Tag Archives: by Eliza

“The times they are a-changin’…”

by Eliza Jane Phillis

I’ll be the first to admit that for someone who has lived in Ottawa for four years, attending classes mere minutes away from Parliament Hill, I know very little, and to be perfectly honest, care very little about most of the political process. I vote more out of a sense of obligation toward the strong women of the suffragette movement than anything else, and that’s about it. However, I would really have to have my head in the sand not to have heard about the recent increase in interest in the abortion debate. I don’t really know what the G8 Summit is and only just realized it was happening in my own country this past week; yet, I can’t help but feel grateful for its unexpected side effect. It seems Prime Minister Harper’s has proposed plan of action to combat maternal health tragedies in developing countries which is wonderful and important. Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff’s appears to have pushed for the incorporation of access to abortion in this commendable initiative, and the Prime Minister said no. However, the discussions didn’t end there and the proposal and its opposition have really stirred the pot on the abortion debate. It seems Mr. Ignatieff, in trying to insinuate abortion into a proposal in which it has no place, has achieved what pro-lifers have been trying to do for years with minimal success: bring the abortion debate back to the public’s attention.

Listlessly flipping through a bus station newspaper yesterday waiting for my 96 downtown, I came across no less than three articles concerning abortion. One of these actually showcased the situation of University of Calgary students who are facing expulsion for participating in a controversial pro-life display. I was shocked! I’ve participated in a national March for Life which (legally) shut down whole streets in the capital city and seen no mention of it in the paper the next day. This type of exposure over a debate which the powers that be would like us to believe is closed and old news only demonstrates that the exact opposite is true. Yes, most of the articles had to do with the pro-choice side, but they still hopefully made my fellow readers think about where they stand in the debate which we pro-lifers know never really ended, but which many people on the street would likely rather ignore. This is an opportunity for us to explain our well-reasoned positions on life issues. This could be the unexpected spark which ignites a change in the hearts of those like myself who know little about politics but instead vote according to my personal moral convictions. I challenge all pro-life men and women in this time of great potential to take the time to really consider why you are pro-life. We all have our own personal reasons which keep us anchored to an ideal which sometimes seems so counter-cultural, and being able to clearly articulate and express these reasons is how we will change hearts one person at a time. We can’t all be politicians creating laws to preserve the dignity of life, but we can all explain why we as individuals maintain and promote this ideal. I commend the work of brave pro-life politicians, but I truly feel that politics will not in the end be the solution. Society needs to change, and no laws will bring this about, but individuals having respectful, intelligent, and open conversations have the power to end abortion in this country.

Advertisements

True Support

by Eliza Jane Phillis

I feel I have been blessed with a pretty uneventful life. I have never suffered any tragic sudden loss, been subjected to any type of abuse, abused any type of substance, gone hungry or cold, or even ever really been alone. I have lived a very sheltered and essentially happy existence. While I am eternally grateful for this, I also sometimes worry that this means I am not able to truly empathize with the very women I profess to support as a member of the pro-life movement: women facing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy as well as those hurting after an abortion. All of these women have suffered some, all, or more of the list above. In comparison, I have suffered nothing.

I often ask myself, am I really helping or does my lack of experience make my efforts seem self-righteous and trivial? How can I truly understand their suffering? How arrogant is it on my part to pretend that I know how to help these women? It is easy to help ease their material needs with events such as our annual OSFL Baby Shower, and it is even easier to feel proud of such a little act. But what will I do when a woman who has found herself unexpectedly and undesiredly in the position of an expectant mother reaches out to me for help? What will I do when a woman who is suffering post-abortion confides in me? How will I show her that I love her and long to help her when what she is experiencing is so far beyond my sheltered experience and I cannot for a moment hope to comprehend her fear, pain, regret, confusion, guilt, anxiety, loneliness? All I can do is pray that when that day comes, I will be given the words and the love that she needs.

