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Dynamic Duo Speaker Interview: Daniel & Devorah!

535789_233295350142353_854349059_nThis sibling-duo is truly one of a kind. Major advocates and activists in multiple areas of the human rights movement, these two can set a room ablaze with motivation, passion, and action. Those of you who are coming to the Symposium are in for a real treat as Daniel & Devorah get together for a powerhouse session: Winning More Than Arguments. Check out this hilarious interview with the two of them to get a taste of this pair’s chemistry.

1. Why are you excited to speak together at the Symposium?

Daniel Gilman: Devorah is one of my favourite speakers in the pro-life movement and one of the coolest and funnest people I know. She’s one of my best friends and I am pumped to get to share the same stage as her!

Devorah Gilman: Even before we were teenagers, Daniel and I have been trying to make a difference in our culture and politics, encouraging each other in our various pursuits. This is the first time we will be speaking together on the subject of abortion and I am really excited to together share about something we are so passionate about ending.

2. How did you both end up so involved in the Pro-Life Movement?

Devorah: I always knew about abortion, but Daniel was the first one to really bring it to my attention, explaining to me the reality of abortion in our culture. Then after seeing abortion imagery I was convicted that I must do something to end this injustice in my lifetime.

Daniel: Growing up in a Jewish family I was aware of the horrific reality of the holocaust and was resolved to fight against injustice wherever it raised its head. So when as a young child I first heard about abortion I resolved to do something about it. As children, Devorah and I would meet up before her bedtime (she had an earlier bedtime) and we would pray for our friends and the organizations we know that were involved in pro-life work. Then once I got a little bit older I began volunteering at a crisis pregnancy centre.

3. What do you respect most about each other?

Daniel: Her mad dance skills. I’ve never ever won a dance-off against her.  Ok, if I haaaave to pick one thing it is that in the activist world it can be so easy to try to be effective by learning to use other people for one’s own program or cause. Devorah never does that, but rather truly loves and cares about everyone, including her colleagues, her opponents, her friends, her family, and God. When I am stressed and worn out I know I can phone her and she’ll make herself available to encourage me and help me keep going. Devorah has sacrificed so much to do what she does.

Devorah: It’s hard to pick one thing that I respect Daniel the most for. His love for all people and his determination to fight against injustice is definitely something I respect a lot. His love shows through to his devotion to his friends, family, community and God. He has always been one of my role models.

Daniel: Thanks Devorah. I feel like you copied my answer, but that’s cool. That’s cool.

Devorah: No, I didn’t say anything about your dance skills.

Daniel: Um… Next question?

4. If you could be any dynamic duo in the history of dynamic duos, which would it be?

Devorah: Matthew and Marilla from Anne of Green Gables. They’re siblings and they are good friends. However, I don’t think our personalities are like them, Daniel is way too outgoing and I don’t think I’m cynical.

Daniel: Agreed.

5. What inspired you to come up with a talk entitled “Winning More Than Arguments” for the Symposium?

Devorah: So often we as Pro-Lifers can focus on winning arguments instead of actually winning the people we’re talking to. It doesn’t matter if we are smarter than them if the end result is that all they have left is an unchanged hard heart. Over the years I have been able to learn from incredible people and implement different skills and strategies into engaging people and having numerous and fruitful conversations.

Daniel: It’s possible to win an argument without actually having someone change their heart and then in the end you accomplish nothing. This talk will help pro-lifers truly connect with people.

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Symposium Testimony: Swimming in the Deep End

Meagan Nijenhuis, Summer Intern

I was thrown into the deep end, finding myself vice president of Life Choice at the University of Guelph before I even had time to put on my swimming goggles. My parents raised me to respect all human life but until university, the extent of my involvement had been showing up at 40 Days for Life once a year. I had been to a maximum of four meetings and suddenly I was on the executive. I needed to orient myself in the pro-life world. And fast. I had a pro-life club to help run. The NCLN Symposium gave me the water wings to survive the plunge into campus activism.

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The Symposium introduced me to other student leaders from across the country, giving me a glimpse of the magnitude of the movement. I was surrounded by so many others who were also in the “deep end”, bringing the message of life to a campus shrouded with a culture of death. Sometimes life brings you together with people for an instant and then you go your separate ways. In the Pro-Life Movement, it has to be different. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and continue onward together, no matter the distance that separates us. We are a team. I’ve been able to keep in contact, bounce ideas off and team up with students from across Canada because of relationships fostered at the Symposium.
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As a newbie to the pro-life front, I wasn’t aware of the army of organizations that fight for preborn human rights. At the Symposium I was able to not only learn from many of them in sessions and workshops, but also to have one-on-one conversations with these renowned leaders throughout the weekend. The Symposium expanded my network of resources to include more experienced people I would be able to fall back on for advice while leading Life Choice through the fall and winter semesters.

