Parliament may not want to discuss the hot topic of when life begins, but we do!
Come join us on Monday, December 3rd at 7 PM in Montpetit 202 (125 University Private) to welcome MP Stephen Woodworth to the University of Ottawa for a public lecture and discussion.
For those who may not know, MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 was recently voted down in Parliament. This motion proposed that the House of Commons establish a committee to examine the scientific evidence as to when human life begins, and to report back as to the human rights implications of its findings.
More than 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada each year. I suggest that we need to recover our sense of amazement, wonder and awe at the creation of new human life and that an in depth discussion about what our law on abortion should be might help us in this regard.
On Dec 3rd, pro-life leader Heather Stilwell passed away with her family by her side. Stilwell was recently honoured at the International Pro-life Conference in Ottawa with the Mother Theresa award. At that event she declared, “I will fight abortion until the day I die.”
Heather Stilwell worked as a school trustee for 15 years and was a founding member of the Christian Heritage Party. She also served as the president of the Pro-life Society of BC. Even in her illness, she taught about the value of life and dying with dignity. I have the pleasure of knowing one of Heather’s daughters, who spoke of the wonderful opportunity to hold her hand, pray and listen to music with her in the last few weeks of her life.
More information about Heather Stilwell and the award she received can be found here.
A vote on Roxanne’s Law will be held on Wednesday, December 15, in the House of Commons. The goal of Bill C-510 is to provide legal protection for women who are being coerced into having an unwanted abortion. There are a few things we can do to show our support for this worthy initiative. First, write to your MP to let him or her know that you support the bill. You can use sample letters or print off and mail in a postcard. Next, sign the online petition. And then make a video! Click here for straightforward guidelines and see the sample above for inspiration. (The project is led by a religious group but all are invited to participate.) Don’t delay in showing your support!
As was announced in July, free infertility treatment will be available in Quebec starting this month, which leads one to believe that infertility is now considered a disease there. Paradoxically, pregnancy also seems to be classified as a disease in the province and throughout the country given the availability of publicly funded abortion. Are the definitions of any other diseases wholly dependent on the circumstances of the individuals they afflict?
As a young woman, am I to believe that if I were to become pregnant now, when it would interfere with my university studies, the sensible choice would be abortion and that if I were to find myself unable to start a family in twenty years, it would be reasonable to expect free IVF?
The incoherence is jarring. Quebec’s politicians stand behind aborting tens of thousands of future Francophones every year yet are poised to spend lavishly to enable women to try their luck at conceiving artificially. Adoption seems to be the forgotten component in this equation; it needs to be encouraged as a viable option for women facing unplanned pregnancies and infertile couples. In the multi-million dollar business of life and death, the cures are worse than the diseases.
Yes indeed my friends, it is once again time for the National March for Life. Tomorrow (being the 13th of May), we will show our fellow Canadians what our pro-life community is made of. For the official agenda, see here. For the uOSFL version, keep reading.
Now, as you may have guessed, the March for Life involves marching, so I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing water. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 17°, so umbrellas and coats may be unnecessary but you may want to bring hats and sunglasses. The March itself begins at 1:30 pm, and may last about an hour. After the March, you may recuperate from the strenuous journey through the streets of Ottawa.
This, then, is the plan. We will be meeting on Parliament Hill at 12:00 noon. The club will be meeting at the halfway point between the Centennial Flame and the southeast corner of the lawn. So: if you are at the Centennial Flame, facing the Peace Tower, turn right and walk towards the East Block; you should bump into us about halfway across the lawn. We can be recognised by our enormous banner.
We encourage all students from the campuses to meet up with us by 1:15pm (just before the march starts) so we can all march together!
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.
There is a striking distinction to be made in recent political developments. The opposition parties are standing in full contrast against the government in regards to the funding of abortion in the G8 Maternal Health Package. The government, much to the relief of pro-lifers, is not backing down from its announced stance on rejecting funds for abortion in developing countries. These opposition parties are calling on the government to remain true to the “consensus” that has remained in Canada for 25 years. This “consensus” is supposedly pro-abortion, according to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.
I don’t think I could be any clearer; never, in the last 25 years of politics in Canada, has there been a “consensus” on abortion, for or against. Never has there been legal ground to promote or demote abortion services in Canada. The House of Commons had passed a bill intending to offer some legal framing in regards to abortion services shortly after the R. V. Morgentaler decision, but this legislation died in a Senate tie vote, effectively promoting a free roam on abortion services, for anyone who wanted them, at any time. What does this mean for pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike? More importantly, what does it mean for women, and their unborn children? It means a woman can receive an abortion at ANY stage in her pregnancy, even the moment before birth. The unborn child has no recognized status in the eyes of the government until it has FULLY exited the woman’s body.
Even more striking, there is no legal framing to protect women who may be coerced into having an abortion by their family, their boyfriend, or significant other, their doctor, or any person of influence in their lives. The result has been effectively a battleground over the woman’s body for anyone who wants to take part. We as a society have been so keen to give women this right to abortion, that we have completely looked past any commitment to protect women from the implications that this brings on to them by people of influence in their lives. Pro-choice activists are vehemently against any attempt to protect women in these vulnerable situations. This can be great ground to build off of as pro-lifers in an attempt to care for the woman and her unborn child at the same time.
The motion to move the Private Members Bill C-384 to committee stage was defeated today in a vote of 59 in favour and 228 opposed, which means this bill is defeated.
This issue, however, is far from being decided in Canada. We must continue educating our peers about the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide. We must remain steadfast and resolute in our fight for the dignity of human life — from conception to natural death!