True Patriot Love

This reflection was originally posted July 2014 by Rebecca Richmond, NCLN’s past Executive Director

True patriot love.

We sing the words in our anthem, yet the word ‘patriot’ rarely seems to enter our vocabulary (unless we’re referring to Americans, of course). But in a society that has euthanasia knocking down the door and fully funds abortion-on-demand, true patriot love is sorely needed.

A few weeks ago, in the $1.00 book bin outside a secondhand book shop, I picked up a book bearing that title: “True Patriot Love,” written by Michael Ignatieff while he was the leader of the Liberal Party. Flipping through the pages, I realized I prefer his prose to his politics.

“People love their country despite a lot of things,” Ignatieff writes. “They love it because they haven’t given up on it. They love it because of its unrealized possibilities. We love our country not because we think it is perfect or even satisfactory, but because we think it can change for the better….We never love a country just for what it is. We love it for what it might yet become. The same is true for the love we bear ourselves. Love is always rooted in hope.” (10)

Growing up, I had a bit of a hope deficiency myself. My deep sense of civic responsibility somehow co-existed with a profound cynicism. I was strongly against abortion but it seemed an insurmountable injustice, and I was just a kid so what was I to do? I thought I loved my country, but in some respects I had given up on it. Perhaps many of us have.

True Patriot Blog memeBut to give up on Canada is to give up on the Canadian men and women, suffering in the aftermath of their abortions. To give up on Canada is to give up on the preborn children who perished from abortion. To give up on Canada is to give up on all the vulnerable who will perish if we aren’t willing to stand on guard for them. To give up on Canada is to give up on all that it could become: a society that truly values and respects each and every human being.

Canada is not a good in and of itself, but a project begun by the Fathers of Confederation in pursuit of a common good for the people under their care. But present injustices violate the common good in profound and disturbing ways, setting before us steep challenges. At every level of government, within civic society, and especially within our own families and communities, we must take up the project and strive towards the Canada that should be, the Canada that will respect and protect each and every human being.

This necessarily includes our work on campuses. Our universities not only contain the age demographic most vulnerable to undergoing abortions, but also are responsible for forming and shaping young leaders who, in turn, shape the culture and the policies of our nation. To move our nation we must first move our own wounded generation from a place of apathy to one of action. We need a generation of patriots.

For, according to Michael Ignatieff, “Patriotism is the sentiment that makes a people demand reform, change and improvement in their country; patriotism is the source of the impatience and anger that makes abuses intolerable, injustice unacceptable and complacency a delusion.”

Yet, Ignatieff was supportive of abortion as a ‘right’, having forgotten to include the need for a true patriot love, one that is rooted in the truth of human life, not merely the politically acceptable.

On July 1st, [149] years ago, the Fathers of Confederation became nation builders.  It’s time for our generation to continue the project of Canada, for our true patriot love compels us to stand on guard for our nation and for each other.

(1) Michael Ignatieff, True Patriot Love: Four Generations in Search of Canada (Toronto: Penguin Group, Viking Canada, 2009), 10.
(2) Ignatieff, 176.

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“Pro-Choice (before it was cool)” ??

“Pro-Choice (before it was cool)” is apparently an Ontario NDP slogan (according to this brochure picked up by one of the University of Toronto Students for Life leaders today).

IMG_3434 (1)

Of course the brochure doesn’t describe what that ‘cool’ ‘choice’ really is – the killing of an innocent human being.

It seems to be a reaction to the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, as they have moved – both federally and provincially – to adopt a hard line on supporting abortion. It’s horrific to think that our politicians are actually competing, in a sense, to have the most extreme position in support of abortion… Because support of the status quo on abortion in Canada is support for abortion on demand, at any stage of pregnancy, with no restrictions and no debate. This makes Canada one of the only countries in the world to have no abortion legislation (along with North Korea and China).

Canada needs a change and NCLN will continue to build and support campus leaders who are having an impact on campuses across the country.

