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Abortion Victim Photography: A Justifiable Defence of the Preborn?

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By Josh MacMillan, NCLN Campus Coordinator

“You’re disgusting!”
“How could you be showing such a thing!”
“F*** you!”

Our NCLN staff and students are not unfamiliar with these words as pro-life students across the country use abortion victim photography in their outreach on campus. I was at a recent ‘Choice’ Chain at Ryerson University during which pro-abortion protestors tried to cover up the images we were showing. The frustration the protesters expressed was palpable and real.

It isn’t hard to understand why people are so angry, and I certainly agree that these images are gross, disturbing, and hard to stomach.

The images we show during ‘Choice’ Chain, the truths that we are exposing, are disturbing to the greatest extent. But what is also disturbing is that as a society we are largely complicit in allowing this act to continue. It is these facts that cause many to recoil in anger and disgust.

One doesn’t want to believe that we have allowed this to continue. We would prefer to be uninformed. Or less informed, for that matter. We are told that it would be better if we simply didn’t use the images and used only words instead, because the images are simply too much to bear.

But are they too much to show? I have struggled with this question for years.

And after thinking about it, and taking part in events that use abortion victim photography, I have my answer: no, it is not too much to show. The images reveal the truth about abortion. The images are horrible and disgusting because abortion is horrible and disgusting.

It is a truth that we would rather not see, but it is in seeing abortion’s reality that we can clearly understand the toll abortion takes on innocent human lives. And I have personally witnessed people who have changed their hearts and minds and saved lives because they have seen this reality.

As a society, we value freedom. We value the ability to make an informed choice about the actions we take. We become angry when we are duped into buying into something that isn’t true. To make free choices, we want all of the information.

When we consider what abortion is, we need the facts. And the facts aren’t pretty.

I don’t fear showing the images, because I am showing the results of a choice. We all need to confront the reality of that choice, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us. If we’re okay with abortion, we should not be so upset by these images. If we aren’t comfortable with what we see, maybe we need to reconsider if we agree with the act being shown. If abortion is a human rights violation, our discomfort is nothing compared to the injustice of abortion.

These images are the only cry for help that the unborn have to utter for themselves. These are the facts of their lives. With this information we can make a free and informed choice. Will we continue to tolerate this inhumane killing of innocent human beings, or will we reject it?

Yes, the images of aborted babies are disgusting. But the day these cease to be disturbing, the day we choose to ignore the facts about abortion and the reality of what it does to preborn humans, will be a sad day indeed for our country.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce

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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.

Youth Protecting Youth: An Unpleasant Truth

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

by Kamilah Thorpe

Last year around this time, YPY members participated in “Choice Chain” on the campus of UVic. Choice Chain is a display of graphic images which show the horrors of abortion. Many people were offended and disgusted by the horrible images of aborted fetuses that we chose to expose to the public that day.

I myself am horrified and disgusted by the images and will be the last person to deny that they can be emotionally traumatizing.

But they are true.

The reason that I participated in Choice Chain that day despite my discomfort with the images was because I believe that people need to know the truth. I cannot allow the bodies of those dead children to be left hidden behind clinic walls and disguised under idealistic mantras that cry “pro-Choice”. I want people to see with their own eyes what that “Choice” really is.

If we deny the truth we will never change and we will never heal. That is why I held that sign last year and that is why I would hold it again and again until everyone knows the truth about abortion.

I look forward to the day when people will remember those terrible pictures as something horrible that used to happen in our country.

But today it is still happening, and that is why YPY continues to fight to expose the horrors of abortion to the public, despite any opposition we might encounter.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Why I Do “Choice” Chain

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

As president of Youth Protecting Youth I am often asked why I do what I do. Why do I spend so much time preparing for club meetings when other people in a similar position would be studying for their mid-terms? Why do I bother designing posters and writing blog posts to articulate the pro-life message? And why do I organize events like “Choice” Chain on campus, when it creates so much controversy?

