Youth Protecting Youth: International Women’s Day

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

Today is a day to celebrate all women!  It is a day to be grateful for all the advances made towards equality of all people.  Many victories and many struggles have brought about the acknowledgement of personhood, the right to vote, shift toward equality in the workplace, the right to inherit property, and other advances towards a society that respects all people, regardless of gender, as valuable, autonomous individuals. We have inherited this legacy from many courageous women whose vision of justice was profound and dynamic.  As we respect their achievements, we should also ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling their vision.

How can we say that feminism has been victorious if women are still forced to choose between their education and careers and their children? Feminists for Life is an organization that says “abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women.” The prevalence of abortion is a symptom of – not a solution to – the problems that still exist in our society. Feminists for Life seeks solutions to these problems because they believe women deserve better than abortion. On their website, you can read quotes from many of the early feminists which indicate that these women would not accept abortion as a way for women to gain equality, and that they saw it for what it was: killing children.

“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

 And therein lies the real question: how can abortion be a step towards equality when abortion law inherently treats the unborn as non-persons. The early feminists fought hard for women to be recognized as persons under the law. What would they think of a society that treats unborn children as non-persons? So often the pro-life movement is regarded as against women’s rights. As Andrea Mrozek of ProWomanProLife wrote in an article entitled “Pro-life doesn’t mean anti-woman”:

“There’s no battle between feminists and freedom. Being pro-life is a distinctly pro-woman stand; it is only for a lack of freedom of speech in Canada today that the debate is rarely framed this way. The abortion debate is only partly a question of rights. It is, more often, a question of life. With each repetition of “my body, my choice,” women’s rights to complete information, to intellectual integrity, to the scientific roots of life, furthermore to her own physical and mental health, are denied.”

 

She goes on to point out that in many cases, abortion does not get to the root of the problem:

“Asking why a woman wants an abortion highlights the real problem. Is it because her parents will throw her out of the home? Is it because she was raped? Is it because her culture demands she produce a boy, yet she knows she is carrying a girl? In each of these cases, abortion does not address the problem, but sweeps it under the carpet. Abortion clinics can’t ask the whys of it all: That’s an infringement of women’s rights — the unalienable right to suffer in silence. Pro-lifers support women, not abortion. Freedom of information has been curtailed such that no one understands how this could work. If abortion is not about another person, as well as the woman, none of this debate matters. If the fetus is a person too, then offering women one life-and-death choice without first fully discussing what is at stake is a denial of women’s rights beyond comprehension.”

 

So while we celebrate the achievements of feminists over the years, let us remember that we are still far from achieving personhood and equality for all human beings, both in Canada and in the world at large. Let us work towards real solutions to the challenges women face. We all deserve better than abortion.

Further links of interest: 

An open letter to pro-choice advocates by a woman who had two abortions can be found here.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Social Interaction in the Second Trimester

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

The following is a reflection by Youth Protecting Youth’s vice-president of activities:

An argument I’ve heard several times against recognizing the unborn as persons is that they are less cognitively developed than others, or that they don’t do the things that born people do, like interact and form relationships. The reason, of course, for these differences is that the unborn are at an early stage in the complex process of human development. They aren’t “supposed” to be able to do those things yet. To say they are not persons because of this is simply discrimination based on level of development.

Let me state from the beginning that the reason I believe abortion is wrong is because it is an action that directly and intentionally kills an innocent human being. I recently came across an article, though, which provides even more food for thought on just how human the unborn are.

Researchers in Italy used 4D ultrasound technology to observe twin fetuses at 14 weeks, and again at 18 weeks, of development, noting that a twin pregnancy “offers the unique opportunity to explore social behavior before birth”. The type and frequency of movements was recorded. The researchers observed that the twins reached out to touch one another, and that their motions toward one another were different than their motions toward the uterine wall. The frequency of interaction was higher at 18 weeks than it had been at 14 weeks. They stated:

“We conclude that performance of movements towards the co-twin is not accidental: already starting from the 14th week of gestation twin foetuses execute movements specifically aimed at the co-twin.”

