Thank you to all those who came to the debate and who helped make it happen. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, watch it here:

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(For more footage of past uOSFL events, see our Videos page.)

See also a recap of the debate, a few photos and a list of debate decliners, courtesy of ProWomanProLife, as well as another take on the Canadian Physicians for Life Students blog.

Abortion on the Agenda on Nov. 10 and 11

Ottawa has two opportunities to hear the formidable Stephanie Gray take on abortion this week. In addition to the event below, she’ll be speaking on Thursday, Nov. 10 at St. Paul’s University in room 103 at 7 pm. The topic is Abortion and Intellectual Honesty. Come one, come all!

***New Location: Colonel By Hall, 161 Louis Pasteur, Room C03***
***Update: Jovan Morales of the Atheist Community of the University of Ottawa will be arguing the pro-choice position.***

Breaking Through: The 2011 NCLN Symposium

Re-posted from www.ncln.ca

Promoting the pro-life message on university campuses is not an easy task. There are many obstacles and barriers to contend with, both in the classroom and out. Discrimination, censorship, and controversy are issues but even more problematic is the student body’s apathetic attitude.

Breaking Through: The 2011 Symposium equips students like you to break through these obstacles on your campuses. The Symposium is much more than a conference. This annual gathering of pro-life student leaders from across Canada is a weekend of learning, networking, sharing, and laughing; a potent combination of taking in the knowledge of experts in the Pro-Life Movement and learning practical skills and strategies in order to have an impact on campus.

If you’re a student involved with a campus club or someone who’s interested in getting involved on campus, the Symposium is for you!

The symposium is Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Toronto. For more information, check it out on the NCLN blog or the Facebook event.

How Much Does a Baby Really Cost? Reflections After the First Year

by Naomi Charles

I was pregnant for the first time, and feeling a bit anxious, so I asked my brother whose wife had a baby the previous year, “How much does it cost to have a baby on a monthly basis?” David said, “If you can afford a coffee a day, you can afford to have a baby.”

Well, my baby girl turned a year old yesterday, and I have kept track of all the money we spent on her and guess what? David was right. All told, we spent $641.00. That is $52.41 a month and $1.75 a day! (Isn’t that the price of a coffee these days?)

Now what does $1.75 a day include? Well, everything: diapers, baby food, clothes, presents, toiletries, official documents, medicine, and even her birthday party expenses.

So why did I bother to do this? I wanted to prove something. Many people say they can’t afford children unless they have all the education they want, a good career and a double-income family. Also, my research could save lives! Just last week I read that a father dropped a cinderblock on his newborn baby (born to his girlfriend in a car) because they already had a one year old and couldn’t afford another baby.

Many modern sources you look to will not give you the impression that having a baby is affordable. For example, babycenter.com indicates that, “You’ll spend almost $10,000 on your baby’s first year, according to the thousands of moms who took BabyCenter’s exclusive survey.” The CanadianFinanceBlog.com provides a “reasonable expectation” of the costs of the first year as $11, 025. The breakdown is Food: $1646, Clothing: $1879, Health Care: $154, Child Care: $4,990, Shelter, Furnishings, Household Operations: $2,356.

So how did I manage to spend so little on her first year? First, I was committed to being as economical as possible because I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Today, this is rare because many mothers feel they cannot manage the family finances without going back to work. There is also societal pressure to feel inadequate if you are not contributing a cheque each month. It’s the “just a mom” syndrome.

One thing many new moms don’t account for (and how can you?) is the generosity of everyone around you when you’re going to have a baby! Often babies in the womb and out seem to emit some sort of compulsion field that causes everyone around them to want to give something. I cried at my baby shower because I was so overwhelmed and I prayed that every baby would be so welcomed. If you are part of a community, whether it is your family, a church, your workplace or circle of friends, they will want to share with you when baby comes.

Another big money saver is cloth diapers. I know, you may be thinking, a lot of work, a lot of mess and rashes too. Well, I researched a good kind by talking to other moms who used  them, and when asked at my baby shower what I needed, I said Motherease cloth diapers. They have snaps, not pins! They were about $12 each and many women bought them, so I had a whole collection of one-size-fits-all and a few newborn ones, plus two covers of each size. I use them when we are at home and use disposable ones when we are out and for overnight.

I didn’t buy a bunch of baby equipment. The only thing I bought was a car seat for $50. I was given a high chair, a stroller and a play pen which she uses as a bed. It travels well. That’s all. I didn’t want a change table, (the floor is safer) or an exersaucer, but I was given a jolly jumper. I didn’t buy any toys. The funny thing is, toys are nice, but what babies really want to play with is real stuff, like Tupperware, car keys, books, and the baby wipe container. Why buy toys that will just add clutter? Plus, if you are home with your baby, you don’t need many toys to entertain them because YOU get to play with them!

I’m not sure who spends $1879 on baby clothing! Thrift stores are great and secondhand baby things often look brand new because the little tykes grow out of them so quickly. A person can also sew clothing to save money. It takes some time and energy during baby’s nap but if you can sew, go for it!

Okay, breastfeeding is key! Not only is it the BEST food for baby, but it’s a lot cheaper than formula. Not that it is easy, especially at the beginning when you are getting the hang of it, but don’t give up and get some good advice from nurses or experienced mothers. As you go on, it is comfortable and convenient, and your milk is ready to go whenever and wherever your baby needs it.

Also, after 6 months, as much as you can, have baby eat what you eat. Those jars of baby food must add up. Get a manual baby food grinder and when you sit down for supper, grind whatever they can eat. Gradually baby will transition to eating everything with the family.

I would budget $100 per month for baby and at the end of the month put what is left in a savings account for her. It’s been adding up. And guess what? The government gives you $100 a month for the Universal Child Care benefit plus there is family allowance. So how can we not afford a baby?

Every baby and situation is unique. One friend was not able to nurse and her baby required special expensive formula. But this mother is excellent at making the most of coupons so when she buys groceries, she can save up to $45 at a time. Each family finds their own money-saving skills.

A simple life, without too much stuff, can be very enjoyable. My daughter certainly isn’t deprived. She’s very happy, always looks cute, enjoys her food, her library books, going outside and playing with Mommy and Daddy. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much we enjoy her. Everyday she does something new and her smiles and laughter lift us up like nothing else. I look forward to spending these years with her discovering the whole world and the One who made it, for about the price of a coffee a day.

By the way, my little girl is going to be a big sister in a few months and I’m not worried about having 10,000 dollars in my pocket!