Written by Anastasia Pearse
“The way we view something changes the way we think about that thing, which changes the way we act towards that thing. Therefore, if we change the way people see abortion, then we can change the way they think about abortion, and we can change the way they act towards abortion.”
Yesterday pro-lifers from the Vancouver Lower Mainland had a chance to educate and transform themselves as they explored the pro-life position and how they can be a voice for the voiceless victims in our country. They were able to see the logic of the pro-life position and understand the reality of what this means for the children who are killed through abortion, for the men and women who suffer because of abortion, and for themselves personally who are called to bring about an end to abortion.
Afterwards, the pro-lifers reached out and impacted the culture through ‘Choice’ Chain.
“A woman standing at the bus stop walked over and thanked us for being there. She said she was pregnant at age 16 and “it’s because of people like you that I have my son today!””
“A man was riding by on his bike and stopped to talk when I asked him what he thought about abortion. He said that he didn’t think it’s a good thing, but that if a woman was raped it would be okay. I asked him if he thought it’s okay to kill a child because of the crimes of their father and he stopped to think about it, then broke into a great big smile and said “Where do I sign?!” When he left he said, “I totally support your cause!””
Visit NCLN’s Summer Semester page for more information about upcoming pro-life outreach events!
“If more people can see that abortion is a violation of human rights, more people will act to stop it… No injustice has ever been ended by hiding the injustice that happens and covering up the victims.”
McMaster Lifeline held an event on campus: “Abortion: Reproductive or Human Rights?” presented by Maaike Rosendal of The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Though it was protested and interrupted with yelling and chants, we want to give a big congratulations and thank you to McMaster Lifeline, Maaike, and those who respectfully attended and engaged in the discussion, for being willing to bring such an important message to campus.
What is a university, unless a place to respectfully share and discuss ideas and opinions? Needless to say, the pro-choice position embarrassed themselves that night.
See below for CCBR‘s official press release regarding the incident:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: McMaster Students Shout Down Anti-Abortion Speaker
Between 20 and 25 students shouted down an anti-abortion speaker Thursday night at McMaster University, disrupting the presentation, stealing a box of books and DVDs, and chanting until the police arrived.
The lecture was organized by McMaster Lifeline, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about the abortion issue, and featured Maaike Rosendal, a speaker with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (www.endthekilling.ca). Pro-choice students apparently took issue with the fact that a speaker with anti-abortion views would be allowed to speak, and responded with various chants and signs featuring slogans like, “Pro-sex. Pro-child. Pro-woman. Pro-abortion.”
Audience members expressed irritation that the presentation was disrupted. The popular Facebook Page “Stuff McMaster Professors Say” posted the following statement: “Professors, TAs, and students alike attended this meeting simply wanting to learn more about the prolife view yet people got into unnecessary fights, violating their right to the freedom of speech. The presenters still went on but what they did gave a bad name for prochoicers and the University of McMaster… People in university hold different views from you. That doesn’t mean you should attack people. That doesn’t mean you should silence people. Grow up.”
“It’s a shame that pro-choice students think the only way they can win this debate is by silencing it,” Maaike Rosendal of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform noted, “We are more than happy to engage in dialogue, but at too many universities abortion supporters simply want to shout us down and shut us down.”
The McMaster incident follows on the heels of similar incidents at McGill University, the University of Waterloo, and Brock University. After the police arrived, they ensured the rights of all were respected and the presentation was able to proceed.
Find video footage of the incident here.
For more information, contact Maaike Rosendal at 1-403-360-2376.
You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right. - Rosa Parks
A little over a week ago I spent a weekend in a place that seemed too good to be true, a made-up land perhaps…actually as more time passes, the more I feel as though I did just dream up the whole thing.
This Oz that I am talking about is the NCLN Symposium- a pro-life conference put on by pro-life power-houses to train and equip members of pro-life clubs on university campuses all across Canada. This was a place where everyone around was, in fact, pro-life and shared the belief that abortion is wrong.
It was such a great and unusual experience being surrounded by people who feel the same way as I do about abortion and have the same passion as I do to end it. I was in a place where I could openly share how sad I am for the pain abortion causes women, or how angry I am at abortion clinics and their coercive ways used to make ridiculous profit, or how frustrated I am at our culture’s double standard when it comes to human rights. I could share these views openly and everyone agreed and shared similar opinions! Seriously, not used to that.
