fbpx
National Campus Life Network > Blog > Rebecca Richmond

National Campus Life Network joins in declaration of support for Motion 312

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Campus Life Network joins in declaration of support for Motion 312

September 19, 2012

Toronto, ON – Dozens of Canadian organizations and individuals, including National Campus Life Network (NCLN), have united to sign a Declaration of Support for Parliamentary Study of Canada’s Legal Definition of “Human Being”.

This Declaration affirms support for Motion 312 and the establishment of a special committee to review the definition of ‘human being’ in subsection 223 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Currently the Criminal Code defines a child as a human being only “when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother.”

“All one has to do is open an embryology textbook to see that the current law simply doesn’t fit the facts,” states Rebecca Richmond, NCLN’s Executive Director. “An examination of current medical knowledge on the subject by Parliament is long overdue.”

The Declaration states, “The current definition was first enacted in Canada in 1892, founded in concepts argued before the courts and the Parliament of England more than three centuries prior, and does not reflect the medical and scientific knowledge acquired over the last century. Given the high value human life is given in our society, as reflected in our social policies and Criminal Code, it is essential that the Parliament of Canada provide clarity in the law on this point which impacts parental choice, biomedical research, medical practice and matters being brought before the courts of the nation.”

The second hour of debate on Motion 312 will take place this Friday. NCLN urges Canadians to voice their support for this motion by contacting their MPs.

-30-

The full declaration can be found here.

National Campus Life Network exists to educate, network and support pro-life post-secondary students across Canada. For media inquiries, please contact Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director, at director@ncln.ca or 416 483 7869.

Share Button

Too Close to Home

By Rebecca Richmond, NCLN Executive Director

Toronto has grown on me, I’ll concede, but this small town girl still dislikes the big crowds, achingly slow streetcars, and noisy post-game Euro Cup celebrations. Yet, I’ve never worried much about rates of crime and violence in Canada’s biggest city. I usually feel safe; reports of violence seemed to happen far from my part of town – until recently. It started with the gunman opening fire in the Eaton Centre food court. Following close on its heels was the College Street shooting, just across the street from where I frequently get gelato. All of a sudden, violence was too close to home.

A shooting anywhere is horrific. The loss of life anywhere is tragic. Yet, unless we’re connected to the people or place, it can be easy to disregard or ignore what is happening. It always has been. Throughout history, human society has been all too happy to focus on our lives and our problems and ignore the victims of great injustices. From slavery to the Holocaust to domestic abuse, people have looked the other way, allowing evil to destroy innocent lives. In Canada today, a shooting will be front page news, while the slaughter of 100,000 preborn children annually will be called a “woman’s right” and is paid for with our tax dollars.

This slaughter will continue as long as our fellow Canadians continue to ignore and avoid the issue.

So we can’t let them avoid it. And we can’t let them forget the victims.

On campuses and on street corners, the pro-life message must be proclaimed. In classrooms and in offices, abortion must be discussed and debated. In Parliament and in the courts, justice for all human beings must be upheld, regardless of age, development, environment or degree of dependency.

The New Abortion Caravan showed Canadians the truth about abortion and what it does to the most vulnerable and innocent in our society. The staff of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, along with student interns and volunteers, were on sidewalks with Choice Chain, in communities with presentations, on streets with trucks, and in neighbourhoods with postcards throughout the month long tour. They engaged the culture.

I don’t think any pro-lifer would disagree with the need to saturate our culture with the truth about abortion. But with the Caravan now on its way home, we must look to our own lives and activities, whether on campus or in our community: how often do we stand up and speak out? What sacrifices do we make regularly? It is essential that we, too, saturate Canada with the pro-life message so that no one can ignore abortion or pretend that ‘choice’ doesn’t kill.

What will it take to make us realize how close the violence really is to our own lives? Abortion does impact all of us and this violence is occurring in our very own communities. It is time for Canadians of all ages and all walks of life to turn pro-life convictions into pro-life actions. It is time to end abortion.

