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University of Toronto Students for Life: What We Accomplished Last Semester

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Sarah Blake. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through the school year and already in 2015! UTSFL is hopeful as we gear up for a New Year of pro-life activism. But before we get too caught up in our plans, let’s remind ourselves of the ways that we reached students, faculty, and staff with the pro-life message last semester:

We reached out to lots of students with our table at various Clubs Fairs…
 September 1       September 2
…and sold baked goods as a fundraiser for Aid to Women.

October 5

Some of us were able to attend the NCLN Symposium, which gave us the tools and wisdom to make our club as effective as possible.

September 3

We helped organize a group to participate in LifeChain…

October 1

shared the story of the life of Elliot Hartman Mooney in “99 Balloons”…
October 3                  October 2
and welcomed the Sisters of Life who taught us about Understanding the Heart of a Pregnant Woman in Crisis.

October 4

We hosted an event in which Maaike Rosendal from the CCBR taught us how to dialogue on abortion…

November 1a

and used our newly-acquired skills to speak to students about the current status of abortion law in canada (hint: there is no law).

November 1

And we finished off the year with a Christmas Social, in support of Birthright!

December 1

December 2December 3

Happy New Year to all! Let’s see what we can accomplish this semester!

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: September Recap and Looking Forward to October

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Sarah Blake. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

UTSFL jumped into the school year head first! Since Frosh week, we have been busy planning our year and getting active on campus.

Here are some of the things that we have been up to…

SEPTEMBER IMAGE - st george street festival

Tabling at the UTSU Clubs Fair, St Mike’s Clubs Fair, and St George Street Festival

Bake Sale in support of Aid to Women Centre

Weekly meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays

“Choice” Chain

Speaker’s Series – Club Strategies by National Campus Life Network

Weekly volunteering at Aid to Women Centre

Attending the NCLN Symposium

 

…and here is what we have planned for October…

SEPTEMBER IMAGE - NCLN Symposium

Life Chain

Weekly meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays (apologetics, planning, and social time!)

Weekly volunteering at Aid to Women Centre

Monthly activism

Speaker’s Series – Heart Apologetics by the Sisters of Life

Screening of 99 Balloons

Postering Blitz

 

If any (or all!) of these activities spark your interest or if you want to be more involved with the University of Toronto Students for Life, send us an email or sign up for our mailing list on the side bar. We look forward to standing up for life with you!

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Bake Sale in support of Aid to Women

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

On Monday March 24, we’re holding a Bake Sale fundraiser in support of Aid to Women from 10am-4pm in the Sidney Smith lobby. Come on by if you’re able to volunteer or bring baked goods, or even just to enjoy some baked goods!

Bake Sale

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: What will be the new face of euthanasia look like?

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by matthewcram412. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Hey guys, first of all Happy Holidays from your friends here at UTSFL. Now onto the main topic: a few weeks ago the always brilliant Margaret Summerville made a speech here at U of T on the subject of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, a topic which is of great relevance to us today because, at this moment as many of you know, the Supreme Court is reviewing a motion from British Columbia about whether to revisit legalizing euthanasia, on a flimsy legal technicality that would overrule an earlier 1993 case which held that Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia were constitutionally illegal. Dr. Summerville also mentioned similar cases going on right now in Belgium where they, after legalizing euthanasia a number of years ago, are at this moment in discussion about whether to allow euthanasia in cases of minors below the age of 18, an extremely troubling concept I will get to later on.

However, as I was doing my research for this topic, I found that euthanasia was not a debate that was limited to Canada and Belgium. A brief Google search revealed a powerfully worded article from New Zealand condemning euthanasia on demand (citing, who else, Margaret Summerville) in regards to a euthanasia on demand bill proposed by an MP; a report from the French government’s president Francois Hollande recommending that French law continue to prohibit legal euthanasia, and a newsbyte from  Ireland indicating a grassroots movements to challenge those countries’ laws on the subject, and that was without even scrolling to the bottom of the page! It seems that all over the world people and governments are grappling with the issue of whether or not doctors, or anyone else for that matter, have the right to kill other people, and whether or not that decision should be effected by whether they wanted to die or not.

