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National Campus Life Network > Articles by: Hanna

U of G Life Choice: Q&A: What About Overpopulation?

This post was written for U of G Life Choice by Hanna. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

This question comes up a lot.  On the surface, it seems to make sense: we want future generations to be able to enjoy this lovely earth and all the wonders of nature, without overcrowding and destroying the place.  Thus, we shouldn’t create more people than will fit on the earth.

Before considering the topic of overpopulation itself, let’s just correct one assumption in that statement.  Often people see abortion as a preventative measure, to stop population growth before it happens.  The problem with this is that the unborn child already exists.  It’s too late to prevent anything: he or she is nestled happily in the womb, chilling out in the amniotic fluid while his/her cells multiply at an amazing rate.  So what is really being advocated here is killing humans in order to make the world better for the ones who are already grown.  Do you think someone could use overpopulation as a justification for killing a seven-year-old?  Why, then, is it a good reason to kill an unborn child?

If you really want to get into a discussion about overpopulation, Steve Mosher has a wonderful collection of videos.  This video highlights the fact that many countries are now below replacement rate, meaning that people aren’t having enough children to replace the current generation.  As we see already in China, this puts immense pressure on the younger generation to support a huge amount of retirees, and reduces the young workforce, problems that will only be magnified in future generations.

China’s one-child policy, intended to alleviate overpopulation and crowding, has had other devastating effects.  Forced abortion has been taking place there for decades.  Government officials routinely abduct women who are seven, eight, even nine months pregnant, and take them to hospitals where they are forced to have abortions against their will.  ‘Family Planning Officials’ get monetary rewards for limiting births, so the practice is not likely to end soon.  Human rights activist Chen Guangcheng drew attention to this in his village, and was swiftly put under house arrest by the Chinese Government.  Even Batman couldn’t save the day: when actor Christian Bale tried to visit Chen and show his support, plainclothes police officers physically prevented him from entering the village.  Even if Steve Mosher hasn’t convinced you that overpopulation is a myth, surely you can agree that killing children – especially using the Chinese government’s draconian methods – is not a good solution.

 

 

Read the comments at the U of G Life Choice website.

U of G Life Choice: Speak Up: They Can’t Hear You on the Hill

This post was written for U of G Life Choice by Hanna. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with a local MP to discuss the upcoming vote on Motion 312.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, Motion 312 proposes the formation of a committee to discuss the Criminal Code’s definition of when human life begins.  At present, the definition is scientifically out-of-date, declaring:

“A child becomes a human being…when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother…” (Section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada)

The wording of this is so bizarre that I’m surprised a committee hasn’t tackled it already.  What are they suggesting the ‘child’ is before it’s a human being?  What species is a woman carrying for those nine months?  Technology has given us amazing insights into human development in the womb.  Anyone performing pre-natal surgery, or viewing an ultrasound image, would be hard-pressed to argue that the unborn child is not a human.

Though the MP I spoke with didn’t disagree with me there, he did state that Canadians found the current Criminal Code to be ‘acceptable’, and indicated that most people in the riding agreed with him.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t find it ‘acceptable’ that the current Criminal Code is in direct conflict with biology and sound logic.  Clearly, I’m not the only one: a 2011 poll by Abacus Data showed that 59% of Canadians advocate legal protection for children at some point before their birth.  An astonishing 72% said the same thing in a 2011 poll by Environics.  In each poll, almost 30% believed that such protection should be offered from the point of conception onwards.  Clearly, Canadians are not on board with the unscientific, absurd oddity parading around as law.  Why, then, are our government representatives not aware of this?

I’ll be honest – at 23 years old, I had never met with an MP before.  I have a hunch that there are a lot of youth out there who are not familiar with local politics.   However, in a society where often only the loudest are heard, I think we need to be considerably louder.  We can respectfully make our views known to our local representatives, so they’re no longer laboring under the illusion that they’re accurately representing the views of their riding.  We need to get involved with pro-life activism, to show that we are not okay with the current lack of abortion legislation.  We can become involved on the provincial level as well, and make it known that we do not think our tax dollars should go towards funding abortion on demand.

There are certainly many branches of the pro-life movement that are worthy of our attention.  It’s crucial to talk to individuals, and change people’s minds one at a time.  It’s important to spend time supporting women in crisis pregnancies, and to continue supporting them once their children are born.  However, the law needs to change too.  Every day that abortion is still legal in our country, and our tax dollars are going towards it, we carry the weight of responsibility on our shoulders.

At the end of the day, the goal is to have a country where abortion is recognized as the murder of a human being – recognized both in the hearts of its citizens, and in its law.  In order to achieve this, we need to speak up, shake ourselves out of complacency, and make sure our MPs know that the current state of things is not ‘acceptable’.