Yet, we as pro-life men and women are part of a movement that exists to help these women. We should be more prepared and more willing to try to understand the suffering of these women. This means that we need to listen to the stories of those who are brave enough to tell them, and through their courageous act of sharing learn what it feels like to face a situation which many of us will hopefully never have to experience. For this reason, I wanted to share with our pro-life readers this link to the Canada Silent No More website. Here you can witness the testimonies of regretful and courageous post-abortive men and women and learn from their experiences. These men and women are working to end the silence on abortion and bring to light the lies and pain behind the rhetoric. There is much we can learn by listening to their stories of loss and healing.

The website also contains links to resources and help for those suffering post abortion, so that if and when the you are approached by someone suffering beyond your experience, you can direct them to a group who truly understands and can empathize because they have been there too. That being said, what every human being needs most when faced with suffering is to be listened to and loved without judgment. This is within the capabilities of us all, no matter our life experiences or lack thereof.

Canada Silent No More

Where to Turn

By Eliza Jane Phillis

As support coordinator of OSFL, I would like to bring attention to some of the organizations in Ottawa which exist to help women facing an unplanned or crisis pregnancy. These organizations work hard to defend the rights of the women they support and their children. Therefore, I believe they deserve some recognition for their work. Also, I hope that if anyone reading this, or someone they care about, is ever faced with the fear and confusion of an unplanned pregnancy, they will remember that these organizations are there to help with options counselling, physical and emotional support, and, if needed, post-abortive counselling.

As well, if you are interested in learning more about these organizations or volunteering with them, I strongly urge you to follow the links below.

First Place Pregnancy Centre is an organization which we have supported in the past as a club. They offer real options counselling, support for women during and after their pregnancies, and support and counselling for women suffering after an abortion.

Birthright of Ottawa is another organization dedicated to counselling and helping women facing an unplanned pregnancy. They provide one-on-one support during the difficult decision making process, as well as referrals to a number of important services such as medical care, professional counselling, and other community resources.

The Miriam Centre in Orleans offer assistance and support to mothers during their pregnancy, as well as assistance and resources for new mothers/parents facing difficulty, and support for parents who have lost a child to miscarriage, abortion, or infant death.

Rachel’s Vineyard is an international organization which organizes retreats to bring healing to post-abortive men and women. They are holding a retreat in Ottawa next month. Please check their website for more information. The information on who to contact specifically for the Ottawa retreat can be found by clicking here.

I strongly urge every pro-lifer to check out the links above and to become familiar with the services offered by each of these wonderful organizations. An unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone at any time, and having the resources readily available for the woman who comes to us seeking guidance can make all the difference in the world. But remember, that the first resource for these women is you, and the greatest gift you can give is love.

Women’s Rights

By Eliza Jane Phillis

As the Pro-Woman, Pro-Life event takes place tonight at the University of Ottawa campus in Lamoureux 122 at 7 p.m., I believe it is important to highlight the other victims of abortion: the women. As pro-lifers, we tend to become so focussed on the rights of the unborn that we forget that mothers are victims too. The unborn are not the only ones whose rights are being neglected by the abortion industry.

Women have the right to know all the facts and side-effects of every medical procedure they undergo; abortion is no exception. It has been attested by women who have had an abortion that they were not informed of the details of the surgery, the emotional scars or the possible life threatening and life altering physical side-effects.

Under Canadian legislation women have the freedom of choice but women have the right to make an informed decision. This means that they are given all information concerning ALL the side-effects of an abortion. As well as ALL the options available to them such as financial assistance and support for mothers as well as adoption.

Women have the right to be supported and loved even if the circumstances of their pregnancy is not what our society would deem desirable. This includes those self-proclaimed pro-lifers who would gossip and judge a women who is unexpectedly pregnant out of wed-lock…this is unacceptable and hypocritical.

Women have the right to be acknowledged when they suffer from the side-effects of abortion, and to receive caring and understanding counselling to help them accept the loss of their child and move forward in their lives.

These rights are not being respected today in our own society. We, as pro-life women and men, need to stand up for women’s rights.