The Symposium saturated us with helpful information from a wide range of disciplines. Over the course of the weekend talks were given on the psychology of those you talk to on the street, the current state of abortion law in Canada and different projects you can run on your campus like the Silent No More Awareness Campaign or “Choice” Chain among others. They were pumping more and more air into my water wings.

This introduction to the Pro-Life Movement fueled a zeal to protect all human life and gave me both the tools and the connections I needed to tread the waters of campus activism. I was set for life in the “deep end.”

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It’s Worth It

Clarissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator

Mary Ward SFL
Clarissa and Mary of Mary Ward Students for Life

“It’s been a challenging few weeks,” said Mary to me when I had visited her high school this past school year.  She had stumbled upon NCLN’s website because she was looking for support and resources to start a pro-life club.  We had been in touch over the last few months, and in January, the club was approved.

“Friends who were supportive of the club at first backed away when we they realized we as a club were very much anti-abortion in all circumstances,” she continued.  “I mean, we’re still friends, but it’s not the same. Something in the way we have talked has changed.”

I am sure those of us involved in the pro-life movepment have experienced some variation of this.  I am also certain that many people out there that want to do more for preborn children are fearful of these kinds of changes.  I used to ask myself these questions all the time: What will my friends think of me?  How do I make them understand how important this is to me?  How do I express my thoughts in a way they’ll understand?

Before I could reply, ready to share my own thoughts and experiences, Mary added cheerfully: “It’s okay though. I know it’s worth it.”

Mary has realized what I wish I had realized sooner: with 100,000 babies in the womb being killed every year in our country and countless more men and women hurt by abortion the changes in our personal relationships, whether temporary or permanent, often pale in comparison. 

Though I still get nervous telling people I first meet about my work, I am reminded that they may never hear about the pro-life issue and the destruction abortion brings if I don’t talk about it.  When family members ask how my work is going, I share the challenges and the hope it brings to my life with joy.  When someone asks me with concern, “Do you really think you can change the culture and end abortion?” I think about the people whose lives have been changed for the better by the pro-life student leaders I serve, my incredible colleagues, and the pro-life movement at large, and answer with a resounding “Yes”.

Do we wish more people understood?  Definitely.  Do we want people to like us?  Sure.  Should setbacks and sacrifices in our relationships hinder us from sharing the truth?

Absolutely not.  Because it’s worth it.

 

……………………………..

(If you would like to get involved in pro-life activism this summer and in the upcoming semester, or have any questions, contact me at central@ncln.ca and check out www.ncln.ca/events/SummerActivism)

(To those whose lives are impacted regularly by the joys and challenges that come with my own full-time pro-life work, and to the friends and family who may at times be at odds with what I do but still bless me with their support and their time, this post was written with you in mind, in immense gratitude.  A special thanks to Mary as well for the inspiration she has been to me in her great resolve and courage to bring the pro-life message to her high school – which she has done quite successfully!)

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We #SurvivedMorgentaler: Canadian Youth Speak Out on the 26th Anniversary of R. v. Morgentaler

We #SurvivedMorgentaler: Canadian Youth Speak Out on the 26th Anniversary of R. v. Morgentaler

Toronto, Jan 28, 2014  – As Canada marks the 26th anniversary of the R. v. Morgentaler decision that decriminalized abortion, making Canada one of the only countries in the world with unrestricted abortion-on-demand, Canadian youth are mobilizing to speak out against the Supreme Court decision that decimated their generation and is decimating the next.

“In just over a quarter century we’ve lost a quarter of our generation,” states Rebecca Richmond, the Executive Director of National Campus Life Network. “We survived R. v. Morgentaler and, as survivors, we have the opportunity and obligation to speak up and defend the next generation who are being killed through abortion.”

“With each passing year, 100,000 Canadian babies lose their lives to abortion,” comments Alissa Golob, the Youth Coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition Youth. “This anniversary is an important moment for our generation to remember those who have been lost since the Supreme Court decision, and even before with the 1969 Omnibus Bill, and recommit ourselves to ending this injustice.”

Campaign Life Coalition Youth (CLCY) and National Campus Life Network (NCLN) are spearheading the social media campaign on January 28th. They are asking Canadian pro-lifers to join the Tweet-A-Thon and post on Facebook to educate their peers and motivate them to end abortion in Canada.

#SurvivedMorgentaler and #EndAbortion are the suggested hashtags and a Facebook event has been set-up for participants to join.

“The majority of Canadians aren’t even aware that we have no abortion law in our country, let alone that we are the only western democracy without a law,” states Alissa Golob. “This is an important opportunity to start a conversation with our peers and help them understand what R. v. Morgentaler has meant for our country and our generation in particular.”