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#AbortionIsNotHealthCare

By Rebecca Richmond 
abortion is not healthcare2

Recently the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) bemoaned inequalities in abortion access in Canada and today, recently elected Premier Brian Gallant announced a change in regulations that would improve access to abortion in New Brunswick, fulfilling his election promise to do so. Both the Premier and the CMAJ refer to reproductive “care”, “services”, and “health procedures”, and neither question what this “care”, “services”, and “health procedures” actually consists of.
As someone who grew up in a rural area, I know that access to health care is a concern. My town has a great hospital, but anything requiring surgery or even delivering babies required a bit of a drive or a ride in the helicopter. So for the more vulnerable members of rural communities, access to health care is a real legitimate concern and certainly a legitimate election issue.
I am all for improving access to important medical services and health care generally in Canada and in New Brunswick specifically. But both the Canadian Medical Association and the Premier of New Brunswick should remember that the reality shrouded by words like “reproductive services” and “termination of pregnancy” is the killing of a human being. Abortion might be a ‘procedure’ or ‘service’, but it constitutes lethal violence against the smallest and most vulnerable Canadians.
So, to the Canadian Medical Association and to Premier Gallant we say, please do improve access to health care, but #AbortionIsNotHealthCare
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University of Toronto Students for Life: Say #No2Niki and Motion 510

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

In Canada, the politics of abortion have involved a lot of meta-debate in recent years. We debate whether or not we should “reopen” the abortion debate. We debate whether party leaders can prevent MPs from “reopening” the debate. We debate whether or not the abortion debate is already open. Or already settled.

Clearly, there’s a debate already going on. If it wasn’t obvious enough already, NDP MP Niki Ashton introduced Motion 510 last week, which reads in full:

That, in the opinion of the House:

(a) a women’s right to choose abortion is a fundamental question of equality and human rights, both in Canada and around the world;

(b) the key priorities of the government during the upcoming international summit on child and maternal health on May 28-30, 2014 should include empowering women globally, promoting gender equality and supporting reproductive health care including the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options;

and (c) the government should lift its policy of refusing to fund international programs that support a full range of family planning and reproductive health care options including abortion.

While it’s great that an NDP MP is now underscoring the point that the debate is clearly very open, the motion itself is terrible and needs to be defeated.

Now is the time to take action:

What is Motion 510? What can I do?

Here’s how Luis, our Education Coordinator, is saying #no2niki:
"Human Rights." You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

I've contact my MP. Have you?

Now is the time to be a voice for the voiceless. Find your MP. Take action now!

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

Urgent Action Required: Wednesday is the M408 Appeal!

The appeal for Mr. Warawa’s appeal to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) has been announced for this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. EST.  It is critical that our voices are heard as the committee prepares to meet.  Our elected representatives need to know that we care not only about gendercide, but also about the democratic principles that were called into question this past Thursday when the sub-committee deemed Motion 408 non-votable.

If you have already sent some emails and used Twitter to voice your concerns, thank you – keep it up!  If you haven’t yet, please do so tonight or tomorrow (Tuesday).  There are some great tools you can use to do this quickly and easily.

Some key ways that YOU can help:

1. Email the members of PROC to express your concern.  You can find a list of the members and their emails below, or, use the great SimpleMail tool available from our friends at WeNeedALaw.  With a few clicks you can email all 12 members of the committee (plus your own MP and the Prime Minister).

 

Joe Preston – joe.preston@parl.gc.ca

Alexandrine Latendresse – Alexandrine.Latendresse@parl.gc.ca

Dominic LeBlanc  – dominic.leblanc@parl.gc.ca

Scott Armstrong – scott.armstrong@parl.gc.ca

Nathan Cullen – nathan.cullen@parl.gc.ca

Parm Gill – Parm.Gill@parl.gc.ca

Tom Lukiwski – tom.lukiwski@parl.gc.ca

Dave MacKenzie – dave.mackenzie@parl.gc.ca

Costas Menegakis – Costas.Menegakis@parl.gc.ca

Scott Reid – scott.reid@parl.gc.ca

Craig Scott – craig.scott@parl.gc.ca

Nycole Turmel – Nycole.Turmel@parl.gc.ca

 

2. Use Twitter to indicate your concern to these MPs.  Their twitter handles are listed below:

@CraigScottNDP (on the sub-committee that blocked M408)

@nathancullen

 

@NycoleTurmelNPD

@Armstrong_MP (on the sub-committee that blocked M408)

@ParmGill

@TomLukiwski

@CostasMenegakis

@ScottReidCPC (on the subcommittee that blocked M408)

 Don’t forget to tweet @pmharper (Prime Minister Harper) as well and use the #M408 hashtag!