It seems ironic therefore that with all the worldwide debate on this issue that I found the best articulation of my feelings on the issue right here at home in the pages of the Globe and Mail from an article written 2 months ago (I know I am seriously behind on blogging but bear with me). Okay it wasn’t the Globe and Mail itself, but rather the Globe’s recitation of the argument made by the government in regards to the British Colombia case. In it, the government argues the case for the slippery slope that could lead people to taking their own lives in a moment of weakness. We often hear the slippery slope argument maligned in our society, and indeed it is often used irresponsibly, but in this situation, in my mind at least, it rings true.

After all, we all remember those people who said (and still do say) that abortion would, once legalized, be used in the vast majority of cases for pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest or those pregnancies that risked the mother’s life, despite the fact that these cases represent the tiniest fraction of the actual uses of abortion. These cases appeal to the sense of compassion that we have, and indeed should have, when we are confronted with cases of people in awful situations that they didn’t ask for, trying to do the best they can. We as pro-lifers know the arguments, we know that the life that is about to be taken is valuable, that an innocent child should not held accountable for the crimes of its father, and that abortion will not undo the incredible trauma the women experiences, but will only make another victim. But for all of this, we should have a hard time being strong in our convictions for that person, just as we should have a hard time holding the hand of a person with advanced ALS and telling them that their life is valuable, that their worth comes, not from what they can do or how much pain they are in, but from who they are, even when the pain in their lives makes that life seem like they are not worth living. These situations don’t mean we are wrong, it means we are human.

However the question to me that this watershed moment of euthanasia debate worldwide evokes is, what next? What will be the consequences of this debate; where are we headed in terms of euthanasia? If indeed we do legalize euthanasia, in twenty years will the average patient asking their doctor to kill them look like a terminally ill patient in great pain with only hours left of life, or will they look like someone else? One of the article I looked at mentioned the possibility of “euthanasia counselling” in Belgium for those over the age of 80, where the government sends people to talk about whether euthanasia is right for them given their advanced age. Will the new face of euthanasia look like a terminally ill person, or an octogenarian convinced that their life has no value by people who don’t want to pay for their medical bills. Such pressure might seem absurd now, but the idea of one person legally killing another person seemed absurd not too long ago.

And then there are of course people with disabilities, particularly those with mental health issues who would, in my mind be particularly vulnerable. One of the key definitions of a person with mental health problems who needs society’s immediate help is intent to harm themselves or others, but what do we do to help these people if harming oneself becomes such a fundamental right that others must help you in your self destruction? Will the new face of euthanasia be a person in chronic unendurable pain or a person with a disease of the mind, a person with clinical depression who, in a moment of weakness brought about by a chemical imbalance, decides to ask a doctor, a person whom society sees as a trusted lifesaving professional, to take their life, but who, with the right medication, could live a normal life like the rest of us. This might seem like something that society would never allow, but are we are really so confident in our justice system and the will of our governments to take on controversial topics, that we can be certain that they will make a legal code so airtight as to remove all the loopholes? Or will the government, as they have done so often before with problems that were made without their consent, ignore the problem and hope it goes away?

And finally there are children: not only is there the disgusting examples of the Gottingen protocol in the Netherlands which allows a grace period to kill disabled children after they are born (believe me I couldn’t make this stuff up) but there is the example I cited earlier on in this post, about extending euthanasia to minors, which to me is a colossal problem in its own right. As of course you all know, children and particularly teenagers have a reputation of seeing the world through the lenses of, shall we say, the melodramatic. I certainly did, and I’m betting that if you look back at your own experiences you will find an instance or two of drama in your teenage years as well. Everything seems like it matters so much more when you are in high school, getting a date can make you feel like you are king of the world, but a bad grade, a stinging comment, a failed relationship, all of these things can make you feel like the world has just come to an cataclysmic end. Now imagine that there was someone there at your lowest moment of in life, someone telling you that there was a way to end it all, that death wasn’t a big deal and that the romance of dying young would teach everyone who had laughed at you how wrong they were. Now imagine that person was a doctor, someone whose job and status made you trust them implicitly, a person for whom your life long attendance at his appointments and your disclosure to him or your most personal medical secrets made you feel that you had a deep personal connection with them. Quick what would you do?