A while ago the National Post ran a story that stirred up a lot of controversy: there is an increase in cases of mothers pregnant with twins deciding they want one child, not two, and requesting a procedure called “selective reduction”, in which one twin is aborted. Obviously my objection to this procedure is that it kills a baby, and as one person quoted in the article suggests, treats babies as a commodity. My immediate question, though, was what would it be like to find out later in life that you had a twin but your parents only wanted one of you, so they aborted the other? Given the new insight into social interactions between twins early in development, I think the effect of this procedure on the surviving twin becomes an even bigger question.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Abort73.com – a website for exploring the issue of abortion

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

    

Abort73.com

 Honoured by a Webby Award for excellence on the internet (the Grammy’s of website design), Abort73.com exists to provide the reader with an engaging abortion education. Including abortion facts and statistics from around the world, and easy-to-read articles on topics ranging from the philosophical question of personhood, to frequently asked questions and common objections, to the controversial debate on stem cell research, Abort73 has something for everyone. The site’s page on prenatal development features a clear photographic timeline of a human’s development from conception to birth, a real-time video of an embryo moving its arms around in the womb only eight weeks after conception, and excerpts from various embryology textbooks. Abort73.com is updated frequently and openly welcomes your feedback. Check it out; but be warned-you might learn something you’ll never forget.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Reflection on support for mothers

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

An article recently appeared on Fox News, reporting on an organization called Students for Life of America investigating the University of North Carolina’s student health plan. Another organization known as Feminists for Life also offered its reflection on the UNC health plan and the actions of Students for Life of America. In their reflection, Feminists for Life president, Serrin Foster, points out that “the issue is not just the school’s insurance coverage”, but that “it is also common for students to have no maternity coverage in their health insurance” In other words, not only is it a sad reality that abortion is covered by many student health care plans and health packages offered by employers in both the United States and Canada, but there is also commonly very little support for student mothers in general, such as no maternity coverage for students in the health insurance plans. In British Columbia, all abortions are tax-funded. According to the University of Victoria’s Housing website, there are 181 housing units designated as “Family Housing Units” with reasonable rent costs, although in order to be eligible, parents must be taking a full load of courses. In addition, it is recommended that mothers apply a year in advance due to the high demand for these units. The reality for many women is that the prospect of no health insurance coverage and minimal financial support services to help off-set the cost of raising a child can be a significant factor in pushing a woman to decide to abort her child. Women who are pregnant should feel that they have the support to be able to give birth to and raise a child while still being able to pursue her education. As a society, we need to better support women in this regard. Women need to know that there are services and support available to help them to choose life for their child, rather than feeling that abortion is the only option.

 In the meantime, we are very excited to announce that Youth Protecting Youth will be offering an annual bursary for single mothers on campus. This bursary exists to support mothers and help enable them to pursue a university education while still supporting a child.  This bursary can be applied for by completing a General Bursary Application. We hope that this bursary will be a building block in the effort to change the culture and the way society views children in the context of education. It can never be acceptable to kill a born child for the reason that the child would interfere with the education of the parents. We will continue to work towards the day when this will also be true for the pre-born child. For more information about services in the Victoria area, see the “Need Help” section of the YPY blog.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Echoes of a lecture

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

Tonight I attended Jojo Ruba’s talk “Echoes of the Holocaust.” It has a plain message: the millions of abortions that are performed each year are echoes of the bloody atrocities which humanity has committed against her own kind. Throughout the centuries, societies have been collectively guilty of standing idly by as her members enacted terrible violence against the weak and marginalized. I do not need to name those atrocities of the past, but I will say that my society is guilty of being apathetic toward the hundreds of children that we are killing everyday within the walls of our hospitals and clinics. I share in that guilt.

Some may disagree with me on this point. Many do not believe that we are killing our own children. Many do not believe that any people are actually being harmed. That is the point of the question, though. I know that it is difficult to hear, and I don’t say this to capitalize on the pain of any past generations. Some did not believe that they were killing their own people as the Jews and Gypsies and gays were being gassed in the concentration camps. Those people were wrong.

But I do not want to dwell on that point. I do not like to speak with a tone of condemnation. Even as I write this, believing and accepting the guilt of my culture, I don’t condemn anyone. I believe that I can name the wrong that is being done, and work to put an end to it, but I do not wish to leave in this note the impression that there is only despair for those who have been active participants in the wrong. I accept the guilt of my own passive participation as well.