 

Share Button

My Aunt’s Killer Should Not Be an Excuse to Kill

By Rebecca Richmond, NCLN Executive Director

ALS often come up when euthanasia and assisted suicide are discussed. The disease seems to be the poster child for the ‘right to die’ movement, and has been a part of major court cases including Gloria Taylor’s involvement in the recent Carter case and the 1993 Supreme Court case of Sue Rodriguez.

“Don’t you know about ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease?” I’ve been asked by those who support assisted suicide. “How would you feel if it was your loved one dying of ALS? Do you know what the disease does?”

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? Yes, I do actually.

Several years ago my dad’s sister – my aunt and godmother – was diagnosed with the degenerative motor neuron disease that had also killed her grandmother many years before. Most patients only live between 3-5 years, but my aunt deteriorated quickly and we lost her on September 29, 2009 – only 13 months after diagnosis.

Even before the disease was officially diagnosed, she had to stop teaching due to problems with balance and standing. She called it ‘getting tippy’. By the time the disease had been officially diagnosed later that August, her mobility had been severely curtailed and the disease was already beginning to affect her speech. She warned my dad to let us kids know that if we picked up the phone and heard a drunk person on the other end, it was just their aunt.

Her approach to the disease mirrored her approach to life: blunt and practical. She quickly mobilized her husband and friends to rearrange the house for her so she had access to her scrapbooking materials and computer, and had a chair lift put in to help her get up and down the stairs. Legal matters were taken care of soon after the diagnosis as well.  There was never any “Why me?” questions; she just hunkered down to handle life as it was presented to her. It was her way of doing things.

Despite living in a small farming community in Saskatchewan, she was able to get the assistance she needed to live at home for several months. Her condition worsened rapidly – much too rapidly – and despite the heroic efforts of my uncle and her home care providers, she had to be admitted to a palliative care unit in a nearby small town hospital early the next spring where she remained until her death in the fall. Her memorial service was held at the community hall to accommodate the crowd of friends, colleagues, family and former students from decades of teaching who came to pay their respects.

ALS is a ghastly disease. My aunt quickly lost her independence, and became reliant on others for the basics that we take for granted. She soon lost her ability to speak, and near the end of her life it was almost impossible for her to communicate. Through it all, her husband and the medical team continued to lavish their love and care on her to alleviate her pain and suffering as much as possible until she died. She was an individual with dignity, and was treated with dignity, despite all the indignities the disease subjected her to.

I hesitated before I began to write, I hesitated before I sent it to my dad to look over, and I hesitated before I posted it. I do not want anyone to misinterpret my meaning. I am not glorifying my aunt’s suffering nor am I trying to make her the new poster child of our movement. My aunt would not be anyone’s poster child, thanks very much. My point is this: I am aware that ALS has a very human face to it. But it is precisely that humanity, and the humanity of all the vulnerable, that puts me firmly against euthanasia and assisted suicide. I hate the fact that my aunt’s killer is being used as an excuse to allow killing. I shudder to think how the medical system would have treated my aunt if euthanasia and assisted suicide was a part of the Canadian health care system. Would they have seen her as a financial burden to the system? Would they have done a cost-benefit analysis on her life? Would her ability to function have come to define her value?

And while Gloria Taylor and Sue Rodriguez gave a face to the euthanasia and assisted suicide movement in Canada, their stories are not the only stories. Legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia endangers our seniors, our friends and family with special needs and those suffering from diseases. These stories and our stories matter too.

I certainly wish my aunt hadn’t suffered or died, especially from such a horrific disease. I would like to see more research done on currently incurable diseases like ALS. I would like to see palliative care and pain relief improve. But creating a right to kill will not make that happen, nor is killing an acceptable way to ‘alleviate’ suffering. Instead, by allowing doctors to kill the sufferers, it only endangers the lives of all the vulnerable.

For more information and analysis on the Carter Case and the issue in general, please visit our Euthanasia Resource page.

Author’s note: Special thanks to my father for his contributions to this piece and for his encouragement.

Share Button

Thank you Stephen Woodworth, M.P.

Filmed at NCLN’s 4th Annual Life & Justice Pro-Life Student Dinner on May 10th.

The video pretty much speaks for itself.