Sometimes I answer these questions with some explanation about how every day in Canada approximately 266 pre-born children are killed by abortion, and how these pre-born children are genetically unique individuals. Often I’ll include an explanation as to why there is no ethically significant factor that makes a pre-born child any less valuable than a born child, and sometimes I’ll simply say that my taxes pay for abortions, and that because of this I should be doing something every day to save these children.

Although these answers resonate with some people, I have started to respond differently. Now, when people ask why I do “Choice” Chain, I say that I do it because they are valuable, regardless of what I think of them, what they think of themselves or what they are capable of doing. I do it because you are valuable, even if your human rights , which depend on your right to life, are undermined. If I am to stand for anybody’s human rights, then I must stand for everybody’s human rights.

- Cam Côté


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

$1500 Grant for Pro-Life Clubs Offered Again this Year

It’s back! Last year, a new grant was created to support pro-life campus clubs in Canada. This $1500.00 grant is sponsored by The Interim and Niagara Region Right to Life, and facilitated by National Campus Life Network. We’re thrilled to announce that this grant is being offered again this year!

The purpose of this grant is to recognize the work of pro-life clubs and assist them in their efforts on campuses. The grant will be given to the group whose event proposal demonstrates:

  • Creativity
  • Planning
  • Leadership, and
  • Will have a substantial impact on the university culture.

The deadline for this year’s application is August 31st.

Last year’s winner was Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria. The grant money made it possible for them to focus on activism, rather than fundraising, allowing them to organize effective events, including Choice Chain in November. Cam Côté, the Vice-President of Youth Protecting Youth, described this event as the most successful event he has seen since joining the club. Hundreds of conversations were had that day, and many more students were exposed to the pro-life message. Even more were reached through the media attention the club received, both on campus and in the community.

Cam Côté, reporting upon the impact the grant had on the club, stated,

“I cannot adequately express how successful our year was, despite the opposition and censorship, and how much the grant made our success possible. With it we have been able to train the largest group of people our club has had in recent memory … Though there will certainly be difficult times to come, the group that has come together has the desire and the basis to take an active part in making abortion unthinkable at UVic, and throughout the nation.”

Applications, which include the completed event proposal and a tentative budget, are to be submitted to NCLN by August 31st. The decision will be made by the Grant Sponsors, with recommendations from National Campus Life Network’s staff who work with the groups throughout the year. The grant of $1500.00 will be presented to representatives from the successful group during NCLN’s Annual National Symposium (Sept 28 – 30) in Toronto.

For an application contact Clarissa at central@ncln.ca  Applications are to be submitted to NCLN by August 31, 2012.

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Wanted: A Few (More) Good Men

By Rebecca Richmond

“Not a single boy from our club came to help,” noted the club president with a sigh. We had just spent two days outside in the cold, sharing the pro-life message with thousands of students on this campus. But it had been the women of the club who had endured the name calling, insults and outright hostility from their peers.

“There’s the problem,” I quipped. “You have boys. We need some men.”

Though pro-choicers will sometimes accuse our movement of being run by old men, the opposite is more likely true. Just last week, one protestor at UBC wielded a sign that read, “77% of anti-abortion leaders are male. 100% will never get pregnant.” I don’t know where the 77% statistic came from, for even a cursory look at the Movement would show the reverse. NCLN, for example, has an all-female staff and a mostly female board. Numerous organizations have similarly skewed demographics.

So I chuckle when I hear those accusations, but the reality is no laughing matter.

Through my pro-life work, now and previously as a student, I have been privileged to work alongside incredible young men. They are pro-life in principle and in action. These men often face more hostility, from men and women alike, whenever they are publically pro-life. They take the abuse in stride and continue to pray in front of abortion clinics, to engage in dialogue on street corners with Choice Chain, to stand in front of a pro-life table at the university centre, and to speak up in class. Unfortunately, they are rarer than they ought to be.

Sadly, although there are other men out there who are opposed to abortion, many won’t lift a finger to stop the carnage. They’ll give a thumbs up or a “God bless” when they pass 40 Days for Life, but you won’t catch them taking an active, let alone public, role.
Then, there are men out there who intuitively dislike abortion and who would support their significant other through a pregnancy, but they can’t “force their opinions on anyone else.”