As I think upon tonight’s presentation, I recall a comment made by a young woman. She accused Jojo of basing his presentation on the fallacy of “false analogy” because she believes that a human being has to have a certain level of cognitive capacity in order to be a person. Frankly, the analogy can only be false if her belief is true and that is what is being contested. If Jojo’s belief is true, then the analogy is apt.

So, the crux of the question comes when we try to understand the reasoning behind the belief that we are justified in judging the value of others by their capabilities—cognitive or otherwise. What we know is that there is extensive pressure toward abortions for women who are carrying Down syndrome babies (trisomy 21) and other trisomy conditions. The judgement is passed on them is that their lives will be of little value and not worth living. What I know is that I cherish my life experiences with those people I have met who have Down syndrome. I have never met one who wishes that he or she never lived.

I have a friend who’s second child had trisomy 13. She was traumatized by the pressure that was put upon her by her doctor and the hospital staff who urged her to have an abortion. She was given little support when she refused. My friend entrusted her child to the care of those medical practitioners, but they considered the child of no account. But the child was accepted and loved by his family from the time he was conceived until the day he died. His little heart did not have the strength to keep him alive more than a few months after his birth, but his parents’ hearts had the strength to love him through his short life.

So it came to my mind that it is not possible for us to judge people according to their capabilities. Often, neither we nor they will have any control over what those capabilities are. We can only judge others according to our own capability to love them. That is all. Whether man or woman, black or brown, gay or straight, intelligent or simple, born or unborn: our judgments are nothing other than our own successes or failures at love.

The measure of our success can be seen in the world around. The homeless and addicted suffer because of our failure to love. The elderly and the sick suffer because of our failure to love. The imprisoned suffer because of our failure to love. Women suffer the choice between their futures and their children because of our failure to love. Children in the womb suffer because of our failure to love. We have judged them and told them their value by our own capabilities—by our own hearts.

We need a change of heart. We need to understand that we each live not only for ourselves, but for the people around us. We need to understand that we don’t love others because they are what we want. We love them because they are. That is the only reason. We owe them all the love that we are capable of giving.

I don’t know if these words mean anything to those who read them. I don’t know if anyone will believe them sincere. All I know is that they are the words that my heart is speaking after tonight’s presentation. I can only hope and pray that I will live by them from today forward.

Contributed by YPY member Del Myers


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Who inspires you?

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

I was recently given a wonderful opportunity: I got to meet Nick Vujicic, a 27-year-old motivational speaker from Australia. To date, he has traveled to 32 countries and spoken to millions of people about his story and his faith.

What makes this man so inspirational? He was born without arms or legs. His parents didn’t expect this while his mother was pregnant – they found out when he was born. I encourage you to learn more about his story. This man has overcome so many obstacles and has dedicated his life to helping others.

But what is this doing on the pro-life club’s blog? The unfortunate reality of our society is that when a woman is pregnant and prenatal testing reveals that the baby may have some sort of disability, there is significant pressure for her to choose abortion. After meeting Nick Vujicic we met a woman whose young daughter was born without arms. Doctors encouraged her to have an abortion, but she chose not to. Her daughter is two years old now, and she’s a wonderful little girl.

Many times in discussions of abortion people have said to me “What about babies that are going to be born with disabilities? Isn’t it better to spare them from such a difficult life?” I ask you: Would someone be justified in killing Nick Vujicic because he has no arms or legs and faces many challenges in his life because of this? Of course not! Would someone be justified in killing a toddler born without arms because she will face many obstacles as she grows up? Of course not! Would someone be justified in killing a newborn baby because of his or her differences or disabilities? Of course not! So why would we kill an unborn human being for these reasons?

This brings us back to the fundamental question in the abortion debate: what are the unborn? As American apologist Gregory Koukl says, “If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion is necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate.” Biologically, from the moment of fertilization, there exists a unique individual of the human species – a human being.

Our value is determined by what we are (human beings), not by what our capabilities are. We don’t have to look too hard to find examples of people who inspire us precisely because they have overcome significant challenges in their life. Who inspires you?


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.