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ABORTION DEBATED ON BC CAMPUS AS STUDENTS REACT TO JUSTIN TRUDEAU’S STATEMENTS ON ABORTION

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Vancouver, B.C.  On Tuesday October 28thSFU Lifeline will be hosting a debate on the legality of abortion, organized by university students who cite Justin Trudeau‘s abortion comments as a motivating factor for the events.

“We actually wanted and invited Mr. Trudeau to participate in the debates,” stated Emily Mraz, a third year student at Simon Fraser University and president of the pro-life club, SFU Lifeline. “He has made strong statements about a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ Seeing as the university is considered to be a marketplace of ideas, we believe it is an appropriate venue for him to defend his position and engage in discussion on the issue.” Unfortunately Mr. Trudeau’s secretary stated that he was not available to participate.

Mr. Trudeau has stated that abortion is “not for any government to legislate.” Pro-Life students on university campuses beg to differ, citing it as the government’s duty to protect all human beings in Canada, including the 300 pre-born humans who are killed every day in our Country through abortion.

Stephanie Gray, an international pro-life speaker and author, will be representing the position that there should be laws against abortion – countering Trudeau’s claim that the government should have nothing to do with abortion; this follows her statement that abortion is a violation of the human rights of pre-born human beings. Umer Altaf, president of the SFU Debate Society, will be representing the position that there should not be laws against abortion, defending abortion as a woman’s choice.

“Our universities are places where ideas should be shared and contentious issues discussed,” states Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization.  “The most recent CIHI stats reveals that over a quarter of abortions are performed on university–aged students. If this is a choice young women are making, it is important that they consider what precisely they are choosing and know what abortion alternatives exist.”

The debate will be held at SFU Burnaby on Tuesday, October 28th at 5:30pm in C9001.

For further information contact:

Emily Mraz: sfulifeline@gmail.com

Anastasia Pearse: westerncanada@ncln.ca

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uOttawa Students For Life: Jan 24 – The Abortion Debate: A Scientific and Philosophical Review

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

This Thursday, January 24, Stephanie Gray will be presenting The Abortion Debate: A Scientific and Philosophical Review in Ottawa. The event starts at 7:30 pm and is at Dominican College, 96 Empress Avenue. Thanks go to Saint Paul Students for Life for organizing it. This is a great opportunity to hear an experienced speaker lay out the arguments surrounding abortion clearly and cohesively. See you there!


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

Saint Paul Students for Life: Upcoming Local Event

This post was written for Saint Paul Students for Life by frkenmikulcik. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

 

Date:    January 24, 2013

  7:30PM
Stephanie Gray
Abortion: The Great Debate
Dominican University College, St. Albert the Great Room, 96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada map

Read the comments at the Saint Paul Students for Life website.

The Case of Savita: Important Articles to Review

The tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland has caught the world’s attention.  Pro-choicers allege that Savita was a victim of Ireland’s laws against abortion and that these laws must be changed allow for legalized abortion.

As campus pro-life leaders, we have addressed questions from our peers including “what if the woman’s life is in danger?”  But we probably haven’t had to respond to a specific situation like that of Savita’s.  But unless you live within a very secure pro-life bubble (or a bubble that is cut off from newspapers and the internet), you will mostly likely have to respond to this situation.  Does Savita’s tragic death illustrate why legal abortion is necessary?  Should Ireland ‘liberalize’ their abortion laws?

The following are excerpts from a few must-read articles.  Each analysis should be read in its entirety to better understand the facts and how we should respond to them:

MaterCare International, a group of obstetricians and gynaecologists dedicated to “improving the lives and health of mothers and babies both born and unborn,” has analyzed the situation.

“With the exception of the rare and tragic case of Savita Halappanavar, Ireland’s practice of maternal medicine has been impeccable in recent decades. Ireland, along with other countries where abortion is not permitted by law, boasts one of the lowest maternal mortality ratios in the world. It ranks sixth lowest in the world for its maternal death ratio (5.7 per 100,000 live births), thus making it one of one of the safest places in the world for women to deliver their children. To dramatically alter these successful medical practices medical in order to cater to boisterous and uneducated lobbying would be a mistake. 

….

For many obstetricians, a maternal death resulting from a direct obstetrical cause, such as in the case of a septic miscarriage, is an extremely rare event which legalizing abortion will not prevent. What will prevent these deaths is intensive obstetrical care, provided with the intention of saving both lives.”