“Twenty-six years of R. v. Morgentaler has meant twenty-six years of abortion on demand. That is twenty-six years too long,” agrees Rebecca Richmond. “We are not going to abandon the next generation to the same fate that ours suffered.”

About Campaign Life Coalition Youth
Campaign Life Coalition Youth is a division of Campaign Life Coalition, the national, non-profit organization involved in political action and advocacy for legal and cultural change in Canada with respect to protecting human life and the family. CLC Youth’s mission is to educate youth and to create opportunities for young people to engage in this modern-day civil rights movement. For more information visit www.campaignlifecoalition.com.

About National Campus Life Network
National Campus Life Network is the only national organization that exists to educate, network and support post-secondary pro-life students across Canada. NCLN supports over 30 campus groups across the country and plays an important role in mentoring new leaders into the pro-life movement. 

Media Contacts:
Alissa Golob, Youth Coordinator, Campaign Life Coalition, P: 416-204-9749, C: 647-678-016,  alissa@campaignlifecoalition.com
Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director, National Campus Life Network,  C: 416-388-0461, director@ncln.ca

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5 Things the Youth of Canada Should Know About R.v. Morgentaler

Written by Rebecca Richmond

1. R. v. Morgentaler is not Roe v. Wade 

and Roe v. Wade does not apply to Canada.* Why? For the simple reason that we don’t live in the United States of America.

Because Roe v. Wade is so widely spoken of, even in Canada, people can be easily confused. R. v. Morgentaler was the January 28, 1988 Supreme Court decision that struck down the existing (and inadequate) abortion laws in the Criminal Code of Canada. The previous law, established in 1969, allowed for abortions in hospital performed for reasons of the mother’s ‘life or health’. ‘Health’ was not defined, however, and it was Therapeutic Abortion Committees within the hospitals that had to evaluate the cases. As such, access to abortion could vary substantially in different parts of the country, depending on who sat on the committees. The case of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who served jail time for his illegal abortions, reached Canada’s highest court and, on January 28th 1988, the court handed down its decision, striking down the abortion laws. No law has been passed since.

Don’t assume that your club members will know much about the legal status of abortion. A few ways to help educate your club members on subjects like this include:

  • Share NCLN articles (like this one!) and resources with your club members. Better yet, encourage them to ‘Like’ NCLN on Facebook and follow us on instagram!
  • A good basic primer on the history of abortion law in Canada can be found here:  CCBR: History of Abortion Law in Canada
  • Good talking points on the legal status of abortion can be found at WeNeedALaw.ca: Talking Points
*Although, granted, Roe v. Wade has had a significant impact on Canada.
 

Morgentaler 2014 Meme2. R. v. Morgentaler did NOT make abortion a ‘right’.

No ‘right to an abortion’ exists in law in Canada. Not only is there no law, but the Supreme Court never established a ‘right’ like Roe v. Wade did. In fact, the Supreme Court justices were very clear about the fact that Parliament does have jurisdiction to define protections for the child within the womb. The decision, which was 5-2, was split into four separate judgments, and the only Justice who came close to defending an abortion right even stated in her judgment that the state still has an interest in protecting preborn human life:
“The precise point in the development of the foetus at which the state’s interest becomes ‘compelling’ I leave to the informed judgment of the legislature which is in a position to receive guidance on the subject from all the relevant disciplines. It seems to me, however, that it might fall somewhere in the second trimester.”  Justice Bertha Wilson, R. v. Morgentaler, January 28, 1988, Supreme Court of Canada (page 113).

You can listen to an interview where Don Hutchison, Legal Counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, addresses this: Abortion Debate in Canada Interview

3. R. v. Morgentaler resulted in a legal vacuum on abortion.

Since the decriminalization of abortion, abortion has existed in a legal vacuum because of the lack of laws. This has led to/or permitted:

  • Sex-selective abortions, which disproportionately target baby girls. Because sex is generally not known until later in pregnancy, sex-selective abortions are also late-term abortions. Although sex-selection is more commonly associated with countries like India and China where the massive sex-ratio discrepancy ratios have been attracting international attention, the problem also exists in Canada. Researchers have found similarly skewed sex ratios among certain communities in Canada and the former interim editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal even called for a ban on releasing the sex of the baby until 30 weeks in order to help stem these abortions.1 
  • Children born alive (after an unsuccessful abortion) and left to die.2
  • Abortions outside of hospitals. Clinics are now able to provide abortions and, because reporting is not mandatory for clinics, we don’t even know the numbers of abortions being done outside of hospitals. Indeed, abortion statistics have become harder to come by thanks to obfuscation by provincial governments.3
  • Legal issues. Andre Schutten, a former club leader of McMaster and Legal Counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action, described the legal issues that courts run into thanks to R. v. Morgentaler and Parliament’s refusal to address the legal void.4

 

4. R. v. Morgentaler made us survivors. 

In the quarter century since the 1988 decision, a quarter of our generation has been killed by abortion. It is more than a statistic; we are truly a survivor generation. Everyday when we’re on campus, we walk not only amidst those who are grappling with their abortions but also many who survived when siblings did not, or who may have only narrowly survived themselves. Perhaps we, ourselves, are those very people. This sobering reality means that our generation has a great deal of healing to do; it also means that we, as survivors, must speak up for all those who were silenced.