Being a pro-lifer at a university such as Guelph’s, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to being part of the minority who thinks the littlest of us should have the right to live and that the best solution for an unplanned pregnancy ISN’T to “undo” it. I am pretty aware that this isn’t the general consensus at school. With not a single pregnant student in sight and a Planned Parenthood ad in the section of our survival guides that’s supposed to tell us where to go if pregnant, it seems the culture around me is more pro-abortion than anything…
So as you could imagine, it was a breath of fresh air being at this symposium. I wasn’t in Kansas- I mean Guelph, anymore, and a big part of me wanted to stay there forever. That would be counter-productive though… if you want to change the world, you can’t only surround yourself with people who agree with you. So now we’re back to school, but I’ve taken a lot from the weekend with me, and I hope to hang on to all I’ve learned like a life vest in this stormy pro-abortion sea!
There are three specific things that struck me:
We are human rights activists. There’s a significant group in our population who do not have the rights that they deserve, that we all deserve- the right to live, and this is no different from the other major human rights violations in the past. When some people were considered slaves, it was perfectly legal to deny them their rights to freedom. The law said these humans were not persons. Many people accepted that this was how their society had to run. But then there were those few loud and bold individuals who stood up for them. Those human rights activists took on the struggle and fought the unconquerable battle until it was conquered. It’s no different now. We are human rights activists fighting for what will one day end, and when our grandchildren live in a world where, like slavery now, abortion is unthinkable, and they ask us if we did anything about it, we won’t have to be ashamed about our indifference or our silence.
Being Pro-life is an action. Okay so I’ve always thought abortion was wrong, but sometimes I just didn’t think about it, and sometimes I felt like it was just too big of an issue for me to be able to do anything…so I didn’t do anything. I justified this by telling myself that I know it’s wrong, I would never have one, and that’s as far as being pro-life needs to go. What’s wrong with this picture is that being an inactive pro-lifer is believing abortion is killing human beings but letting it go on! I know it’s a huge battle to fight, but we’re 100% sure to lose if we fight with apathy and inaction. The Pro-Life Movement is gaining momentum and everyone has something to offer it! We need social media masterminds, prayer warriors, convincing conversationalists, generous funders, maternal support super heroes, and SO much more. Preborn infants can’t speak or act. But we can. And we must.
Finally, Be courageous and have hope, change is ACTUALLY possible. The biggest thing I got out of the weekend was HOPE. It’s so easy to get discouraged and think that no one will ever change their mind about abortion, but I learned that hearts and minds are being changed across Canada. Through logical, loving, and honest dialogue many people are realizing the injustice. The CCBR, Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, is an incredible and gutsy organization that goes out to the streets with the very real images of abortion victims. As alarming as that sounds, a lot of people take those images to heart. Of course people get angry at the display, but then they talk with the CCBR members and come to the conclusion that abortion is in fact taking the life of a person. These conversations aren’t heated debates, like so many of our discussions about abortion end up being; these conversations are rooted in love for all life, and THAT is what changes things. I know this yellow brick road pro-lifers have to walk is not an easy one, but take courage and love those who are pro-choice, because it’s that courage and that love which WILL change hearts and save lives.
I’m writing all of this not just for you to read and hopefully be inspired, but for myself also. I feel as though the fire I have for this cause is blazing and ready to take on the world, but I know being at university is like placing this fire in a blizzard. This battle is so incredibly tough. Discouragement and apathy are sure to take a swing at me this year, but when they do, I hope to read this and remember that we can’t stop because we’re tired, or because it’s hard. We can only stop on the day every heart and mind believes the truth, and the land of Oz- the land that respects all human life, won’t be somewhere over the rainbow, but right here at home.
And there’s no place like home.
Read the comments at the U of G Life Choice website.
By Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator
As NCLN’s Central Campus Coordinator, my job involves getting my boots on the ground (specifically winter ones in this weather). I trek to campuses across the province to train and assist pro-life students in their outreach, and my favourite project to help with is the club information table.
What can be better than engaging with a person one-on-one, hearing their thoughts on abortion and responding to their concerns, and thanking them for taking a moment to speak to you?
Can you tell that I’m an extrovert?
Although events like debates and movie screenings can be very impactful, the information table marks the start of many personal relationships of the pro-life club’s members with soon-to be club members, as well as engaging with students who are not informed about abortion. It is pro-life activism and recruitment – all packaged into one easy event!