 

Andrea Mrozek, Manager of Research and Communications for the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, writes in an op-ed for the National Post:

Pro-choicers have long held that maternal mortality rises without abortion. Yet the record shows that Canadian maternal mortality declined precipitously prior to the legalization of abortion in Canada. Canadian abortion laws began to open up in 1969 and abortion became available on demand without any restriction after the 1988 R. v. Morgentaler decision.

This shows abortion does not save women’s lives, but good medical care does. Ireland’s own statistics reflect this truth. The United Nation’s 2005 report on maternal mortality found Ireland has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world, despite largely banning abortion procedures.

….

We do know that Savita was 17 weeks pregnant. Had she had an abortion, it would have been a more complicated one. Abortions get more dangerous as the number of weeks progress. Second trimester abortions may involve the use of forceps to remove dismembered body parts. This is not a faceless mass-precisely because by this point ears, eyes and eyelashes are developing, as are major body systems.

A truly interested person might ask questions around the nature of Savita’s sickness, and whether the miscarriage was the prime culprit in her death. We don’t know whether she received antibiotics, how much or when. Without the right dosage of antibiotics, an abortion might just as likely have resulted in sepsis and death.

Stephanie Gray, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, writes:

  So instead of jumping to the conclusions that Halappanavar needed an abortion and that Ireland needs to legalize the killing of the youngest of its kind, the reasonable approach would be to get to the bottom of what Halappanavar’s condition was and examine how it was, or was not, responded to.  We have yet to hear from the hospital and the medical professionals involved as to what precisely happened, but with this report of her dying from E. coli ESBL one wonders how killing Halappanavar’s baby Prasa would have killed the E. coli.

….

And yet, The Toronto Star would have you believe, “There’s a very simple reason why Savita died. It’s because she wasn’t listened to.” On the contrary, much more needs to be known about how she died.  But what we do know is that jumping to the conclusion that abortion should be legalized in Ireland overlooks the underlying medical condition and makes the dangerous assumption that we need to kill one person to save another.

 

Ireland’s Youth Defence has reported on  what Irish Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have to say about women’s health and abortion in their country.  

Dr John Monaghan on Newstalk: The whole thing has become very inflamed. We cannot at this stage judge what the true medical facts were. I cannot see how legislation would have influenced this particular scenario. In the light of the [Medical Council] guidelines I quoted to you a few minutes ago, it would be legitimate under the current regulation that a doctor would intervene to deliver the baby in the situation where the mother has become septic. To me as a clinician that would fit in with those guidelines. So I am not sure how legislation could deal with this particular case as I understand it.

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uOttawa Students For Life: New Abortion Caravan Coming To Ottawa

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

A week from today, on July 2nd, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s New Abortion Caravan will be in Ottawa for the last stage of its cross-country trip. Stephanie Gray and Jonathan Van Maren will be giving a talk from 7:30pm – 9:15pm titled “Abortion: How we will EndtheKilling in our Lifetime” at Greenbelt Baptist Church, 839 Shefford Rd. All are welcome at this event that is sure to be highly informative and inspiring!

Check out this video for a taste of what the New Abortion Caravan has been accomplishing:


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Cause for Hope

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

by Kelden Formosa

The tall, angry young man had just screamed “semantic witch” at the young woman at the lectern several rows before him. It seems he didn’t like what she had to say – her argument that abortion kills a human being did not appeal to his pro-choice sensibilities, apparently. You would think that Stephanie Gray, the pro-life debater and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, might have stumbled, but instead she continued on with her point, taking it all in stride, as the man walked out of the university hall.

The young man was a pro-choice audience member at the abortion debate organized by the University of Ottawa Students for Life and the U of O Med Students for Life this past year. It’s been a few months since the big debate – one which divided our campus and provoked real controversy – but looking back on it now, I think it provides us with some important insights on the future of the continuing public debate on abortion in Canada.

As one of those involved in the organization of the debate (full disclosure), I was quite happy to welcome even the most militant pro-choice activists, including the young man mentioned prior. It is the challenge of pro-life activists to change the hearts and minds of those who disagree with us. Debates, conferences, advertising, writing – pro-life Canadians have done it all, in the hopes that one day human life might be protected from conception unto natural death.

We’ve done it in the face of intense pressure to resign ourselves to the abortion status quo. Our opponents can’t even believe pro-lifers are still around and have even greater difficulty believing that young people and university students could ever be pro-life. For them, the debate ended in 1988, when the Supreme Court allowed for abortion in Canada without any restriction, throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The appalling statistics about abortion in Canada and around the world have barely registered in the consciousness of today’s pro-choice activists: that one in four unborn children will be aborted, including 90% of children prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, and a higher proportion of female children than male ones, seems quite unimportant to them and most of the mainstream media.

