National Campus Life Network > Blog > Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform

Saving Babies on Campus

By Amber Miller

Amber Miller works for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical ReformThis post was originally published by CCBR at unmaskingchoice.ca.  It has been posted here with the permission of CCBR.

Before I understood and appreciated the eminence of having a vision, my days of “pro-life activism” were spent organizing meetings for my high school’s pro-life club. At the time, I considered myself to be a kind of pro-life “leader” in my school. This, of course, was before a speaker asked me: “What do we wish to accomplish as pro-life club?” And: “Were our projects bringing us closer to our goal?” Overwhelmed and embarrassed, I realized that I had spent four years doing projects that I didn’t even know were effective. In addition, I failed to inspire the other students because I didn’t see how I could make a difference outside the tiny parameters of the club I founded.

After graduating from high school, I joined McMaster University’s pro-life club, Lifeline. This group definitely had the structure my high school club had lacked, and thus accomplished more. Last February, Lifeline hosted a debate with Stephanie Gray. Watching her present for the first time, I remember being highly impressed with her professionalism and conviction. I wondered what her “club” was like. This summer, I got the exhilarating opportunity to find out. On the New Abortion Caravan, I realized that in order to EndtheKilling of pre-born children, pro-life organizations (and indeed the movement as a whole) need a unified vision for what we hope to accomplish. It is not enough to simply “be” pro-life. Each of us must make the conscious decision to “do” pro-life, and do it well.

As a former student, I understand the difficulties that come with doing part-time pro-life work while focusing on your studies. From scrambling for school supplies to cramming for exams, school in itself is a full time job. Does that mean that you can’t make positive change in the pro-life movement until you graduate or retire? No! It means that, because you’re time is divided, the time you set aside for pro-life work should be spent doing the most effective projects possible. As you get your club organized for the school year, I challenge you to ask yourself:

  • What are our strengths as a club? What are our weaknesses?
  • What are our long-term goals?
  • What short-term projects will help us accomplish these goals? Are they feesable?
  • What other pro-life organizations could we benefit from networking with?
  • What challenges have we faced in the past?
  • How can we invite and keep committed members this year?

One project I would recommend is “Choice” Chain: a relatively inexpensive, simple to execute project that can be taken virtually anywhere. Perhaps, instead of hosting a 2 hour after-school meeting every month, dedicate your lunch hour to doing “Choice” Chain in front of your school. Show those who are most susceptible to the lie of “choice” what abortion really looks like. Sound scary? So is the mass murder of our generation. If these tactics work (which they certainly do), then why not make the most of them for the greatest impact?

Share Button

Too Close to Home

By Rebecca Richmond, NCLN Executive Director

Toronto has grown on me, I’ll concede, but this small town girl still dislikes the big crowds, achingly slow streetcars, and noisy post-game Euro Cup celebrations. Yet, I’ve never worried much about rates of crime and violence in Canada’s biggest city. I usually feel safe; reports of violence seemed to happen far from my part of town – until recently. It started with the gunman opening fire in the Eaton Centre food court. Following close on its heels was the College Street shooting, just across the street from where I frequently get gelato. All of a sudden, violence was too close to home.

A shooting anywhere is horrific. The loss of life anywhere is tragic. Yet, unless we’re connected to the people or place, it can be easy to disregard or ignore what is happening. It always has been. Throughout history, human society has been all too happy to focus on our lives and our problems and ignore the victims of great injustices. From slavery to the Holocaust to domestic abuse, people have looked the other way, allowing evil to destroy innocent lives. In Canada today, a shooting will be front page news, while the slaughter of 100,000 preborn children annually will be called a “woman’s right” and is paid for with our tax dollars.

This slaughter will continue as long as our fellow Canadians continue to ignore and avoid the issue.

So we can’t let them avoid it. And we can’t let them forget the victims.

On campuses and on street corners, the pro-life message must be proclaimed. In classrooms and in offices, abortion must be discussed and debated. In Parliament and in the courts, justice for all human beings must be upheld, regardless of age, development, environment or degree of dependency.

The New Abortion Caravan showed Canadians the truth about abortion and what it does to the most vulnerable and innocent in our society. The staff of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, along with student interns and volunteers, were on sidewalks with Choice Chain, in communities with presentations, on streets with trucks, and in neighbourhoods with postcards throughout the month long tour. They engaged the culture.