*N.B. If you join Twitter specifically for M408, that’s great.  Be aware, though, that ‘mentioning’ or ‘tagging’ a lot of people immediately upon getting a Twitter account will probably result in your account being suspended (it will think you are a spammer).  Ease into it with a few general tweets and a few mentions before you get right into it.   And don’t forget to follow @NCLN and @NCLNwestern on Twitter!

Can’t think of a tweet? A few suggestions here.

3. Contact your own MP and the Prime Minister’s office. 613.992.4211.

Let them know you are calling in regards to Motion 408.  When you are directed to a voice mail system, leave a polite message with your name.  

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Press Release: Canadian Students Dismayed at M408 Being Deemed Non-Votable

Press Release

CANADIAN STUDENTS DISMAYED AT M408 BEING DEEMED NON-VOTABLE

OTTAWA, ON (March 22 2013) – Canadian students are expressing their dismay with yesterday’s decision that deemed Motion 408 to be non-votable.  This motion, brought forward by Langley MP Mark Warawa, consists of one sentence and calls on Parliament to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.

Mr. Warawa has called the decision made by the subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs “shocking and undemocratic”.  A Library of Parliament analyst clearly and repeatedly explained that the motion was fully compatible with the criteria for votability.

“All too often, we have seen students silenced on university campuses when exploring controversial topics,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of the National Campus Life Network (NCLN). “It is baffling that Parliament would appear to be experiencing similar problems, especially when the motion at hand is a simple affirmation of a core Canadian value, that is, the equality of girls and boys.”

Students in pro-life clubs across the country have been involved with a national campus campaign this semester, coordinated and promoted through NCLN. This campaign has included screenings of the award-winning documentary “It’s a Girl”, presentations at B.C. universities by Mr. Warawa, as well as the distribution of information, collection of petitions, and other activities focused on raising awareness about gendercide and supporting M408.

“I have personally met a student who survived gendercide abroad,” remarks Anastasia Pearse, who coordinated west coast campus activities with NCLN.  “To scuttle the motion in this way is an affront not only to the victims of gendercide – an estimated 200 million worldwide – but also to the dignity of all women in Canada.”

Mr. Warawa has initiated an appeal of the decision, which he will take “as far as necessary.”

“We hope that Mr. Warawa’s appeal will be successful so that parliamentarians will have the opportunity to send a strong message about female equality in our country and abroad,” continues Ms. Richmond.  “92% of Canadians think sex-selective abortion should be illegal.  For our government to do anything less than condemn this discriminatory practice would be disgraceful.”

-30-

 

For further comment, please contact:

Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director, National Campus Life Network, director@ncln.ca, 416 388 0461.

Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator, National Campus Life Network, westerncanada@ncln.ca, 604 365 3484.

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uOttawa Students For Life: uOSFL Hosts MP Stephen Woodworth: Discussion on Motion 312

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

Parliament may not want to discuss the hot topic of when life begins, but we do!

Come join us on Monday, December 3rd at 7 PM in Montpetit 202 (125 University Private) to welcome MP Stephen Woodworth to the University of Ottawa for a public lecture and discussion.

For those who may not know, MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 was recently voted down in Parliament. This motion proposed that the House of Commons establish a committee to examine the scientific evidence as to when human life begins, and to report back as to the human rights implications of its findings.

You can find details of this motion here: http://www.stephenwoodworth.ca/canadas-400-year-old-definition-of-human-being/motion-312This event is hosted by the University of Ottawa Students for Life, your pro-life club on campus. For more information, please see our Facebook event and follow us on Twitter at @uosfl_epvuo.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Have You Contacted Your MP?

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

Time is almost up! The second hour of debate on Motion 312 is tomorrow, Sept. 21, and the vote will be held next Wednesday, Sept. 26. If you haven’t done so yet, please call or email your MP and the Prime Minister. Also check out Let’s Stop the Pretense and Letters4Life. (Be sure to add your effort to the Letter Tracker!)

***You can use this tool to email all MPs at once.

As Margaret Somerville eloquently stated:

More than 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada each year. I suggest that we need to recover our sense of amazement, wonder and awe at the creation of new human life and that an in depth discussion about what our law on abortion should be might help us in this regard.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.