Tag Archives: public opinion

Flags on the Hill

IMG_20141002_080245This morning, members of uOttawa Students for Life joined almost one hundred other volunteers from We Need A Law to plant 100,000 blue and pink flags on Parliament Hill. Each of these flags represents one of the 100,000 children killed by abortion in Canada every year since the Morgentaler decision in 1988.

The children represented by these flags were not much loved in life, and have rarely been remembered in death, except perhaps by their mothers and fathers, many of whom grieve by the loss of their children to abortion. But for most of us, these children’s lives ended so soon after they began that their deaths passed us by unnoticed and largely uncared for. 

Today we took a stand to remember these children and to witness to the injustice committed against them. These children will never laugh or cry. They were never read a book or watch a play. They will never see a sunset. And they will never feel the embrace of the one they love. They were killed before any of that. They are victims of our individualist and consumer culture, as are their parents. But they will not go unremembered, at least not while we have anything to say about it.

Because we are pro-life. We want the unwanted. We defend the defenceless. And we witness to the beauty, the power, and the meaning of every single human life from conception till natural death.

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Dying: A Question of How, Not If

Margaret Somerville contributes her usual clarity and sound reasoning to this written debate on euthanasia/assisted suicide. Have a look and vote! As a bonus, in this interesting two-minute video Margaret Somerville suggests that though their white coats lead us to think they can do no wrong, doctors are mere mortals too.

While we’re on the topic, follow this link to sign the Declaration of Hope opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation. For news about the push for euthanasia in different countries, read Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

 

uOSFL Hosts MP Stephen Woodworth: Discussion on Motion 312

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.

You can find details of this motion here: http://www.stephenwoodworth.ca/canadas-400-year-old-definition-of-human-being/motion-312This event is hosted by the University of Ottawa Students for Life, your pro-life club on campus. For more information, please see our Facebook event and follow us on Twitter at @uosfl_epvuo.

Female Feticide

From Aborting Women’s Rights:

So prevalent is this trend that the delicate balance required to maintain healthy populations is becoming badly skewed. According to an article in The New Atlantis:

“The practice has become so ruthlessly routine in many contemporary societies that it has impacted their very population structures, warping the balance between male and female births and consequently skewing the sex ratios for the rising generation toward a biologically unnatural excess of males. This still-growing international predilection for sex-selective abortion is by now evident in the demographic contours of dozens of countries around the globe – and it is sufficiently severe that it has come to alter the overall sex ratio at birth of the entire planet, resulting in millions upon millions of new ‘missing baby girls’ each year. In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.”

When feminists talk about abortion, they do so in terms of women’s rights. Legalized abortion empowers women, they assert, because it puts them in control over their bodies; it gives them the choice whether or not to bear a child who has been conceived. What these proponents of “liberty” fail to consider, however, is that in many cases women are “choosing” abortion at the behest of someone else. Cultural pressures, fear of retaliation, and other factors are driving them to end the lives of their unborn children because daughters are deemed undesirable. Thus, abortion is being used as an instrument of oppression against females, not as a tool of liberation.

No doubt abortion advocates would argue that it is not abortion that is at fault here, but backward cultures that are misusing the tools of liberty in order to further their misogynistic agendas. Third world abortion might be an abusive, repugnant phenomenon, but that says nothing about its use in the western world. Such logic is nothing short of delusional. When it comes to questions of life and death, there is little gray area. You are either an advocate of life, a supporter of inherent human dignity, or you aren’t. You can’t justify the killing of the unborn the name “choice” and then complain when others exercise that choice in ways you find objectionable.

So this leaves the feminists of the west in somewhat of a pickle. What will they make of these new demographic trends? Will they stick to their guns and defend the use of abortion even as a tool of gender-based infanticide? Will they attempt to somehow construct a “morality of abortion” in which only certain motivations for the procedure are deemed justifiable? Will they evade the issue altogether?

For the sake of millions of unborn women around the world, here’s hoping this trend puts some pressure the pro-abortion movement to reconsider the implications of their inhuman and inhumane conception of human “rights.”

Cause for Hope

by Kelden Formosa

The tall, angry young man had just screamed “semantic witch” at the young woman at the lectern several rows before him. It seems he didn’t like what she had to say – her argument that abortion kills a human being did not appeal to his pro-choice sensibilities, apparently. You would think that Stephanie Gray, the pro-life debater and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, might have stumbled, but instead she continued on with her point, taking it all in stride, as the man walked out of the university hall.

The young man was a pro-choice audience member at the abortion debate organized by the University of Ottawa Students for Life and the U of O Med Students for Life this past year. It’s been a few months since the big debate – one which divided our campus and provoked real controversy – but looking back on it now, I think it provides us with some important insights on the future of the continuing public debate on abortion in Canada.

As one of those involved in the organization of the debate (full disclosure), I was quite happy to welcome even the most militant pro-choice activists, including the young man mentioned prior. It is the challenge of pro-life activists to change the hearts and minds of those who disagree with us. Debates, conferences, advertising, writing – pro-life Canadians have done it all, in the hopes that one day human life might be protected from conception unto natural death.

