Tag Archives: birth

After-Birth Abortion Happening in Canada?

No matter where you stand on abortion, surely we should all be horrified that 491 babies were born alive and left to die between 2000 and 2009 in Canada, as confirmed by Statistics Canada. How can this be happening in our country? Could it be that not granting any protection or assigning any value to preborn children at any point before birth leads to more of the same treatment when they are still vulnerable after birth? (Infants and others in the UK are being subjected to slow death by starvation in an end-of-life regime called the Liverpool Care Pathway. Euthanasia by any other name is just as insidious.)

Motion 312 would have examined the scientific evidence on when human life begins. Don’t forget Stephen Woodworth’s talk at the University of Ottawa on Monday Dec. 3rd.

*Update: Use this email tool to let your MP know we’re on a slippery slide towards infanticide.

Happy Ending for Selfless Mom and Baby Delivered at 28 Weeks

by Marissa Poisson

From an article on a young woman who had a rare tumour growing inside her heart while pregnant:

“I decided I would have him before doing anything with me,” she said. “I wanted him to have a chance to survive before me. There was no way I would be able to do the surgery while being pregnant knowing there was a chance he would die from it.”

Not everyone felt the same way. Some family friends, a nurse in Thunder Bay, even her mother for one brief moment, thought Stout should put herself first. They intimated that Stout could always have another baby if she were healthy.

“They weren’t saying it meanly,” said Stout. “They were saying that I hadn’t met the baby yet, that I wasn’t attached. But even when I was pregnant, Bentley was my whole world. I would never choose myself over him.”

S.L.E.D. Part 4: Degree of Dependency

by Garnet

Time for the final installment in the S.L.E.D. Series.  I’ve dealt with the first three common pro-choice arguments, all attempts to dehumanize unborn children based on either size, level of development or environment, and so make abortion excusable.

The last argument has to do with the degree that the fetus is dependent on his/her mother.  Some people say that since the fetus is so dependent on his/her mother to survive, and would not survive on his/her own, the mother has no obligation to keep the fetus alive, and thus may abort it.  The fetus, they say, cannot survive on its own, so it must not have a right to life, since it can only survive as part of the mother.

This argument breaks down in a number of ways.  Unborn children are not the only human beings dependent on another for survival.  A newborn cannot survive without a caregiver.  A diabetic cannot survive without insulin.  A person with a heart condition cannot survive without a pacemaker.  Does this dependency make them less of a person?  Of course not.  Dependency is not a criterion for determining the value of life for born individuals, and it should not be applied to the unborn.

An embryo is very dependent on its mother at the beginning of pregnancy, and gets less dependent as the 40 weeks go by until it is ready to leave the comfort and warmth of the womb and face the cold, harsh reality of this world. The umbilical cord can be cut, but does this end the baby’s dependency on Mother?  No.  From what I understand, a mother’s responsibilities toward that baby grow exponentially after the baby is born.

In addition, humans continue to become less dependent on others as they get older.  Toddlers are less dependent than babies; teenagers are (read: are supposed to be) less dependent on parents than toddlers; adults are less dependent than teenagers.  So the trend of a lessened dependency begins in the womb and continues throughout life long after birth.  Birth, actually, is quite an arbitrary point to say that babies are sufficiently independent to be given rights as persons.  Often at the end of life, elderly people become more and more dependent on others, but this does not take away their right to life.

Essentially the argument to say the unborn have no right to life because of its dependency is age discrimination, and should not be tolerated.

S.L.E.D. Part 3: Environment

by Garnet

I guess I better continue the SLED series if I want to get it done by the end of the term.

When I travel from place to place, or even room to room, does anything about me change?  Or think about yourself: Are you a different person when you enter different surroundings?  For some reason, the idea that environment dictates value gets applied to the unborn.  In fact, it’s quite extreme: on one side of the birth canal, the unborn child has no rights whatsoever (in Canada), but on the other side the child is a person possessing full rights.  So what changed within that child during the birth process?  Not much, even though labour is probably very distressing and traumatic for the baby.

“Oh, but the unborn doesn’t even breathe air, like all humans do”, someone might say.  Even if this were essential for the right to life, it’s not as if the unborn child is not receiving oxygen.  In fact, from the moment of conception, respiration, or air exchange begins to happen.  And as the baby develops, he will start to “breathe” amniotic fluid in and out of his lungs, something that would actually kill us!  If you wouldn’t survive in the unborn baby’s world, how can you expect the unborn baby to survive in yours?

Some babies are born premature or early.  Some are born late.  The moment of birth is such an arbitrary moment in time. Just because you can’t see the unborn, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the right to life.

This argument is another attempt to devalue the life of the unborn child.  Again, we see that it simply makes no sense.

S.L.E.D. Part 2: Level of Development

by Garnet

It’s time for another instalment in the S.L.E.D. Test Series.  For the other articles in the series, click here.

It is often said that unborn babies are less developed than born babies, and for that reason should not be considered persons.  “It’s just a clump of cells,” people say.  Some refuse to use the term “fetus” to refer to an unborn child, preferring “blob of tissue” as a more accurate name.

