Youth Protecting Youth: At the University of Victoria, women have the right to an abortion. The right to think for themselves? Apparently not.

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by youthprotectingyouth. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

U of G Life Choice: Remembering to Listen, Learn, and Challenge Ourselves as Pro-Life Activists

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

- Brianne Gayfer, January 2015 –

I have over two years of experience, to date, being somewhat of a pro-life activist. As an extremely shy individual, I have pled my case mainly online, in blog form. Through countless discussions and debates with many people on the pro-choice side I have had my views on abortion stretched and reshaped over and over. I am still pro-life. Perhaps even more pro-life than I ever was before, but I think I have also gained a huge amount of understanding and compassion for both the pro-choice activists and the women who have wrestled with the choice to have an abortion.

Growing up I think I really believed that women who had abortions were evil and people who were pro-choice were crazy baby-haters, which is not all that surprising coming from a background where everyone I knew pretty much believed the same things I did. So I guess what I want to say here, to all pro-lifers, is that one of the most important things we can do for this movement is to start listening to the other side. Maybe once we start listening, we can engage in discussions that actually allow both sides to learn and grow. Both those for and against abortion so often speak defensively or in anger and I think that comes from a place of both sides desperately fearing what will happen if they are shut down


Talking to many people on the pro-choice side, I’ve discovered something I didn’t really understand before: they are genuinely trying to help women in the best way they know how. I’ve spoken to too many young women coerced into abortions, because of a society that often presents abortion as not only A choice, but the BEST choice or, worse, the ONLY choice. If we can talk to each we’ll hopefully realize that we agree on some things – pro-choice advocates say that what they want for women is choices, but when abortion is presented as the only viable choice, no one wins. We don’t win, because a life is lost. Pro-choice doesn’t win, because there are no choices.

I think there needs to be more times that we can come together – both to support the other choices that women have (or should have) other than abortion, and just to talk. It is good to have people around you who agree with you, who can build you up and fuel you to stay strong in your beliefs, but it isn’t enough. To grow, to understand even your own position as a pro-life advocate, you need to engage with those who don’t agree. Not antagonistically, but earnestly listening, so that when your time comes to speak you can reply in a way that shows that you have taken the time to understand where they are coming from and you are not just arguing with your own preconceptions of what a pro-choice advocate believes.

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

U of G Life Choice: The Trap

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

I’m convinced no one ever wants to have an abortion. Honestly, it doesn’t sound like a particularly pleasant procedure to have. I can’t imagine any woman upon finding out she’s pregnant thinking, “yippee! I get to have an abortion! This is going to rock!” I’d bet that’s not how it works. Putting aside for a moment the fact that it ends a human life, an invasive operation that involves picking apart a little fetus inside you just sounds awful. Abortion is awful. And while some people would say abortion is necessary, a human right, an important medical procedure, I really don’t think anyone would say it’s great. Abortion is not great.

Last semester was quite a busy one for our club at Guelph. One event we hosted was called Silent No More, a campaign where women came in and shared their regrets about their abortion experiences. The morning of this event we advertised in our university centre by surveying students and asking them what they thought about the abortion experience, and whether they thought regret was a common and big issue for women. One girl whom I chatted with answered my questions with wariness, cautious not to agree with me or my pro-life views. When I asked her if she thought all women who get an abortion actually want one, she answered with a quote:

“No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.”

Funny enough, it turns out she was quoting Frederica Mathewes-Green, the former vice-president of Feminists for Life of America. I didn’t know that at the time, and I’m guessing neither did she. Her quote did get me thinking though. The point she was trying to make was that yes, abortion sucks, but it needs to be available to women who find themselves trapped in a pregnancy they see no other way out of. Women don’t want to have abortions, but they have them because they feel like they must in order to survive.

To continue with the animal trap analogy, if one third of the women in our country were getting caught in bear traps and gnawing off their own legs, is the appropriate response of our society to provide them with the tools? Make it free and support them without judgement as they remove their own limbs and go on with life never the same? Hopefully everyone else sees that there should be a more positive solution here. We have to ask ourselves, “is there any way we can help free these women from these traps without cutting off their legs? What do they need, and how can we help them?”

Maybe making abortion more available to a scared pregnant woman isn’t the most helpful thing to do. If knowing that there are services, resources, and support available changes a pregnant woman’s decision to go through with her pregnancy, then isn’t that saying something? If a women chooses abortion because she feels she has no other option, then it’s not actually a choice. This might sound contradictory to say, but I think our campuses needs to be more pro-choice, providing not only for the needs of women who choose abortions, but also for the unique needs of women who choose life, because honestly…I bet that’s not easy.

So to the student who shared with me that quote—if you’re right, then we need change. If women have abortions for the same reasons an entrapped animal gnaws off its own leg, why don’t we do something about that? Women deserve better than this single ‘choice’ that they’re trapped with. Being pregnant ISN’T the bear trap; being pregnant and thinking abortion is the only option is the trap. Being pregnant and alone is the trap. An animal that gnaws off its leg is truly hopeless, but if someone was there to remove the trap, there’s hope in that. There’s life in that.