We’ve done it in the face of intense pressure to resign ourselves to the abortion status quo. Our opponents can’t even believe pro-lifers are still around and have even greater difficulty believing that young people and university students could ever be pro-life. For them, the debate ended in 1988, when the Supreme Court allowed for abortion in Canada without any restriction, throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The appalling statistics about abortion in Canada and around the world have barely registered in the consciousness of today’s pro-choice activists: that one in four unborn children will be aborted, including 90% of children prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, and a higher proportion of female children than male ones, seems quite unimportant to them and most of the mainstream media.

But, like it or not, the debate continues. It continues in families and amongst friends, in classrooms and in churches, and most poignantly, in the hearts and minds of vulnerable women who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. And this continuation of the debate is the saving grace for the pro-life movement. Because it means that we’re still not comfortable with abortion – that ending the life of an unborn child still strikes us as morally troubling. For pro-lifers, this is cause for hope.

For pro-choicers, this apparently is cause for fear. Before our abortion debate even happened, dozens of major pro-choice activists rejected our club’s invitation to debate. We offered them the opportunity to confront a leading Canadian “anti-choicer” in an open forum, with a neutral moderator. Yet they said no: Dr. Kathryn Treehuba, a U of O professor and abortion provider; Dr. Fraser Fellow, a UWO professor and abortion provider; Joyce Arthur, of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada; Sandra Rogers, a U of O professor; Wayne Sumner, a U of T professor; Heather Holland, of Planned Parenthood Ottawa; representatives from Canadians for Choice, Action Canada for Population and Development and the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health – all of them refused to debate abortion.

So our club decided to hold them accountable. We put up controversial posters highlighting their refusal and wrote a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, making the debate invitation open to all comers. Eventually Jovan Morales, of the Atheist Community of the University of Ottawa, stepped up to the plate to represent the pro-choice side. It seemed for a moment that we would have a civil, if less than ideal, dialogue on abortion.

But it was not to be. Radical pro-choice activists, many of whom are associated with the Women’s Resource Centre of the Student Federation, decided to come out to our debate in force. This would have been great – if they were really there to engage in a reasoned debate. Instead, they brought their posters and their slogans and their raucous attitudes and little else. Holding signs that declared, “An egg is not a chicken” and “My Body/My Choice,” these activists heckled Ms. Gray, the pro-life speaker, menaced elderly debate attendees and shouted “bulls***” and “what the f***” in response to many of the points made by Ms. Gray. Particularly atrocious was the sign declaring, “I hope the foetus you ‘save’ is gay.” For the record, I wouldn’t mind at all.

But why were they so rude and disruptive? Why not just win the audience over with the logic and eloquence of the pro-choice message? I submit that their behaviour betrays the weakness of their own position. Perhaps it’s just the philosophy major in me, but “My Body/My Choice” is a far better slogan than logical argument. As Ms. Gray said: sure, I have freedom over my body – I can swing my arm, for example – but that freedom ends when it injures another person, e.g. swinging my arm to punch them in the face. When the right to choose ends the life of another person, we can and must restrict it. Similarly, it’s true that an egg is not a chicken, but a preborn child is not an egg – it is a fully human organism, genetically distinct and having within itself the means of its own continuance. Fallacies like the ones presented lie at the heart of pro-choice argumentation.

Now it is possible to be pro-choice and philosophically consistent: you simply have to believe that it is alright to kill innocent human beings simply for convenience’s sake. In my experience though, pro-choice people are just as kind and compassionate as pro-life ones. Few would adopt such a radical position. Instead, not being trained in critical reasoning and open to legitimate concerns of women facing unplanned pregnancy, many accept pro-choice fallacies to justify what is really the easy position on abortion. Pro-lifers recognize that women in need deserve real support and real options and the preborn deserve the most basic of rights – the right to life.

Strikingly, when Ms. Gray showed pictures of aborted children in her presentation, I detected a palpable sense of unease come over the pro-choice activists. Standing near their seats at back of the room, I heard them mutter “these aren’t real” and “it’s not true.” But sadly the images were – medically accurate filming of real, live abortion procedures. If they can’t bring themselves to accept the truth of what they support, then perhaps they aren’t as committed to pro-choice ideology as they would have you believe. And that, more than anything, is cause for hope.

New Year’s Resolution

by Nicole Pachla

Here we are, at the beginning of a new year. Some of us may have made a few resolutions to try to keep throughout the year…
I would like to encourage you to make one more resolution. It does not require a whole lot of time or energy, but it does requires some courage and conviction. It is the resolution of becoming a little more active in the pro-life movement. And by that, I do not mean putting all of your time and energy into the pro-life cause, but rather becoming more involved in little things and situations. For example, if the topic of abortion comes up in conversation, do not be afraid to share your point of view and be ready to defend it. If you have friends who are not pro-life, and again the topic of abortion arises, gently explain to them the ugliness of abortion and why it should never be an option. Please, do not let any opportunity to show the truth of abortion pass you by. We need to make everyone aware of its reality. Abortion happens every day. Just in Canada, approximately THREE HUNDRED (300) babies are killed PER DAY. That is incredible, terrifying, and very sad. So please, lend your voice to the unborn and help us defend them.