This is another attempt to dehumanize the unborn, which makes abortion excusable.  If what is inside a pregnant woman is indeed simply a blob of tissue or a lump of cells, as many in the abortion trade would have women believe, then it’s no big deal to just get rid of the problem.  It would be the same as getting rid of a tumour.

How do prolifers address this?   Of course, we need to say that calling the unborn “clump of cells” is a lie. For example, right at the moment of conception, when the sperm implants the egg, that baby has a gender.  This probably sounds obvious, but some people don’t think about that fact.  Five weeks into the pregnancy, the baby’s heart begins to beat.  At this point, some women might not be 100% sure they’re pregnant!  There are so many other facts that show the humanity of an unborn child, but that will have to be another post.

We can grant the objector’s point that a one-month old unborn child is less developed than a nine-month old born child.  But how does this fact affect the personhood of this human life?  For example, a toddler is not as developed as a kindergartener.  Does that mean the kindergartener has more of a right to life than a toddler?  In fact, human beings are on a continuous line of development our entire lives.  But we do not attain more of a right to life as we develop.

The choice of the moment of birth as the defining moment where a child is valued is incredibly arbitrary.  Some babies are born after 38 weeks, some are born after 42 weeks.  Why, all of a sudden, when the baby leaves the uterus his or her mother, are they developed enough for our standards?  There must be another factor.

Stay tuned for the next instalment about Environment.

Disability Advocates and the Right to Life

by Elizabeth Tanguay

I have been an avid follower of LifeSiteNews for quite some time now, and there is always something interesting going on with regards to the pro-life position.

Take Baby Isaiah from Edmonton, for example:

Young Canadian Parents Fighting Hospital to Save Their Baby’s Life

If you don’t want to read the article (which is quite good, by the way), I’ll sum up the case for you. When Isaiah was born, he suffered severe oxygen deprivation to his brain due to his umbilical cord wrapping around his neck. The doctors predicted he would never gain consciousness, and if he did, that he would be severely disabled for the rest of his life. However, he defied the doctors’ predictions: he has opened his eyes, arched his back, moved his feet and arms, and is improving. Now the parents are in a fight for this small child’s life because the doctors want to take him off the ventilator that is keeping him alive. And they refuse to carry out routine blood tests and procedures to find out exactly what is wrong with Isaiah. The parents don’t even have access to their baby’s medical record.

The worst part of all this: it has happened before in Canada.

Baby Isaiah’s Case Part of a National Trend Say Advocates for the Disabled

Thankfully, the parents appealed to the judge, who granted Isaiah 3 weeks for a medical assessment by experts to determine whether or not the doctors’ decision is justified.

Baby Isaiah Granted Another Three Weeks for Medical Assessment

And the nice thing with LifeSiteNews is that they even provide contact information to key people to be able to advocate for this baby, which I strongly encourage you to do. He shouldn’t be denied life because of his probable “disability”, especially since his parents clearly want to do everything medically possible so they can keep their child.

Reflections on the Heart of Christmas

by Theresa Stephenson

As my stomach is heavy with rich dinners in the holiday spirit and my wallet is lighter after indulging my loved ones with presents, it’s easy to forget the roots of Christmas –the birth of Jesus Christ.

As a Christian I believe that the Saviour came in a surprising way. He didn’t come strong and independent, as one would expect. He entered human life as we all do, at the moment of His conception. Like us, He spent approximately nine months in the womb before His birth in Bethlehem. He came as a baby boy. He put aside divine power and contented Himself to lie vulnerably in a manger, utterly dependent on Mary and Joseph for His day-to-day needs.

Regardless of whether or not you believe in Jesus Christ it is startling to think that any faith would believe that God would humble Himself to live with them in this way, enduring the frailties and pains of humanity.

Considering the infant Jesus during Christmas, we can reflect on His dependency on His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. Simply put, He humbled Himself to be dependant on parents because that is our human experience.

Each of us was conceived, grew in our mother’s womb, and were born. We were held in our mother’s arms, fed by her, diaper-changed by her, and so on. Indeed, in our infancy, we did nothing ourselves. Always we passively received life-giving nourishment and comforting care. Not to mention that it was out of love that our mothers did all these things for us, in spite of the crying, pooping, helpless messes that we were.

This relationship between mother and child shows us the power of a mother’s love and a child’s trust. But today in Canada this necessary and beautiful relationship is disparaged. Without limitation and for any reason a mother may chose to end the life of her child at any time during the pregnancy. We live in a culture that values “reproductive rights” over human life.

As we pause to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas season, let’s remember all those babies whose lives have been ended by abortion. And as we consider the tender motherhood of Mary, let’s remember all those mothers who suffer the pain of past abortions.

It’s easy to be distracted by the food and presents of Christmas, but the heart of this holiday reminds me of both the frailty and inherent dignity of every individual human being. That’s where rubber hits the road for me. Person-by-person we can encourage Canadians to cherish the bond between mother and child. In this way, we may build a culture of life that promotes and protects dignity of every human being.