How you begin these relationships matter, and in maintaining these relationships, your club has a greater opportunity to grow. And the more it grows, the more people there will be working alongside you to spread the pro-life message. This engagement is all the more important with lives on the line.
Check out our information guide on tabling here, and also find my 5 suggestions:
1. Create an eye-catching display board with a variety of resources on the table.
Make an event out of it with your Exec too – no need to do this all on your own. And if you’re short on resources, contact your local campus coordinator and you’ll be sent a bunch for free. Don’t forget to print out a sign-up sheet too!
2. Start all conversations with a kind smile.
People want to talk to people who are friendly and approachable, and this is harder to do on some days, with all that you have on your plate.
Think of laughing babies and joyful mothers if you need some motivation! 🙂
3. Speak with compassion and conviction.
Asking someone how they feel about abortion can bring up a lot of different emotions in a person. Whether it be anger, sadness, or indifference, listen attentively, tell stories, and ask good questions. Agree with them where you can, and explain with clarity where you cannot. Illustrate your points well and schedule an apologetics trainings for your club members every once in a while to refresh yourself.
4. Follow up personally with the people who have signed up for your email list and invite them to the next meeting or club event.
This cannot be emphasized enough. A day or two after your table, send a personal email to the student you spoke with, thank them for taking the time to chat with you, and invite them to your next meeting. If you got along really well, why not suggest meeting up for coffee to tackle a bit further that interesting point they brought up?
5. Debrief with your club members.
Whether in between conversations, or soon after a day of tabling is done, debriefing about your conversations is so essential. How else are you ever going to get better and spread the message as effectively as possible? If you didn’t like how you said something, think about it some more, and come up with ways with your fellow club members you would have liked to say it instead.
Ready? Set? GROW!
Have any stories about tabling on your campus? Send us an email!
by Kamilah Thorpe
Last year around this time, YPY members participated in “Choice Chain” on the campus of UVic. Choice Chain is a display of graphic images which show the horrors of abortion. Many people were offended and disgusted by the horrible images of aborted fetuses that we chose to expose to the public that day.
I myself am horrified and disgusted by the images and will be the last person to deny that they can be emotionally traumatizing.
But they are true.
The reason that I participated in Choice Chain that day despite my discomfort with the images was because I believe that people need to know the truth. I cannot allow the bodies of those dead children to be left hidden behind clinic walls and disguised under idealistic mantras that cry “pro-Choice”. I want people to see with their own eyes what that “Choice” really is.
If we deny the truth we will never change and we will never heal. That is why I held that sign last year and that is why I would hold it again and again until everyone knows the truth about abortion.
I look forward to the day when people will remember those terrible pictures as something horrible that used to happen in our country.
But today it is still happening, and that is why YPY continues to fight to expose the horrors of abortion to the public, despite any opposition we might encounter.
Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.
Written by Rebecca Richmond
1. R. v. Morgentaler is not Roe v. Wade
and Roe v. Wade does not apply to Canada.* Why? For the simple reason that we don’t live in the United States of America.
Don’t assume that your club members will know much about the legal status of abortion. A few ways to help educate your club members on subjects like this include:
- Share NCLN articles (like this one!) and resources with your club members. Better yet, encourage them to ‘Like’ NCLN on Facebook and follow us on instagram!
- A good basic primer on the history of abortion law in Canada can be found here: CCBR: History of Abortion Law in Canada
- Good talking points on the legal status of abortion can be found at WeNeedALaw.ca: Talking Points
You can listen to an interview where Don Hutchison, Legal Counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, addresses this: Abortion Debate in Canada Interview
3. R. v. Morgentaler resulted in a legal vacuum on abortion.
Since the decriminalization of abortion, abortion has existed in a legal vacuum because of the lack of laws. This has led to/or permitted:
- Sex-selective abortions, which disproportionately target baby girls. Because sex is generally not known until later in pregnancy, sex-selective abortions are also late-term abortions. Although sex-selection is more commonly associated with countries like India and China where the massive sex-ratio discrepancy ratios have been attracting international attention, the problem also exists in Canada. Researchers have found similarly skewed sex ratios among certain communities in Canada and the former interim editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal even called for a ban on releasing the sex of the baby until 30 weeks in order to help stem these abortions.1
- Children born alive (after an unsuccessful abortion) and left to die.2
- Abortions outside of hospitals. Clinics are now able to provide abortions and, because reporting is not mandatory for clinics, we don’t even know the numbers of abortions being done outside of hospitals. Indeed, abortion statistics have become harder to come by thanks to obfuscation by provincial governments.3
- Legal issues. Andre Schutten, a former club leader of McMaster and Legal Counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action, described the legal issues that courts run into thanks to R. v. Morgentaler and Parliament’s refusal to address the legal void.4