I don’t think any pro-lifer would disagree with the need to saturate our culture with the truth about abortion. But with the Caravan now on its way home, we must look to our own lives and activities, whether on campus or in our community: how often do we stand up and speak out? What sacrifices do we make regularly? It is essential that we, too, saturate Canada with the pro-life message so that no one can ignore abortion or pretend that ‘choice’ doesn’t kill.

What will it take to make us realize how close the violence really is to our own lives? Abortion does impact all of us and this violence is occurring in our very own communities. It is time for Canadians of all ages and all walks of life to turn pro-life convictions into pro-life actions. It is time to end abortion.


Share Button

uOttawa Students For Life: New Abortion Caravan Hits Ottawa

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

The New Abortion Caravan is now in Ottawa. On Saturday, June 30th, they took graphic images of the reality of abortion and an infant-sized coffin to 24 Sussex Drive in memory of Canada’s millions of aborted children. Look for them near Parliament Hill on Canada Day, and don’t forget to head to their presentation at 7:30pm on Monday, July 2nd at Greenbelt Baptist Church, 839 Shefford Rd, to hear Stephanie Gray and Jonathan Van Maren speak on How We Will End the Killing in Our Lifetime. This Canada Day weekend, let’s commit to working toward making sure all Canadians, big and small, get to enjoy this beautiful country.

Check out Part 2 of the video posted last week on minds being changed:

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: New Abortion Caravan Coming To Ottawa

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

A week from today, on July 2nd, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s New Abortion Caravan will be in Ottawa for the last stage of its cross-country trip. Stephanie Gray and Jonathan Van Maren will be giving a talk from 7:30pm – 9:15pm titled “Abortion: How we will EndtheKilling in our Lifetime” at Greenbelt Baptist Church, 839 Shefford Rd. All are welcome at this event that is sure to be highly informative and inspiring!

Check out this video for a taste of what the New Abortion Caravan has been accomplishing:

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

The New Abortion Caravan

Coming soon to a neighbourhood near you:

Press release here.

Share Button

uOttawa Students For Life: Cause for Hope

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by Kelden Formosa

The tall, angry young man had just screamed “semantic witch” at the young woman at the lectern several rows before him. It seems he didn’t like what she had to say – her argument that abortion kills a human being did not appeal to his pro-choice sensibilities, apparently. You would think that Stephanie Gray, the pro-life debater and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, might have stumbled, but instead she continued on with her point, taking it all in stride, as the man walked out of the university hall.

The young man was a pro-choice audience member at the abortion debate organized by the University of Ottawa Students for Life and the U of O Med Students for Life this past year. It’s been a few months since the big debate – one which divided our campus and provoked real controversy – but looking back on it now, I think it provides us with some important insights on the future of the continuing public debate on abortion in Canada.

As one of those involved in the organization of the debate (full disclosure), I was quite happy to welcome even the most militant pro-choice activists, including the young man mentioned prior. It is the challenge of pro-life activists to change the hearts and minds of those who disagree with us. Debates, conferences, advertising, writing – pro-life Canadians have done it all, in the hopes that one day human life might be protected from conception unto natural death.

We’ve done it in the face of intense pressure to resign ourselves to the abortion status quo. Our opponents can’t even believe pro-lifers are still around and have even greater difficulty believing that young people and university students could ever be pro-life. For them, the debate ended in 1988, when the Supreme Court allowed for abortion in Canada without any restriction, throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The appalling statistics about abortion in Canada and around the world have barely registered in the consciousness of today’s pro-choice activists: that one in four unborn children will be aborted, including 90% of children prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, and a higher proportion of female children than male ones, seems quite unimportant to them and most of the mainstream media.

But, like it or not, the debate continues. It continues in families and amongst friends, in classrooms and in churches, and most poignantly, in the hearts and minds of vulnerable women who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. And this continuation of the debate is the saving grace for the pro-life movement. Because it means that we’re still not comfortable with abortion – that ending the life of an unborn child still strikes us as morally troubling. For pro-lifers, this is cause for hope.

For pro-choicers, this apparently is cause for fear. Before our abortion debate even happened, dozens of major pro-choice activists rejected our club’s invitation to debate. We offered them the opportunity to confront a leading Canadian “anti-choicer” in an open forum, with a neutral moderator. Yet they said no: Dr. Kathryn Treehuba, a U of O professor and abortion provider; Dr. Fraser Fellow, a UWO professor and abortion provider; Joyce Arthur, of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada; Sandra Rogers, a U of O professor; Wayne Sumner, a U of T professor; Heather Holland, of Planned Parenthood Ottawa; representatives from Canadians for Choice, Action Canada for Population and Development and the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health – all of them refused to debate abortion.

