University of Toronto Students for Life: Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice

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

I just finished watching this fantastic TED Talk by Roger Ebert on remaking his voice. Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw — and, thus, his ability to speak — to cancer. This part of his talk, delivered by his wife, Chaz, was quite emotional (text inside the quotes is what she reads from his prepared remarks, outside the quotes are her own words):

“This whole adventure has been a learning experience. Every time there was a surgery that failed, I was left with a little less flesh and bone. Now I have no jaw left at all. While harvesting tissue from both my shoulders, the surgeries left me with back pain and reduced my ability to walk easily. Ironic that my legs are fine and it’s my shoulders that slow up my walk.”

“When you see me today, I look like the Phantom of the Opera–” but no you don’t!… “It is human nature to look at someone like me and assume I have lost some of my marbles. People… People talk loudly and slowly to me. Sometimes they assume I am deaf. There are people who don’t want to make eye contact…” Believe me, he didn’t mean this as — anyways, let me just read it… You should never let your wife read something like this! “It is human nature to look away from illness. We don’t enjoy a reminder of our own fragile mortality.”

“That’s why writing on the Internet has become a lifesaver for me. My ability to think and write have not been affected, and on the web my real voice finds expression. I have also met many other disabled people who communicate this way. One of my Twitter friends can type only with his toes. One of the funniest blogs on the web is written by a friend of mine, named Smart Ass Cripple… All of these people are saying in one way or another that what you see is not all you get. So, I have not come here to complain. I have much to make me happy and relieved.”

Just… watch the whole thing.


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Tale of the Tape: Stephanie Gray

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

Yesterday we profiled Dr. Donald Ainslie in our lead-up to our debate next Monday night! Now I will highlight Dr. Ainslie’s opponent for the evening – Stephanie Gray:

EDUCATION

2008–2009 Certification, with Distinction, in Health Care Ethics, U.S. National Catholic Bioethics Center

1998–2002 Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

Scientific and philosophical defense for the pro-life view (basic and advanced) and approaches for effective dialogue

Debates

Christian-based motivational presentations

Strategy for the pro-life movement

Organizing and conducting visual displays (e.g., the Genocide Awareness Project [GAP])

Speakers training

Fundraising training

Other Credentials:

- President of Lifeline, the University of British Columbia’s pro-life club from 1999–2001

- Guest on television programs such as CTV, VTV, and ATV News, Global News, 100 Huntley Street’s Listen Up, and the Miracle Channel’s Insight

- Interviewed by ABC-, NBC-, FOX-, and CBS-affiliated television news programs throughout the Midwest of the United States

This is going to be an epic night. I will post all of the details of the debate tomorrow. Don’t miss it!


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Carleton Lifeline Sues Carleton University

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

Carleton Lifeline has filed a lawsuit against Carleton University and its administration. Five pro-life students were arrested in October for trespassing on their own campus, and later that month the group was intimated further for putting on “Choice” Chain, despite other groups holding similar graphic displays on campus without threat of arrest or non-academic misconduct charges. As the National Post reports, the pro-life club claims that “the administration broke its own codes of conduct regarding human rights and academic freedom as well as violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

You can read the entire statement of claim from their website.

That same eventful month, October 2010, the Pridgen Precendent was set. In ruling against the University of Calgary, Justice Strekaf said that a university campus is “not a Charter free zone” (though it didn’t deal directly with any pro-life student club issues). I believe that ruling is still being appealed. This will be yet another critical case for pro-life students and organizations across Canada. Carleton Lifeline is also still considering legal action against the student union if they continue to discriminate against the club as well. It’s hard to count the number of pro-life clubs under attack across the country in similar ways, so kudos to Ruth Lobo and John McLeod for taking a stand.

And, hey, they’re accepting donations to help cover their legal fees.

Carleton University: We Have a Place for Unpopular Opinions


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Study Claims Abortion Not Depressing

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

 
Well this is certainly a new one. A study reported today that they could find absolutely no correlation between mental health problems and abortions. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. First of all I suppose it is good news. I guess the thousands of members of Silent No More and its affiliates can all just pack up and go home right? Meanwhile we will have to rewrite our signs to say “Women regret not having abortions?” Right? Wrong. The group CareNet, which has dealt with 23,000 men and women over the last year alone who have sought help with them to deal with the pain that abortion has caused them , has already spoken out against the preposterousness of this study, countering it with the literally dozens of studies that have come over the last few years linking abortion to anxiety, depression, substance use, suicide ideation, and suicide. CareNet’s president says it best :

“If it’s true that having an abortion has zero impact on mental health, then why do CareNet centers have tens of thousands of women and men knocking on their doors every year seeking help dealing with a past abortion?” Delahoyde said. “Women facing unexpected pregnancies deserve medically accurate information about abortion risks before making an important life decision about their pregnancy.”

I cannot imagine how anybody could come up with results like this, or what ideology they may be trying to put forward, but these kinds of studies are not just absurd, they are dangerous. It is things like this which leave women who are getting an abortion completely unprepared for the physical and psychological effects it will have on them and those around them for the rest of their lives. Let’s just hope that with the weight of evidence against it, this study is dismissed for the junk science it is.