4. R. v. Morgentaler made us survivors.
In the quarter century since the 1988 decision, a quarter of our generation has been killed by abortion. It is more than a statistic; we are truly a survivor generation. Everyday when we’re on campus, we walk not only amidst those who are grappling with their abortions but also many who survived when siblings did not, or who may have only narrowly survived themselves. Perhaps we, ourselves, are those very people. This sobering reality means that our generation has a great deal of healing to do; it also means that we, as survivors, must speak up for all those who were silenced.
5. We will not let R. v. Morgentaler define the NEXT generation.
Beyond standing against the lethal devastation that abortion has wreaked upon our generation, we also must stand up for the next generation. It is now our generation that is having the abortions, many unaware of what their ‘choice’ really means, many unaware of the impact abortion will have on their lives, many unaware of the support and resources available to them, and many facing pressure and coercion to abort. As young men and women who survived, we now have the opportunity and obligation to reach out to those facing untimely pregnancies and secure the freedom of the next generation. We grew up in the shadow of R. v. Morgentaler, with one quarter of our generation paying the price for our society’s lack of protections for all human beings at all stages. We cannot, must not and will not abandon the next generation to such a fate.
Educate your campus on the truth about abortion. Try the QA Project!
This parasitic notion of pregnancy is disconcerting at best, but the fact remains that there have previously been misunderstandings surrounding the distribution of nutrients and energy to the fetus during a pregnancy. The medical definition of parasite is compound, i.e. a definition with two necessary parts. It implies not only that an organism is “living in, with, or on another organism” – a point that would apply in the case of a fetus, but also that that existence entails a degree of harm or is a detriment to the host, i.e. a parasite as a cause of disease.1 The parasitic notion of pregnancy is based on the misconception that the needs of the fetus take precedence over those of the mother, thus putting the mother at risk of inadequate amounts of energy and nutrients. For any human being, an inadequate absorption of nutrients is at the root of many diseases and health complications. If the precedence of the fetus were the mechanism at play during pregnancy, there would be a possibility that the presence of the fetus were causing a degree of harm to the mother, and the argument for a parasitic notion of pregnancy could be re-assessed. However, this phenomenon has been scientifically disproven.
The nutritional status of a pregnant woman is determined first and foremost by the foods and supplements that she ingests. Her needs are fulfilled prior to the allocation of nutrients to the fetus. Some very interesting studies on this topic have been conducted based on the statistics of the Dutch famine of 1944-45. The disruption in the nutritional status of the mothers was, on average, no more severe than that of other non-pregnant women who lived through the famine. However, the adverse effects on the fetuses carried by these pregnant women had long-term consequences which are under study to the present day. Even at critical windows of fetal development, the required nutrients were not delivered to the fetus until the mother’s requirements had been fulfilled. Many consequences have been identified as a result of the allocation of nutrients to the bodies of pregnant mothers before the children in their wombs.2, 3
So what does all this mean to the pro-life cause? Is the fact that the fetus is not a parasite one more set of attestable facts we can add to our reserve of pro-life apologetics? Does it boil down to the reassurance that science is “on our side”? Although these and many other compelling facts about fetal development are invaluable to the movement, the bare truth remains that abortion is not only about facts. It is about people. It is about human beings. Most specifically, it is about two human beings – a woman and the child within her womb. When a woman finds herself in a crisis pregnancy situation, it is not likely Dutch famine statistics and nutrient battles that overwhelm her thoughts. It is the stress of her present situation, the undeniable attachment to her child, and the questions about the future of herself and her child. She may be struggling with very real personal difficulties, to which we may or may not be able to relate. As pro-lifers, we must not judge and condemn, but rather offer our compassion and support. The real and ultimate goal of our efforts is that mother and baby will both make it through those nine months – alive!
1 Parasite. Merriam-Webster Dictionary online
2 Prenatal nutrition and the human fetus. Nutr Rev. 1971 Sep;29(9):197-9.
3 Effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on adult disease in later life: an overview. Twin Res. 2001 Oct ;4(5):293-8.
Re-blogged with author’s permission from uOttawa Students For Life
Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.