Tag Archives: by James

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.

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Legalized Abortion: Harm Reduction or Just Harm?

by James Richmond

I somewhat recently attended a debate hosted by uOttawa Students for Life in mid-November. At this debate, the pro-choice debater, Jovan Morales, posed an often used argument which presents abortion as a ‘harm-reduction’ solution. Essentially, this position proposes that without legalized abortion, women will seek ‘back-alley abortions’ in non-sterile environments where the possibility of infection and maternal mortality is much higher.

There are a number of issues with this argument, and I will briefly address two of them. The first is that I see this approach as merely a band-aid solution. Legalizing abortions to give women access to sterile facilities with skilled physicians does not address what led the women to seek abortion in the first place: Was it a boyfriend who does not wish to deal with the consequences of his actions? Parents who want to avoid family embarrassment? The terrible trauma of rape? The woman who does not want her life to be disrupted by having a child? A lack of support from family and friends? In these situations, I believe there is a cultural problem rather than a medical one. Western culture is self-centric in that we place utmost importance on our personal choices: What is it I want to do? How does this affect me? What about asking what exactly is at stake when it comes to abortion, and more precisely who? We know beyond a shadow of scientific doubt that the preborn are human beings and as such their lives must be protected along with their mothers’.

Furthermore, if the foundation of the argument is based on the health of the mother, institutionalized abortion is no guarantee of even a decrease in maternal mortality rates. A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) titled “Trends in Maternal Mortality” discovered that from 1990 to 2008, after the legalization of abortion, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of Canada increased by 94 percent (28) and the MMR of the United States increased 96 percent (32). Legalized abortion is clearly no panacea for women’s health.

The ‘harm-reduction’ argument is also used to push for abortion clinics in developing countries. The National Right to Life group published an article which discusses the myth proposed above by Mr. Morales. I encourage you to read the short document, “Why legalized abortion is not good for women’s health.”