Look… babies!

by Theresa Stephenson

This past month has been a busy one as everyone is settling into the routine of a new school year and the campus has been humming with activity. First during 101 week and then during clubs’ week, uOSFL set up an info table for the club. A new feature this year: Action Life generously shared with us their fetal models, which track the development of the preborn baby from the first to the seventh month of pregnancy. I was so surprised by the reactions they prompted!

Usually I watch people scurry past our table, in no mood to have a conversation with the “old-fashioned-anti-choice-we-hate-women-and-we’re-also-religious-nuts-who-despise-logic” club. But this year I saw genuine curiosity as people approached the table, tempted to look more closely at the models and ask us what our club was all about. Now, some were a little disappointed that we weren’t the obstetrics club, but for the most part I had the opportunity to have many great conversations with people who would normally never even think about the topic of abortion. Time after time, I heard the same reaction when I asked, “What do you think about abortion?” Time after time, I felt like I was having, at root, incredibly similar conversations, as students presented the same questions and concerns and thoughts.

I really found it fascinating to hear different arguments from different people, but each one came down to the same basic question – what is the preborn? A number of times I heard people talking about our table from a few feet away. Some people didn’t approach the table, but one pair of students in particular seemed to answer the question quite succinctly when one girl pointed to the fetal models and turned to her friend saying, “Look…babies!”

Exactly. Babies. And what does abortion do to babies? It intentionally kills them.

As I was speaking with one young man and we delved further into the topic of abortion he said to me, “Your points are logical and consistent. You’re making me sound so hypocritical.” Now I don’t know if anyone walked away those days with their mind changed. But I do hope that the conversations that they engaged in have given them something to think about because this debate is not over.

How to Support Roxanne’s Law

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!

The Results Are In!

uOSFL wants to get your opinion. We value it. As such, we are running a series of polls in order to better see what our readers and members think.

Our first poll closed this morning. Thank you to all who voted!

Our second poll opened this morning. We would encourage you all to vote as well.

The results of the first poll:

Since our audience is by far the most deeply concerned about unrestricted access to abortion, we ask you to answer our second poll, which is available on the right hand side of the page:  What kind of events should we be focusing on in order to erradicate this horrible problem?

Thank you!

uOSFL Leadership Team

Where’s Your Joy?

by Reita S.

Just before Easter, my co-workers and I were going out for dinner. As we walked from the university to the restaurant, we passed about a block below the Morgentaler Clinic, and site of the 24-hour vigil, 40 Days for Life.

Though the vigil wasn’t taking place at the time, one of my co-workers commented, “That’s where all the pro-life people congregate.” Of course, I waited somewhat anxiously for his opinion of us. “You know,” he continued, “They just seem really miserable. Every time I walk past, I see a bunch of old ladies hunched over signs that say ‘God loves you; Save babies’ and clicking their rosaries. Where’s their joy? It just seems like a duty or something.”

I must admit I really didn’t know what to say to that and I’m glad the subject was dropped as we continued on; however, I’ve been turning that comment over in my mind for the couple of months since. Did he just go by on a bad day, when the weather was terrible and only a few wet volunteers made it out? Was he reading some personal biases into the people’s expressions? Or did he see something of a scary reality – we feel like saving babies is a duty or obligation?

The pro-life movement certainly has significant ties to religious groups, specifically the Roman Catholic Church. This does not mean that all pro-lifers are Catholic, Christian, or even religious. Pro-life is a moral ideology that is not limited to one particular faith or age group. Why then do people hear the word ‘pro-life’ and think we must all be elderly Catholic ladies, intent on judging the young or some such nonsense?

Clearly, trying to marginalise a position makes it easier to criticise. I think that my co-worker found it much easier to dismiss the prayer vigil by reducing it to two groups which endure a lot of criticism ‘the outdated elderly’ and ‘the crazy Catholics’. Perhaps he saw one woman like that and assumed the whole group was like that? I’m not sure. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t ask.

All I can say is that as pro-lifers, we need to be careful that our burden for truth and justice never becomes a burden of obligation. While protesting injustice is not something to rejoice over, we should certainly have the joy of our convictions and the knowledge that we are not compelled to do this. In fact, it would be so much easier to turn a blind eye! We are pro-lifers because we love justice and we have the hope that one day our efforts will change hearts and minds, and thus change laws and actions.

Don’t fall into the trap of letting this become a burden or a chore. Few people have respect for a reluctant activist. One of the biblical psalmists wrote that “zeal for your house has consumed me”. Let us take that as an example. Let our passion for justice transform our actions – let no one say that we’re only there because we have to.