 

Share Button

March for Life 2012

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of pro-lifers from across Canada will march for life, assembling at their provincial and national legislatures in protest of the injustice of abortion. NCLN and its students will be at many of these events.

There were over 15,000 gathered at last year’s National March for Life in Ottawa, and NCLN hopes to see even more at this year’s event. You can find the NCLN group on the right lawn – look for our banner or that of uOttawa Students for Life! After the March there are many other events to be involved in. NCLN is hosting our annual student dinner, which is SOLD OUT! If you didn’t get a ticket this year, don’t worry, there is always next year! Executive Director, Rebecca Richmond is also speaking to hundreds of students at the youth conference on Friday.

If you are unable to attend the National March, there are regional Marches across the country that may be closer to home for you. Visit Campaign Life Coalition to find out where the March for Life is taking place in your community.

NCLN will also have a presence in two other locations. Sara Hall, as the Maritime Campus Coordinator, will be in Halifax to speak at their March, and at the other end of the country, Anastasia, our Western Campus Coordinator, will be speaking to the crowds at the March for Life in Victoria, BC. If you can find us at any of these three locations come say “Hi” – we would love to meet you!

http://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/index.php?p=Regional_marches

Share Button

Wanted: A Few (More) Good Men

By Rebecca Richmond

“Not a single boy from our club came to help,” noted the club president with a sigh. We had just spent two days outside in the cold, sharing the pro-life message with thousands of students on this campus. But it had been the women of the club who had endured the name calling, insults and outright hostility from their peers.

“There’s the problem,” I quipped. “You have boys. We need some men.”

Though pro-choicers will sometimes accuse our movement of being run by old men, the opposite is more likely true. Just last week, one protestor at UBC wielded a sign that read, “77% of anti-abortion leaders are male. 100% will never get pregnant.” I don’t know where the 77% statistic came from, for even a cursory look at the Movement would show the reverse. NCLN, for example, has an all-female staff and a mostly female board. Numerous organizations have similarly skewed demographics.

So I chuckle when I hear those accusations, but the reality is no laughing matter.

Through my pro-life work, now and previously as a student, I have been privileged to work alongside incredible young men. They are pro-life in principle and in action. These men often face more hostility, from men and women alike, whenever they are publically pro-life. They take the abuse in stride and continue to pray in front of abortion clinics, to engage in dialogue on street corners with Choice Chain, to stand in front of a pro-life table at the university centre, and to speak up in class. Unfortunately, they are rarer than they ought to be.

Sadly, although there are other men out there who are opposed to abortion, many won’t lift a finger to stop the carnage. They’ll give a thumbs up or a “God bless” when they pass 40 Days for Life, but you won’t catch them taking an active, let alone public, role.
Then, there are men out there who intuitively dislike abortion and who would support their significant other through a pregnancy, but they can’t “force their opinions on anyone else.”

Many more refuse to really look at the issue at all.

“What do you think about abortion?” I’ve asked countless young men on campuses and on street corners.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I’m a guy. It’s a woman’s issue,” well, I’d be a wealthy woman.
These “men” place the issue squarely on women’s shoulders. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been brainwashed to think this is what respecting women’s rights is all about, and perhaps it’s because this “choice” allows them to continue living their lifestyle “consequence-free”. It’s probably a combination of both.

Abortion definitely affects men and women differently, but it is not solely a woman’s issue. It is a human rights violation and, since responsibility for this atrocity rests on both men and women, so too does the remedy.

So to all my stalwart, courageous, compassionate, selfless pro-life brothers: thank you. You inspire and encourage me. You give me hope for the future. Thank you for standing up for women, for babies, for the future generations. Thank you for respecting and honoring me and the pro-life women you stand with.

To all the other good men out there: I’ve heard you say that you’re afraid, nervous of saying the wrong thing, not sure how to handle the anger and emotion you might encounter. I know you have other things to do: commitments, ministries, jobs, activities. But are the fears and obstacles that hold you back more important than the cause I know you believe in? Please, won’t you stand up and stand alongside us?

Our society has more than enough boys. What are we need are many more good men.

