Saturday’s workshop by Kathleen Gray of Montreal’s Centre for Reproductive Loss was full of practical insight and wisdom. So many families are affected by losses such as miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, adoption, SIDS, infertility and sterility, and yet we have so few opportunities to express sympathy for the parents who experience very real grief. We shouldn’t be afraid to acknowledge reproductive loss; in fact, it is critically important for healing. Those interested in learning more about the Healing Process Model © should request a copy of Grieving Reproductive Loss: The Healing Process.
by Thien-An Nguyen
After finishing a relatively brutal midterm, I was having a nice chat with one of my classmates. During our conversation, I learned that he had been a part-time student for more than half my life, and the reason for this long-term relationship with a Bachelor’s degree (as opposed to the standard four years) was that at the start of his post-secondary career, he had a daughter. As a result of her existence, he put his studies on hold for a while, and returned occasionally to pursue his love of learning. I was inspired by his dual commitment to his studies and to his family despite the obstacles.
That conversation got me thinking. Conventional wisdom tells us that there’s a dichotomy between education and family, that you can’t have both. Yet, the university campus is changing. It’s not just the domain of recent high school graduates. Education should be for people from all walks of life, including those caring for their families and, significantly, young single parents. Realistically, this means providing a variety of resources for pregnant women and single parents, such as campus day cares and classes offered online, at night, or on the weekend. In some respects, the University of Ottawa is not doing too poorly, with an on-campus daycare known as Garderie Bernadette Child Care Centre, though other resources could be improved, such as financial aid and scholarships and perhaps even a babysitter referral service.
Check out the deVeber Institute’s study on the availability of resources on Canadian university campuses for pregnant women and single-parent families and see how the University of Ottawa compares to other post-secondary institutions.
Pregnant women and single-parent families should not be forced to sacrifice their education for their families or the reverse. An accessible campus should also mean one that is conducive and open to parenting students.
Randy Alcorn’s ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments is a book I’d like to have on hand at all times. I think it should be required reading in high schools and in university ethics, journalism, public policy, and women’s studies classes. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Divided into sections by type of argument, it takes every common pro-choice statement or question and lays out all of the counter arguments. Alcorn doesn’t shrink from his subject matter, but his tone is calm and rational, not hectoring. He relies on a commendable variety of sources; the book contains 789 citations including both pro-life and pro-choice literature, secular media, congressional testimony, and personal conversations with former abortion providers. The last section of the book contains a variety of further resources – appeals to different groups of people affected by, supportive of, complicit in or working against abortion, a section on finding forgiveness after abortion, a list of pro-life resources, sections on chemical abortions and birth control, biblical passages and a bible study lesson on life issues, ways of giving practical help to the unborn and their mothers, ways of communicating the pro-life message, and a sermon and position statement on the sanctity of life that he delivered at his church. Alcorn is a former Protestant pastor and, now, a writer and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. In the book, he makes clear his background, beliefs and pro-life activities. He augments some of his arguments with his own experiences, but never substitutes subjective arguments for factual ones.
I have only two caveats about the book, and they are hardly even that. First, being American, the book refers to American laws, statistics and resources, though I noticed one Canadian pro-life organization in the resource list. That takes nothing away from the usefulness of this book to Canadian pro-lifers, but it would be great to have a Canadian edition with a list of Canadian resources.
Second, the book is difficult to read all at once because the subject matter and some of the information can be depressing. Of course, as the introduction states, it is not meant to be read straight through, but rather to be used as a reference.
All things considered, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments is an excellent resource for everyone – those who may not have considered life issues at all, those who may have questions, and those who thought they had all the answers, whether pro-life or pro-choice.
Come one, come all this Thursday, Dec. 8, starting at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of fun, food, games, and awesome people! Bring a treat to share and a gift for a mother and/or baby in need! If you don’t know what to get, here is a list of suggestions:
– baby clothes (birth to 24 months)
– diaper bags
– maternity clothes
– baby toiletries (shampoo, soap, baby powder, zinc cream, brush, face cloths, towels, etc.)
– baby blankets
All items are being donated to First Place Options.
Please let us know if you are coming and what you are bringing for food by emailing email@example.com (Event’s address will be provided in reply.) Come and celebrate life and Christmas!
by Elizabeth Tanguay
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers!
For those of you who voted for the Pregnancy Care Centre of Kamloops, BC,
for Joey’s Community Revival Project, you will be pleased to know that
they won the $25,000 prize with 2015 votes! (See this post and this website.) Congratulations to the Kamloops Pregnancy Care Centre!
The winner of Action Life’s video contest can be found here.
It’s a very powerful video and very well done. I highly recommend it.
Happy viewing and reading!
by Katrina Bennett
It is now December and that means our annual baby shower and Christmas social! We will be collecting items to help First Place Pregnancy Centre, which offers compassionate support and assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancies. The event itself takes place on Saturday, December 4th from 6:30pm to 11:00pm at Café Alt (in the basement of Simard). There will be fun activities, awesome people, and good food. However, if you aren’t able to come out to the event, you can also drop off your donations at the Clubs Coordinator office, in the UCU room 030A (in the basement of the university centre). Suggested donations: diapers, diaper cream and wipes, maternity wear, baby clothing (especially for winter and for boys), nursing privacy shields and pacifiers.
Hope to see you there!
I’m very excited about November being Adoption Awareness Month because as a pro-life group, we talk about choosing life instead of abortion, but we don’t typically talk as much about adoption specifically. Just the other day, I found a great new site: adoptionincanada.ca There is information about how adoption works and testimonials of mothers who have placed their babies for adoption. Even in my own community, I know several people who were adopted and are very grateful to their birth mothers for the gift of life and a loving family. Adoption is not easy, but it’s a choice that both mom and baby can live with.
[Note: This article does have a religious slant.]
by Elizabeth Tanguay
Many women are encouraged by their doctors to take the “Pill”, as it is commonly called. Sometimes even as young as 13 or 14. What women aren’t told are the numerous harmful side effects of this hormonal contraceptive; increase risk of breast cancer, sterility, depression, premature aging of cervix (basically, every year you are on the pill, your cervix ages two years, sometimes resulting in sterility), etc. More recently however, about 50 studies have shown that there is also an increased risk of contracting HIV from being on the pill as well. This amazing article explains exactly how.
Looks like sexual freedom has a pretty hefty biological price tag. The worst of it is that this hits women the hardest, becoming another way for women to be abused. Women aren’t being told, and contraceptive companies are making money off of hurting women.
As a club, uOSFL does not take a position on contraceptives. However, we are concerned when medical interventions, such as the prescription of the pill, occur without full disclosure to the patients about the implications and side effects. Furthermore, the pill has been documented by many doctors to cause early abortions (for example, if the pill fails to suppress ovulation and conception occurs, the pill renders the uterine lining inhospitable to implantation, causing the embryo to die). We are committed to finding and sharing information we feel is helpful and informative.
Local resources available for students and everyone facing these and other circumstances:
Facing an unexpected pregnancy can be a difficult as a student, but there are some really helpful organizations in the Ottawa community, not far from the University of Ottawa, that exist to help and support you. One which stands out for its respectful, compassionate and non-partisan support is First Place Pregnancy Centre.
First Place provides compassionate support and assistance to anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy, and is truly a safe and secure place to explore your options. All services are free and confidential. Information on abortion, adoption and parenting are available so that you can make an informed choice about your future. For those that have already made their decision: post-abortion support, birth parent support, and pregnancy support are also available.
First Place is non-profit and not affiliated with uOttawa Students for Life, nor is it partisan in anyway. For more information about First Place check out their website, or give them a call at 613-228-7475.