But, like it or not, the debate continues. It continues in families and amongst friends, in classrooms and in churches, and most poignantly, in the hearts and minds of vulnerable women who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. And this continuation of the debate is the saving grace for the pro-life movement. Because it means that we’re still not comfortable with abortion – that ending the life of an unborn child still strikes us as morally troubling. For pro-lifers, this is cause for hope.

For pro-choicers, this apparently is cause for fear. Before our abortion debate even happened, dozens of major pro-choice activists rejected our club’s invitation to debate. We offered them the opportunity to confront a leading Canadian “anti-choicer” in an open forum, with a neutral moderator. Yet they said no: Dr. Kathryn Treehuba, a U of O professor and abortion provider; Dr. Fraser Fellow, a UWO professor and abortion provider; Joyce Arthur, of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada; Sandra Rogers, a U of O professor; Wayne Sumner, a U of T professor; Heather Holland, of Planned Parenthood Ottawa; representatives from Canadians for Choice, Action Canada for Population and Development and the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health – all of them refused to debate abortion.

So our club decided to hold them accountable. We put up controversial posters highlighting their refusal and wrote a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, making the debate invitation open to all comers. Eventually Jovan Morales, of the Atheist Community of the University of Ottawa, stepped up to the plate to represent the pro-choice side. It seemed for a moment that we would have a civil, if less than ideal, dialogue on abortion.

But it was not to be. Radical pro-choice activists, many of whom are associated with the Women’s Resource Centre of the Student Federation, decided to come out to our debate in force. This would have been great – if they were really there to engage in a reasoned debate. Instead, they brought their posters and their slogans and their raucous attitudes and little else. Holding signs that declared, “An egg is not a chicken” and “My Body/My Choice,” these activists heckled Ms. Gray, the pro-life speaker, menaced elderly debate attendees and shouted “bulls***” and “what the f***” in response to many of the points made by Ms. Gray. Particularly atrocious was the sign declaring, “I hope the foetus you ‘save’ is gay.” For the record, I wouldn’t mind at all.

But why were they so rude and disruptive? Why not just win the audience over with the logic and eloquence of the pro-choice message? I submit that their behaviour betrays the weakness of their own position. Perhaps it’s just the philosophy major in me, but “My Body/My Choice” is a far better slogan than logical argument. As Ms. Gray said: sure, I have freedom over my body – I can swing my arm, for example – but that freedom ends when it injures another person, e.g. swinging my arm to punch them in the face. When the right to choose ends the life of another person, we can and must restrict it. Similarly, it’s true that an egg is not a chicken, but a preborn child is not an egg – it is a fully human organism, genetically distinct and having within itself the means of its own continuance. Fallacies like the ones presented lie at the heart of pro-choice argumentation.

Now it is possible to be pro-choice and philosophically consistent: you simply have to believe that it is alright to kill innocent human beings simply for convenience’s sake. In my experience though, pro-choice people are just as kind and compassionate as pro-life ones. Few would adopt such a radical position. Instead, not being trained in critical reasoning and open to legitimate concerns of women facing unplanned pregnancy, many accept pro-choice fallacies to justify what is really the easy position on abortion. Pro-lifers recognize that women in need deserve real support and real options and the preborn deserve the most basic of rights – the right to life.

Strikingly, when Ms. Gray showed pictures of aborted children in her presentation, I detected a palpable sense of unease come over the pro-choice activists. Standing near their seats at back of the room, I heard them mutter “these aren’t real” and “it’s not true.” But sadly the images were – medically accurate filming of real, live abortion procedures. If they can’t bring themselves to accept the truth of what they support, then perhaps they aren’t as committed to pro-choice ideology as they would have you believe. And that, more than anything, is cause for hope.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Up for Debate

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

Thank you to all those who came to the debate and who helped make it happen. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, watch it here:

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(For more footage of past uOSFL events, see our Videos page.)

See also a recap of the debate, a few photos and a list of debate decliners, courtesy of ProWomanProLife, as well as another take on the Canadian Physicians for Life Students blog.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Abortion on the Agenda on Nov. 10 and 11

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

Ottawa has two opportunities to hear the formidable Stephanie Gray take on abortion this week. In addition to the event below, she’ll be speaking on Thursday, Nov. 10 at St. Paul’s University in room 103 at 7 pm. The topic is Abortion and Intellectual Honesty. Come one, come all!

***New Location: Colonel By Hall, 161 Louis Pasteur, Room C03***
***Update: Jovan Morales of the Atheist Community of the University of Ottawa will be arguing the pro-choice position.***


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.