For more information on Motion 312, and how to contact your local MP, visit letsstopthepretense.com.  Send an e-mail, call them on the phone, or meet them in person — let them know that you support Motion 312, and you hope that they will too.

 

 

 

 

Read the comments at the U of G Life Choice website.

University of Guelph Life Choice: Women’s Rights vs. Women’s Rights

This post was written for University of Guelph Life Choice by Hanna. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

In Canada, it is legal to get an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy – no questions asked. Women might seek abortions because they don't feel ready to have a child, because they can't support one financially, or because they did not intend to get pregnant. Or they might seek an abortion because they've found out that their unborn child is a girl.
In India and China, sex-selective abortion is extremely common. In most countries around the world, the ratio of girls to boys is approximately 1:1, but in some areas of India it has dropped to around 700 girls for every 1000 boys born (according to the organization 'Save Girl Child' in India). This may come from a cultural preference for sons, the effects of which are more dramatic in countries with a restriction on the number of children a couple can have. Because of this discrimination in the womb, ten million girls have 'gone missing' in India alone over the last twenty years, according to Save Girl Child. This trend is not limited to India and China, though; it happens in our own backyard as well, as reported in a recent editorial in the Candian Medical Association Journal.
It seems inevitable that in a country with no restrictions on abortion, we would eventually run into these sorts of moral quandaries. If the idea of aborting girls en masse to satisfy misogynystic cultural leanings gives our collective consciences a twinge, what about fetuses with disabilities? Studies in the UK show that up to 90% of fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.  In 2009 alone, “2,085 abortions were [due to the] risk that the child would be born handicapped” in Britain, according to the Department of Health; this includes children with correctible disorders such as cleft palate and club foot. When our culture accepts as normal the act of aborting a child who has physical imperfections, then anyone who is less than perfect should start to feel lucky that they made it out of the womb.
Where do we draw the line? Where does the free exercise of one's 'right' to abortion become outright discrimination against women and the disabled? The idea of freedom of choice is being used to prevent women's lives from starting; your right to choose is in direct conflict with another girl's right to life. If sex-selective abortion, and the idea of ending someone's life just because they have a disability, strikes you as an inexcusable brutality incongruous with our culture of equality, then we have to ask ourselves how we can protect unborn children from this type of discrimination. Then we're faced with an even bigger question: if unborn children have a right to a discrimination-free chance at life, what other rights might they also have?

- Hanna Barlow

[As seen in the Opinion section of The Ontarion, Feburary 16, 2012.]

Read the comments at the University of Guelph Life Choice website.

U of G Life Choice: Women’s Rights vs. Women’s Rights

This post was written for U of G Life Choice by Hanna. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

In Canada, it is legal to get an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy – no questions asked. Women might seek abortions because they don’t feel ready to have a child, because they can’t support one financially, or because they did not intend to get pregnant. Or they might seek an abortion because they’ve found out that their unborn child is a girl.
In India and China, sex-selective abortion is extremely common. In most countries around the world, the ratio of girls to boys is approximately 1:1, but in some areas of India it has dropped to around 700 girls for every 1000 boys born (according to the organization ‘Save Girl Child‘ in India). This may come from a cultural preference for sons, the effects of which are more dramatic in countries with a restriction on the number of children a couple can have. Because of this discrimination in the womb, ten million girls have ‘gone missing’ in India alone over the last twenty years, according to Save Girl Child. This trend is not limited to India and China, though; it happens in our own backyard as well, as reported in a recent editorial in the Candian Medical Association Journal.
It seems inevitable that in a country with no restrictions on abortion, we would eventually run into these sorts of moral quandaries. If the idea of aborting girls en masse to satisfy misogynystic cultural leanings gives our collective consciences a twinge, what about fetuses with disabilities? Studies in the UK show that up to 90% of fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.  In 2009 alone, “2,085 abortions were [due to the] risk that the child would be born handicapped” in Britain, according to the Department of Health; this includes children with correctible disorders such as cleft palate and club foot. When our culture accepts as normal the act of aborting a child who has physical imperfections, then anyone who is less than perfect should start to feel lucky that they made it out of the womb.
Where do we draw the line? Where does the free exercise of one’s ‘right’ to abortion become outright discrimination against women and the disabled? The idea of freedom of choice is being used to prevent women’s lives from starting; your right to choose is in direct conflict with another girl’s right to life. If sex-selective abortion, and the idea of ending someone’s life just because they have a disability, strikes you as an inexcusable brutality incongruous with our culture of equality, then we have to ask ourselves how we can protect unborn children from this type of discrimination. Then we’re faced with an even bigger question: if unborn children have a right to a discrimination-free chance at life, what other rights might they also have?

- Hanna Barlow

[As seen in the Opinion section of The Ontarion, Feburary 16, 2012.]

Read the comments at the U of G Life Choice website.