Because that’s the dirty little secret about the face of euthanasia if it was made legal on demand, it’s all of us. All of us have moments in our lives when we are low, not just those with incurable excruciating physical diseases. And that’s why we don’t as a society have doctors who make their money from providing the service of murder, convincing those among us who feel low that they have nowhere to go but down. We are at an unprecedented watershed, my friends, a point where we decide internationally the value of human life and whether those who help save it should also have the power to end it. The choice, like all choices in a democratic society inevitably falls to you.

Anyway this is my opinion about the issue, but I’m infinitely more interested in yours. What do you think the new face of euthanasia will look like? Will it be confined to only the small number of terminally ill patients in pain or proliferate to others? What do you think of the issue more broadly? Pro assisted suicide? Against it? Somewhere in between? Never really thought about it? Tired of the maniac on the message board asking you how you feel about these things? Please leave a comment in the comment section. Anything you have to say about the issue from any point of view (even if it’s to tell me that I am 100% wrong on everything, not the least of which being my atrocious grammar) is greatly appreciated.

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Bob Rae vs Morgentaler?

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by matthewcram412. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Hey guys. I was reading a great article about Linda Gibbons the other day. We have talked about Ms. Gibbons before. She is an extremely brave women who has spent more than 10 of the last 20 years in prison … Continue reading

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: I’m a Dad! 3D Ultrasound

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

I’ve recently become a father. I am sure that pregnancy was designed not only to allow for the early development of the child, but also to give parents time to prepare. Still, in this period of anticipation, waiting to “meet” our child, it’s amazing how technology makes the pre-born child more visible than ever before.

Here are some photos and a video from a 3D ultrasound around ~21 weeks after conception.

3D Ultrasound

3D Ultrasound

3D Ultrasound

3D Ultrasound: No more photos!

The 3D ultrasound video and photos are all licensed freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence, which means you’re encouraged to share, remix, adapt, distribute the photos and video far and wide.


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Another Grim Anniversary

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by matthewcram412. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Canada has gone another year without coming to its senses on the issue of abortion. As many of you know, January 28 is the 23rd anniversary of the Morgentaler case that legalised abortion on demand in Canada, making us the only country in the western world to have no abortion law at all. A combination of public ignorance at the state of our laws, and a series of cowardly parliaments, have allowed this decision to go unchallenged in Canada, letting millions of unborn children’s lives be tragically ended for the crime of not being able to defend themselves. However today is another anniversary, far more likely to get swept under the rug, because this is the anniversary of the day that information on abortion was swept under the rug. That’s right, today is the 5th anniversary of the last time a public report was published about the condition of abortions in this country. 5 years ago, the government of Canada decided that Canada didn’t need pesky information like how many abortions took place every year, or medical complications resulting from them, or any such information because of… you know… choice. Meanwhile, as recently as a year ago, newspaper headlines were proudly proclaiming abortion rate drops while using 5-year-old data!  Of course it’s not surprising why the government does not want us to know these new numbers. After all, in times of economic hardship, abortion rates tend to rise, as we have seen in our neighbour to the south, New York City, which this past year in its abortion study reported a shocking 41% abortion rate per live birth. But by all means, Globe And Mail, tell us that abortion rates are dropping as of 2006, and while you’re at it tell us that stock prices are skyrocketing as of 1929. This is unfortunately another situation where we are not just fighting to end abortion, but we are fighting for the right to talk about it against forces whose biggest ally is ignorance, and a government which wants us to spend yet another year pretending that abortion simply does not exist.


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.