National Campus Life Network > Blog > coerced abortion

Youth Protecting Youth: Silent No More makes an impact

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

Last Monday, March 28th, about 50 people went out of their way to stop in front of the SUB and listen to the stories of three courageous women as they spoke of how abortion has affected each of their lives. The fact that these women were sharing from their own experiences made the presentation quite powerful. A number of students who heard the presentation reflected on what the message meant to them. Kimberlee Graham-Knight, the event’s emcee, had this to share:

I was riveted by the power of all three presenters’ speeches. I find it’s difficult to get first-hand accounts of abortion, because it is not a subject I feel comfortable asking about, nor one that women freely talk about. After the presentation, being a healthcare worker, I asked a colleague for her anonymous experience with women who have had abortions (I was emboldened by the presentation) and she said it was all but universal that these women have extreme difficulties post-procedure. She added that many of them feel few immediate effects, but develop psychological problems even a decade later. This made me think of cigarettes: perhaps I want to smoke, but I should be made aware of the long-term effects.

Another student shared this with us after hearing the stories:

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was a shocking snapshot of life pre and post-abortion. I was surprised to hear that all three speakers chose the abortion unwillingly and out of fear, to mask the shame of admitting they were pregnant. It was particularly numbing to know that one woman’s mother and grandmother drove her to the hospital, exterminating their grandchild and great-grandchild in the process.

 

Although a large number of the students who came to listen to the speakers were pro-life, a large group of other students professing to be pro-choice were also present. One of YPY’s executive members shared this experience after interacting with some students:

I had the privilage of speaking with a number of students throughout the day, some of whom professed to be “pro-choice” and some of whom professed to be pro-life. … Two of the students who had stopped to observe the campaign outside of the library said that they were personally opposed to abortion. After asking them whether or not they were personally opposed to rape, and whether or not they felt they would be placing their subjective morality on someone who was not opposed to rape, they came to understand why abortion is not merely a matter of personal preference or belief. If any human life has value, then all must have equal value and must be protected. 

 We are extremely thankful for the people from Silent No More Awareness Campaign for coming and sharing with us their experiences. Many students were touched and many more went away thinking about the issue and how it not only affects the lives of pre-born children, but all who are involved in the choice of abortion. For more information about the Campaign or more personal testimonies about abortion, see their website here.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Where do we go from here?

By Garnet Van Popta

Garnet Van Popta is an alumnus of uOttawa Students For Life and a guest blogger for NCLN.  He is currently studying at Humber College.

I’m sure most of you have heard the discouraging news from Parliament Hill.  Roxanne’s Law, Bill C-510, was defeated last Wednesday after the second reading in the house.  Am I surprised?  Sadly, no.  It seems that politicking is more important than standing up for what is right these days.  But even though I’m not surprised, I am discouraged.

Roxanne’s Law would have been a law that stood up for women in Canada.  It did not alter or restrict access  but abortion but would have ensured that a woman’s choice to keep her baby was protected.  It protected choice.  But of course, this was seen as a “back-door way” to restrict women’s rights.  Two thirds of MPs voted against the bill and among them was our prime minister.

Mr. Harper, with respect, I’m  sick of hearing about how you don’t want to open up a debate about abortion.  The debate is open. I would think that it’s getting hard to ignore.  It’s in the newspapers, on TV, on university campuses across the nation, and on the streets of our cities.  Now please do your job and talk about it.  Since 1988, Canada has had no law on abortion.  The Supreme Court, in R. v. Morgantaler, threw out the abortion law of the time and left it up to Parliament to enact a new one.  Well, it’s been 22 years (pretty much my whole life).  I think maybe it’s about time to address the legal vacuum abortion finds itself in.

If you feel the same way, why don’t you write our prime minister an email (pm@pm.gc.ca)?  Find out how your MP voted and email him or her about it.

To Mr. Bruinooge and the 96 other MPs that voted in favour of this bill, I thank you.  It took courage to take such a stand in an environment in which lies are held up as the truth.  Event though the bill was defeated, you were successful in getting the issue of coerced abortion on the minds of Canadians.  Moreover and most importantly, you stood up for what is right and just.

I hope you, the reader, are also feeling discouraged by the defeat of this bill. Your discouragement means you’re not satisfied when our elected officials sacrifice the truth for a lie.  But don’t simply be discouraged; take that and run with it.  We must continue to work for change in Canada.

I’m convinced that this change must happen at the grassroots level.  We need to talk to people: with coworkers, classmates and friends.  If you want a good conversation starter, why not talk about Roxanne’s Law?  “Did you hear about that bill that got voted down this past week…?  What do you think about abortion anyway?”  I, myself, resolve to do this more.

We must not allow the failings of our government to drive us into despair and inaction. Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Let that inspire you to press on.


N.B.  The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.


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uOttawa Students For Life: How to Support Roxanne’s Law

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

A vote on Roxanne’s Law will be held on Wednesday, December 15, in the House of Commons. The goal of Bill C-510 is to provide legal protection for women who are being coerced into having an unwanted abortion. There are a few things we can do to show our support for this worthy initiative. First, write to your MP to let him or her know that you support the bill. You can use sample letters or print off and mail in a postcard. Next, sign the online petition. And then make a video! Click here for straightforward guidelines and see the sample above for inspiration. (The project is led by a religious group but all are invited to participate.) Don’t delay in showing your support!


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

Roxanne’s Law (Bill C-510) Update

By Garnet Van Popta

Garnet Van Popta is an alumnus of uOttawa Students For Life and a guest blogger for NCLN.  He is currently studying at Humber College.
N.B.  The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

A debate on Bill C-510 is scheduled for Monday’s (November 1st) session of Parliament. A vote on the bill is scheduled for December. Bill C-510, also called Roxanne’s Law, is a private member’s bill introduced by Rod Bruinooge, an MP from Winnipeg.

Essentially, the proposed amendment to the Criminal Code would criminalize the act of coercing a woman to have an abortion against her will. Under this law, a pregnant woman could press charges against a boyfriend, parent or someone else who attempts to coerce her into having an abortion. There is an exception for physicians who might counsel a woman to have an abortion to protect her life.

For the full text of the bill, click here.
This bill has proven to be controversial, even among pro-life people.  Some say it’s useless; some say it’s not enough. The fact is, however, that this bill may save the lives of unborn children, and may prevent a woman from having an abortion against her will. It may have saved Roxanne Fernando’s life.
We need to get educated about this bill, and support it. Start a letter-writing campaign. Attend the parliamentary debate (this might be easier for clubs in the Nation’s Capital). Spread awareness on your campus. As MP Bruinooge says in the video, the only way this bill will pass is if the people of Canada speak out about the value of human life.
For more information, check out www.RoxannesLaw.ca.


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