Many more refuse to really look at the issue at all.

“What do you think about abortion?” I’ve asked countless young men on campuses and on street corners.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I’m a guy. It’s a woman’s issue,” well, I’d be a wealthy woman.
These “men” place the issue squarely on women’s shoulders. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been brainwashed to think this is what respecting women’s rights is all about, and perhaps it’s because this “choice” allows them to continue living their lifestyle “consequence-free”. It’s probably a combination of both.

Abortion definitely affects men and women differently, but it is not solely a woman’s issue. It is a human rights violation and, since responsibility for this atrocity rests on both men and women, so too does the remedy.

So to all my stalwart, courageous, compassionate, selfless pro-life brothers: thank you. You inspire and encourage me. You give me hope for the future. Thank you for standing up for women, for babies, for the future generations. Thank you for respecting and honoring me and the pro-life women you stand with.

To all the other good men out there: I’ve heard you say that you’re afraid, nervous of saying the wrong thing, not sure how to handle the anger and emotion you might encounter. I know you have other things to do: commitments, ministries, jobs, activities. But are the fears and obstacles that hold you back more important than the cause I know you believe in? Please, won’t you stand up and stand alongside us?

Our society has more than enough boys. What are we need are many more good men.

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University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

February 7, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

Victoria B.C.-The University of Victoria Student’s Society (UVSS) Board of Directors passed two motions to publicly censure the pro-life club on campus, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) last night, February 6th. The first motion was put forward in response to complaints stemming from an event the club held last November called “Choice” Chain and charged the students with violating the UVSS Harassment Policy. The second motion was passed in response to a poster the club put up on campus in October. As a result, YPY will be denied their ability to book public space on campus for their events and is forbidden to hold “Choice” Chain or other similar events. The club is also banned from putting up posters until a new policy is written by the UVSS to govern poster content. The board also ordered YPY to write a letter of apology to groups who were offended by the poster.

“Choice” Chain is a project developed by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) and consists of volunteers holding three by four foot signs with graphic images of first trimester aborted fetuses. The volunteers engage passers-by in dialogue about abortion. More information about the project can be found here: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/projects/choicechain

“This is a disappointing development,” said Cameron Côté, YPY Vice-President and coordinator of the “Choice” Chain event. “People may have felt offended by the images but that in no way constitutes harassment. If you merely have to claim your feelings were hurt or you disliked someone’s message or way of expressing themselves to find that person guilty of harassment, freedom of speech ceases to exist. While we recognize that some people do not like our message, that doesn’t mean we should be censored.  ”

Campus Outreach Director for CCBR, Alanna Gomez, stated, “The charges of harassment have no grounds. There were no complaints made about the conduct of the students, because they acted respectfully and peacefully. The only complaints were based on the negative feelings people had because they didn’t like the pictures the students were holding. Just because someone doesn’t like a picture doesn’t mean they have been harassed, which is what the UVSS is trying to claim.”

The poster that resulted in the second motion was developed by National Campus Life Network (NCLN), and compares the current denial of legal personhood to the pre-born in Canada with similar treatment of other groups in the past. The poster can be viewed here: http://www.ncln.ca/resources/print-resources/person-poster/

“I thought the UVSS had moved past this type of discrimination and censorship since the settlement of YPY’s lawsuit in July 2010,” said Anastasia Pearse, former YPY president. Pearse currently works as the Western Campus Coordinator for NCLN. “Censorship of the abortion debate at a university is shameful and unacceptable.”

“YPY will not tolerate this ideological discrimination,” said Côté. “We must all demand that our   society be free of discrimination and censorship of minority or unpopular viewpoints. If there is a right not to be offended than we cannot have freedom of speech in this country or on campus.The legal killing of so many innocent human beings is a disturbing topic, but it is far too serious to suppress or ignore.”

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For further information:

Cameron Côté (YPY Vice President) – 778-678-4275, youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com

Alanna Gomez (CCBR Campus Outreach Director) – 403-690-5217, acampbell@unmaskingchoice.ca

Anastasia Pearse (NCLN Western Coordinator) – 604-365-3484, westerncanada@ncln.ca

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