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Another Kind of Graphic Image

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

Hi folks, I was just reading the newspaper the other day and I came upon an article about cigarette packages. Apparently the government of Canada has imposed a new line of images on the front of them showing the various heath problems and diseases that can happen when one smokes cigarettes. They include a picture of a man dying of lung cancer, as well as reminders of how smoking can hurt both you and the people around you, as well as showing graphic images of lungs diseased by cancer and other disgusting images showing just how badly smoking can mess up your body. Now whatever your opinion on smoking is, I couldn’t help but compare this to the view that our society has taken to abortion. The government in this case forces cigarette companies to put graphic images of dying and dead people, as well as well as medical pictures of cancerous lungs, on the front of packages. In the case of abortion, a procedure with the actual purpose of killing another human being, people who disagree with it can actually be arrested for displaying graphic images which have been deemed “content disturbing or offensive to some people because of its graphic nature” on their own campus, miles away from the nearest abortion clinic. Or compare for a moment the big red sign on the front of cigarette packages that says “Cigarettes cause cancer” to the numerous medical studies linking abortion to breast cancer that have been unilaterally dismissed as junk science by the medical profession. Once again we see the hypocrisy of a society terrified of being labeled “anti-abortion”. Now, I say this in full knowledge of the fact that graphic images are some of the most controversial in the pro-life movement, and believe it or not I do see both sides of this issue. Many say that they are detracting from the real message and I get that. The most important thing is that we get our views out there, and to do this we need to have conversations with people, not gross them out. That being said, if anyone reading this ever does find themselves in a position where they are using graphic images in a protest and someone asks “How can you show such disgusting things” you might try pointing to the nearest cigarette package and asking them what they are really mad about. Just my opinion.


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Parliament too scared of abortion to illegalize coercion

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

Well there seems to be one more example of the fact that not only does our government not care about the unborn lives ended by abortion, but also does not care about the women whose lives are scarred by it. In its rush to let women have abortions, on December 15th the parliament of our country once again voted to severely curtail the rights of women. Yesterday the long battle over Roxanne’s Law, a law that would make it illegal to force a woman into getting an abortion against her will, after frequent attempts to table the bill it finally failed with a vote of 178 votes against to 97 for it . There was no party that universally supported this, but there were 2 parties, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP (whose leader I am ashamed to say represents my riding) which were universally opposed. The law was named after Roxanne Fernando, a young woman from Manitoba who was beaten to death by her boyfriend for refusing to get an abortion. At this point in reading about this, I had to ask what possible reason anyone would have for not supporting this. After all, the foundation of the pro-choice argument is that women have the right to choose. Now flawed as this argument is, surely even they would have to admit that if someone is being forced through the door of an abortion clinic, or worse being murdered by their boyfriend if they don`t, isn’t exactly free choice! Well, our elected officials had a quick answer to that question:

The Prime Minister has always said he wouldn’t support a bill that reopens the abortion debate.”

This is a clear indication of the state of reasoned political discourse in this country on complex moral issues, namely that it terrifies our leaders. We now have a situation where the idea of opening the door to the fact that abortion just might not be as cut and dried as Morgenthaler made it is seem is so terrifying that it has paralyzed people from acting on what should be a easy decision. Apparently they would rather send the message that forcing someone to get an abortion isn’t really coercion under the law. Now there are other arguments that people have given for not voting it down, saying that there are already laws on the books covering coersion, why have this one just because it includes abortion? Well this response by our elected officials in exactly why. Even they are so terrified of talking about abortion that they torpedo a bill which stops illegal coercion! No matter where you go no one is willing to talk about abortion other than to give a sound bite about choice. Meanwhile there are real live people out there who never hear the whole story about the horrors of abortion and are left with only the people around them, many of whom are fueled by there own selfish interests to guide them in this time. Coercion always thrives when no one is willing to debate issues they would rather not think about.


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Amnesty International’s War on Life

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

Particularly after our Maternal Health lecture and hearing the horror stories about life and motherhood in the Third World, I find it more and more important to look out at the world and find organisations that are genuinely doing good for the world at large, organisations that take life seriously and try to help even the poorest and most downtrodden in the world. This is why I was so disappointed reading this article. Amnesty International, the hugely influential non-profit humanitarian charity, has gone a step further in its war on life. This is not exactly new news – Amnesty came out in 2004 for abortion – but in the last week it has been using all of its influence to send demands to Third World countries that they rid themselves of all abortion laws and make the process more accessible to women. It has been doing this by sending out petitions to the governments of Peru and Indonesia demanding that they strike down their already comparatively liberal abortion laws. All this having happened since last week! This is part of a long tradition which has been attempted throughout the Third World. Pressuring countries into institutionalizing the unborn as property rather than human beings.
Needless to say I am appalled at the stance of Amnesty International. How can an organisation who’s motto is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” be so blind to the fact that the unborn are, in fact, some of the individuals that most need to be defended in society, because they don’t have a voice? Or how can Amnesty International forget that abortion is in fact harmful to the very women they are trying to defend, both physically and emotionally, causing long-term damage such as breast cancer? It is no surprise that when they do attempt to explain their actions, they cite the fraudulent argument that standing up for abortion increase maternal health by decreasing maternal deaths. All this despite the research of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation saying that this is just not true. More than this however is the underlying belief that somehow abortion will make society better for the people who live in it or that it is somehow a human right instead of the violation of one. To say that I am disappointed in Amnesty is an understatement, and it goes to show that even those organisations that seem to have the best intentions in all other areas are blind to the simple scientific fact that the unborn is just as much a human person as anyone else. I can only hope that Amnesty International will abandon its attempts to force a dehumanising stance on the unborn, and refocus its efforts on those who really need their help, inside and outside the womb.


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

University of Toronto Students for Life: Toronto Right to Life: New Website, Facebook Page, Twitter Account

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

This is a shameless plug (I’m on the organization’s board of directors), but I figure lots of our readers here will be interested in Toronto Right to Life’s new website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. UTSFL and TRL often work together and help each other out, so if you’re not too familiar with Toronto Right to Life, take a few minutes to check out the new website and consider signing up for a student membership.


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