So our club decided to hold them accountable. We put up controversial posters highlighting their refusal and wrote a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, making the debate invitation open to all comers. Eventually Jovan Morales, of the Atheist Community of the University of Ottawa, stepped up to the plate to represent the pro-choice side. It seemed for a moment that we would have a civil, if less than ideal, dialogue on abortion.

But it was not to be. Radical pro-choice activists, many of whom are associated with the Women’s Resource Centre of the Student Federation, decided to come out to our debate in force. This would have been great – if they were really there to engage in a reasoned debate. Instead, they brought their posters and their slogans and their raucous attitudes and little else. Holding signs that declared, “An egg is not a chicken” and “My Body/My Choice,” these activists heckled Ms. Gray, the pro-life speaker, menaced elderly debate attendees and shouted “bulls***” and “what the f***” in response to many of the points made by Ms. Gray. Particularly atrocious was the sign declaring, “I hope the foetus you ‘save’ is gay.” For the record, I wouldn’t mind at all.

But why were they so rude and disruptive? Why not just win the audience over with the logic and eloquence of the pro-choice message? I submit that their behaviour betrays the weakness of their own position. Perhaps it’s just the philosophy major in me, but “My Body/My Choice” is a far better slogan than logical argument. As Ms. Gray said: sure, I have freedom over my body – I can swing my arm, for example – but that freedom ends when it injures another person, e.g. swinging my arm to punch them in the face. When the right to choose ends the life of another person, we can and must restrict it. Similarly, it’s true that an egg is not a chicken, but a preborn child is not an egg – it is a fully human organism, genetically distinct and having within itself the means of its own continuance. Fallacies like the ones presented lie at the heart of pro-choice argumentation.

Now it is possible to be pro-choice and philosophically consistent: you simply have to believe that it is alright to kill innocent human beings simply for convenience’s sake. In my experience though, pro-choice people are just as kind and compassionate as pro-life ones. Few would adopt such a radical position. Instead, not being trained in critical reasoning and open to legitimate concerns of women facing unplanned pregnancy, many accept pro-choice fallacies to justify what is really the easy position on abortion. Pro-lifers recognize that women in need deserve real support and real options and the preborn deserve the most basic of rights – the right to life.

Strikingly, when Ms. Gray showed pictures of aborted children in her presentation, I detected a palpable sense of unease come over the pro-choice activists. Standing near their seats at back of the room, I heard them mutter “these aren’t real” and “it’s not true.” But sadly the images were – medically accurate filming of real, live abortion procedures. If they can’t bring themselves to accept the truth of what they support, then perhaps they aren’t as committed to pro-choice ideology as they would have you believe. And that, more than anything, is cause for hope.

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

Media Advisory: Controversial Pro-Life Lecture Comes to UVic



On October 26th, 2010, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), the pro-life club at the University of Victoria, and the Victoria Right to Life Society will host Jojo Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform to speak on the issue of abortion.

Jojo’s lecture, entitled “Echoes of the Holocaust,” exposes the dehumanization of victims throughout history, and explains the parallels between the unborn children who are killed by abortion today and the victims of historical genocides.

While the presentation has been delivered at many universities across Canada without incident, in early 2009 the presentation was disrupted by unruly protestors at both St. Mary’s University in Halifax and McGill University in Montreal.

In both instances protestors shouted slogans and chants, preventing students from hearing Mr. Ruba’s presentation; campus security failed to stop these protestors from disrupting the lectures (footage of the incidents can be found on Youtube). In each case, the university administration later apologized for the disruptions.

As a club that has recently struggled to be treated with equity on campus, YPY recognizes the absolute importance of freedom of speech. YPY welcomes debate on the issue of abortion, and encourages all who are interested to come to the presentation, and participate in the question period following the lecture.

The “Echoes of the Holocaust” presentation will take place at 5:30pm on Tuesday October 26, in room SCI B150 (in the Bob Wright Centre) at the University of Victoria.


Anastasia Pearse, President, YPY &

Catherine Shenton, Vice President, YPY




Share Button