Share Button

Press Release: Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

March 14, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

Toronto, ON: This March, two Ontario university clubs are hosting abortion debates on campus, but pro-choicers have been unwilling to debate.  Despite contacting over 120 professors, feminist organizations, and abortion advocacy groups, Guelph Life Choice and McMaster Lifeline have been unable to find anyone willing to debate.  Pro-life students from McMaster and Guelph are now issuing a public challenge to pro-choice proponents (specifically professors, doctors, clinic workers, and advocates from pro-choice organizations), inviting them to defend their position on abortion and join in an open and respectful debate.

“There’s been great student interest in having this debate,” states Hanna Barlow, President of the University of Guelph Life Choice.  “But everyone we’ve contacted to represent the pro-choice side has either rejected the invitation or simply ignored it.  It’s very disappointing.”

With the debate scheduled for the end of the month, Guelph Life Choice contacted the Student Help and Advocacy Centre (SHAC) from the student union for help finding a pro-choice advocate.  They declined, stating, “We do not believe that the sexual and reproductive rights of women is [sic] something that should be debated because we see ‘pro-choice’ as the only option. For us, reproductive rights are non-debatable.” (See full email text at: http://uofguelphlifechoice.ncln.ca/2012/03/14/email/)

“Unwillingness to debate is something we’ve seen before on other campuses,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization.   “Despite accusations from pro-choicers that we’re closed minded and backwards, they are the ones who keep rejecting our offers to engage in dialogue.”

“Anyone who holds a belief on an issue must have evidence to back up their belief,” states Julia Bolzon, President of McMaster Lifeline.  “If pro-choicers are confident in their position, then they should be willing to defend it in a debate.  We hope pro-choicers will rise to the challenge.”

 

For more information or for those interested in representing the pro-choice side of the debate, contact:

Julia Bolzon – President McMaster Lifeline, 647 221 0912, jbolzon@gmail.com

Hanna Barlow – President Guelph Life Choice, 519 830 9072, hannabarlow@gmail.com

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

-30-

 

 

Share Button

McMaster Lifeline: Press Release: Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

This post was written for McMaster Lifeline by McMaster Lifeline. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

March 14, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

Toronto, ON: This March, two Ontario university clubs are hosting abortion debates on campus, but pro-choicers have been unwilling to debate.  Despite contacting over 120 professors, feminist organizations, and abortion advocacy groups, Guelph Life Choice and McMaster Lifeline have been unable to find anyone willing to debate.  Pro-life students from McMaster and Guelph are now issuing a public challenge to pro-choice proponents (specifically professors, doctors, clinic workers, and advocates from pro-choice organizations), inviting them to defend their position on abortion and join in an open and respectful debate.

“There’s been great student interest in having this debate,” states Hanna Barlow, President of the University of Guelph Life Choice.  “But everyone we’ve contacted to represent the pro-choice side has either rejected the invitation or simply ignored it.  It’s very disappointing.”

With the debate scheduled for the end of the month, Guelph Life Choice contacted the Student Help and Advocacy Centre (SHAC) from the student union for help finding a pro-choice advocate.  They declined, stating, “We do not believe that the sexual and reproductive rights of women is [sic] something that should be debated because we see ‘pro-choice’ as the only option. For us, reproductive rights are non-debatable.” (See full email text at: http://uofguelphlifechoice.ncln.ca/2012/03/14/email/)

“Unwillingness to debate is something we’ve seen before on other campuses,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization.   “Despite accusations from pro-choicers that we’re closed minded and backwards, they are the ones who keep rejecting our offers to engage in dialogue.”

“Anyone who holds a belief on an issue must have evidence to back up their belief,” states Julia Bolzon, President of McMaster Lifeline.  “If pro-choicers are confident in their position, then they should be willing to defend it in a debate.  We hope pro-choicers will rise to the challenge.”

 

For more information or for those interested in representing the pro-choice side of the debate, contact:

Julia Bolzon – President McMaster Lifeline, 647 221 0912, jbolzon@gmail.com

Hanna Barlow – President Guelph Life Choice, 519 830 9072, hannabarlow@gmail.com

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

-30-

 

 

Read the comments at the McMaster Lifeline website.