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5. We will not let R. v. Morgentaler define the NEXT generation.

Beyond standing against the lethal devastation that abortion has wreaked upon our generation, we also must stand up for the next generation. It is now our generation that is having the abortions, many unaware of what their ‘choice’ really means, many unaware of the impact abortion will have on their lives, many unaware of the support and resources available to them, and many facing pressure and coercion to abort.  As young men and women who survived, we now have the opportunity and obligation to reach out to those facing untimely pregnancies and secure the freedom of the next generation. We grew up in the shadow of R. v. Morgentaler, with one quarter of our generation paying the price for our society’s lack of protections for all human beings at all stages. We cannot, must not and will not abandon the next generation to such a fate.

 

Educate your campus on the truth about abortion. Try the QA Project!

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Fall 2013 Newsletter

Click the image below to view our Fall 2013 Newsletter in full! 

We are so proud of all the hard work our students have been doing on their campuses, and are so honored to be a part of it! A HUGE thank you to all of our students, supporters and benefactors! Can’t wait to see what this next semester brings!

Fall 2013 Newsletter_Page_1

 

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Winners for the 2013-2014 Pro-Life Club Grant Announced

Congratulations Guelph Life Choice and Western Lifeline!

Guelph Life Choice and Western Lifeline, the pro-life clubs at Guelph University and the University of Western Ontario, are the proud recipients of the 2013-2014 Pro-Life Club Grants. These grants, with $750 being awarded to each club, are made possible by The Interim newspaper and Niagara Region Right to Life, and are facilitated by National Campus Life Network.

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Western Lifeline taking part in 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil

“Pro-life university students face a lot of challenges as they work to bring the pro-life message to their campuses,” said Rebecca Richmond, NCLN’s Executive Director. “The generosity of The Interim and Niagara Region Right to Life helps support and encourage students and also provides financial support to fund their activities.” 

The purpose of the grant is to recognize the work of pro-life clubs and assist them in their efforts on campuses.  Club members submit applications outlining the activities they plan to run on campus, with the goal being to effectively reach and impact the campus with the pro-life message.

This year’s winners are thrilled to be the recipients of the grant. Life Choice at Guelph’s plan for the coming semester includes hosting the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. They also hope to initiate a new project of creating care packages with key items for expectant and new moms on campus; these packages will be available through student support services. 

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Guelph Life Choice during Clubs Day with Rebecca and Clarissa

“We are so excited to implement our plans in the winter semester,” says club Vice-President Meagan Nijenhuis. “During the fall semester we were able to build a strong foundation for our pro life group, and we are so proud of all our members.”

“We will continue to grow and learn, and together we will do whatever we can to bring awareness to our campus,” continued club President Celine Mammoliti. “This grant will definitely help us with our goal to successfully provide alternative options on a campus that generally fails to give women real choices.”

Western Lifeline, located in London Ontario, is focused on an upcoming debate between Dr. Fraser Fellows, an abortionist, and Maaike Rosendal  of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Carolyn Murray, president of the club, stated, “Western Lifeline is extremely thankful to be awarded the grant. Our hopes to host a professional debate on campus – the largest event of the year – are now possible, as we strive to reach even more university students with the pro-life message.”

As a busy fall semester draws to a close, it is evident that the spring semester has a great deal of exciting activism in store. 

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$1500 Grant for Your Club!

NCLN is once again facilitating the Pro-Life Campus Club Grant sponsored by The Interim and Niagara Right to Life to a provide a $1500 grant to a pro-life club on a post-secondary campus!

The grant recognizes the work of pro-life clubs and assists them in their efforts on campuses.  The grant will be given to the club whose proposal demonstrates creativity, planning, and leadership, fulfilling their mission as a club and having a substantial impact on the university culture.

Clubs who wish to apply will submit the application (below) to NCLN by November 15th. The successful club will be chosen by the Grant Sponsors, with recommendations from National Campus Life Network’s staff.  The grant will be awarded in December and all applicants will be notified. The successful club is expected to update the Grant Sponsors about their club activities, and will have an opportunity to be interviewed by the Interim. 

Click here for the Pro-Life Club Grant Application 2013

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