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National Campus Life Network > Blog > Articles by: Blaise Alleyne

University of Toronto Students for Life: The beginning of life isn’t controversial

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

It’s not controversial when life begins. Except for when we start talking about abortion, then people want to pretend it’s above their pay grade.

I just came across this little snippet from the Globe about an institute at U of T that I think serves to highlight that:

If you were going to try and solve the riddle of childhood obesity, who would you call? Doctors, geneticists, teachers or social workers? Why not all of them? That’s the premise behind a new research institute at the University of Toronto that will be delving into the potential – and the pitfalls – of early childhood health and well-being.

The Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development, named for the late advocate of early childhood development, pulls together researchers from a wide range of fields under a virtual umbrella to tackle a wide range of issues. They’ll team up on research and teaching that focuses on the first 2,000 days of a child’s life – from conception to age five – in the hopes of pinpointing ways to set children on positive life trajectories.

If you’re doing real science and you have to look to the beginning of life, would you turn to birth? To the ability to feel pain? To consciousness or sentience? To a sperm or egg cell? Obviously, just like the Fraser Mustard Institute, you’d look to the real beginning of life: conception.

The beginning of life is a fact. That fact is only becomes controversial insofar as it’s inconvenient — when you are trying to justify killing through abortion.

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: On the analogy between the debates about slavery and abortion in America

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Over at Public Discourse, Nathaniel Peters offers a review of Justin Buckley Dyer’s analysis on Slavery, Abortion, and the Politics of Constitutional Meaning. It’s a deep dive into the way that the analogy between slavery and abortion plays out in American public discourse and scholarly debates.

All readers will benefit from Dyer’s account of the ways in which the logic of abortion depended on history to justify Roe v. Wade and subsequent court decisions. As Dyer vividly demonstrates, some of that history was dramatically misused.

For example, on Dred Scott:

Dyer is at his most original and scholarly in his contribution to the debate over substantive due process and abortion. The Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” In Dred Scott, the Supreme Court ruled that a legislative act barring slavery from federal territories “could hardly be dignified with the name due process of law.” In other words, the Court viewed the prohibition of slavery as so patently unjust that, to the justices, it clearly fell outside the scope of the due process of the law. [...]

But, Dyer argues, contemporary opponents of Dred Scott criticized the decision for its view of slaves as property, not its substantive view of due process. For them, natural rights to life, liberty, and property provided the substance that could not be violated by the due process of the law. [...]

Here, Dyer concludes, we see the real parallel between Dred Scott and Roe: In both cases, “the Court treated biological human status as irrelevant to the question of constitutional personhood while constructing a legal community of constitutional persons that did not necessarily overlap with the population of natural persons.”

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, the review goes into far more detail.

A good take-away:

Abolitionism provides the example for how to fight for a cause: underscore the humanity of those whose humanity is denied, provide compassionate care for those affected, name the lies that dehumanize and kill, and tirelessly argue for the truth about “who counts.”

Sometimes, the most important lessons take the longest to learn.

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Luis interviewed on TRUradio

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Luis Dizon, Education Coordinator with UTSFL, was interviewed on TRUradio [listen from 93:30, interview last ~12 min] a couple weeks back, discussing recent political developments with Niki Ashton and Justin Trudeau.

New Lifestyle Internet Radio with TRUradio on BlogTalkRadio

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: May “Choice” Chain

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Yesterday, we held our May “Choice” Chain, and we’ll be continuing through the Summer and into next year.

May "Choice" Chain

If you’re interested in getting involved with the UTSFL Activism Team to change hearts and minds about abortion and save the lives of pre-born children, send us an email at students.forlife@utoronto.ca!

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Say #No2Niki and Motion 510

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

In Canada, the politics of abortion have involved a lot of meta-debate in recent years. We debate whether or not we should “reopen” the abortion debate. We debate whether party leaders can prevent MPs from “reopening” the debate. We debate whether or not the abortion debate is already open. Or already settled.

Clearly, there’s a debate already going on. If it wasn’t obvious enough already, NDP MP Niki Ashton introduced Motion 510 last week, which reads in full:

That, in the opinion of the House:

(a) a women’s right to choose abortion is a fundamental question of equality and human rights, both in Canada and around the world;

(b) the key priorities of the government during the upcoming international summit on child and maternal health on May 28-30, 2014 should include empowering women globally, promoting gender equality and supporting reproductive health care including the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options;

and (c) the government should lift its policy of refusing to fund international programs that support a full range of family planning and reproductive health care options including abortion.

While it’s great that an NDP MP is now underscoring the point that the debate is clearly very open, the motion itself is terrible and needs to be defeated.

Now is the time to take action:

What is Motion 510? What can I do?

Here’s how Luis, our Education Coordinator, is saying #no2niki:
"Human Rights." You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

I've contact my MP. Have you?

Now is the time to be a voice for the voiceless. Find your MP. Take action now!

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Bake Sale in support of Aid to Women

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

On Monday March 24, we’re holding a Bake Sale fundraiser in support of Aid to Women from 10am-4pm in the Sidney Smith lobby. Come on by if you’re able to volunteer or bring baked goods, or even just to enjoy some baked goods!

Bake Sale

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: “Choice” Chain at U of T

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

UTSFL "Choice" Chain

Of all the days this week to pick to start our “Choice” Chain campaign at the University of Toronto, Wednesday’s snowstorm was less than ideal compared to the balmy Monday, Tuesday and Friday this week. But it wasn’t a snow day for U of T — or for abortion clinics — so a little bit of snow wasn’t going to stop us.

UTSFL "Choice" Chain

We stayed out for a bit over 2 hours, and were surprised at how many people stopped to talk or take a pamphlet, even in the snow. We had 9 volunteers with 4 “choice” signs and 2 life signs on display at the heart of campus.

UTSFL "Choice" Chain

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Thanks to our activism team members who braved the snow this week to make the humanity of pre-born children and the inhumanity of abortion known on campus. If you’re interested in getting involved with the UTSFL Activism Team to change hearts and minds about abortion and save the lives of pre-born children, send us an email at students.forlife@utoronto.ca!

UTSFL "Choice" Chain

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.