Can’t we offer that to women?

What if that would change things?

[If you’re pregnant and unsure of the resources and support that’s available for you in Guelph, email us at uoglifechoice@gmail.com or visit the following sites: http://michaelhouse.ca/ http://www.beginningsguelph.ca/ ]

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

University of Toronto Students for Life: What We Accomplished Last Semester

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

It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through the school year and already in 2015! UTSFL is hopeful as we gear up for a New Year of pro-life activism. But before we get too caught up in our plans, let’s remind ourselves of the ways that we reached students, faculty, and staff with the pro-life message last semester:

We reached out to lots of students with our table at various Clubs Fairs…
 September 1       September 2
…and sold baked goods as a fundraiser for Aid to Women.

October 5

Some of us were able to attend the NCLN Symposium, which gave us the tools and wisdom to make our club as effective as possible.

September 3

We helped organize a group to participate in LifeChain…

October 1

shared the story of the life of Elliot Hartman Mooney in “99 Balloons”…
October 3                  October 2
and welcomed the Sisters of Life who taught us about Understanding the Heart of a Pregnant Woman in Crisis.

October 4

We hosted an event in which Maaike Rosendal from the CCBR taught us how to dialogue on abortion…

November 1a

and used our newly-acquired skills to speak to students about the current status of abortion law in canada (hint: there is no law).

November 1

And we finished off the year with a Christmas Social, in support of Birthright!

December 1

December 2December 3

Happy New Year to all! Let’s see what we can accomplish this semester!

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

Go Life: U of A Campus Pro-Life: Information Session!

This post was written for Go Life: U of A Campus Pro-Life by campusprolife. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break and are smoothly readjusting to your classes and such. We will be kicking off the winter semester with an Information Session on Thursday, January 15th at 5:30pm in Room LB-13 of the Coutts Library (education building). This meeting will be similar to the very first meeting we had in September. Join us for an informative presentation, pizza, and awesome conversation! All are welcome to attend.

I look forward to seeing you thursday!

Read the comments at the Go Life: U of A Campus Pro-Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Euthanasia and Society’s Most Vulnerable Members

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

A recent editorial in the Toronto Star provides a critical examination of the dangers associated with the legalization of euthanasia. It was written by Dr. Heidi Janz, a professor at the University of Alberta who has a physical disability, in response to a bill introduced by Canadian Member of Parliament Steven Fletcher which seeks to decriminalize assisted suicide. In the editorial, Dr. Janz discusses her fears around how legalizing euthanasia would increase “the social vulnerability of every single disabled and elderly Canadian” by legitimizing the belief that death is preferable to certain life conditions, however limited they may be by illness or injury. She notes how this attitude is offensive to the dignity of individuals with disabilities, and also provides a real risk to such individuals in that the preservation of their life may not be appropriately prioritized, either by medical professionals or society as a whole.

What was most striking for me about this article was its implicit yet powerful repudiation of the argument that euthanasia is a strictly private, personal matter, and as such should not be a criminal offence. As always, the answer is never so simple. The implementation of legalized euthanasia would require a fundamental reshaping, amongst other things, of society’s conception of justice, the goals of medical care and the inviolability and dignity of the human person. Once such a rethink, already seemingly in process, is normalized, what was once argued to be a private matter will become subject to powerful societal forces. And, as Dr. Janz so eloquently demonstrates, in situations like this it is the already-vulnerable who stand to suffer the most. In a time of legalized euthanasia, there will be countless instances of caregivers, family or medical professionals, motivated by factors ranging from malevolence to a tragically misplaced sense of mercy, who suggest, encourage or implore others to make the decision to end their own life. And for those who are vulnerable, those without a voice, such a cacophony around them will lead many to reluctantly make this decision. Moreover, Dr. Janz points out that in many cases, the doubts, fears and desires to die associated with a disability or terminal condition may only be transient; the delivery of more supportive and compassionate medical care, or a society which prioritizes love and hope over death and expediency, could reinvigorate a person’s desire to live. But if the decision to die is one which is legal and therefore easily implemented, there is no going back; no opportunity to explore what could have been, how much more self-actualization that individual may have been able to achieve. Certainly these potential consequences indicate that legalized euthanasia represents far more than the emancipation of individual choice; it represents a complete rethink of how our society interacts with some of its most vulnerable members.

Our appreciation of the dignity of the human person has taken many massive strides over the centuries of human civilization. Adopting legalized euthanasia would represent a step backwards in this respect, one which would most profoundly impact those who are most in need of society’s protection.

The full article by Dr. Janz can be found at the link below:


- Roman Zyla graduated from U of T in 2014 with a specialist in pharmacology and is now in his first year of medical school. He is a keen follower of life issues in the news and has experience engaging his peers in debates about the issues. 

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