From the US? Considering an abortion? Go to http://abortionsafety.com/index.php, a database of abortion malpractice information in the USA.

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Disclaimer: http://prolife-girl.blogspot.ca/2012/07/a-disclaimer.html

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Checking in - and Merry Christmas :)

Hi all! Sorry for the extremely LONG hiatus ... I've been ridiculously busy with school, and once that ordeal was over with I promised myself I would take a break and have an amazing holiday - which meant no abortion news, no thinking about abortion, and no writing about it. Just needed a break from stress in general, but obviously I couldn't keep myself away for long. So This is just a quick post to tell you that (1) I'm still alive (hooray!!) and (2) I hope everyone reading this has an absolutely wonderful Christmas and New Years!

I'll leave you with a video I found on refuting key abortion arguments.  I think he does a great job going through all of the arguments, especially the most common argument I've seen lately from pro-choicers, which is that consent to sex is not consent to a pregnancy. Happy watching!! :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

There's a court case going on in Canada right now, and CBC has a poll here on the issue (feel free to vote!). I was reading through some of the comments and they were making me both very sad and very angry. The two most common arguments for assisted suicide are summed up quite well by TerryWeins, quoted as follows:

"We show more compassion for our sick pets than we do for our fatality ill family members. As a long time disability rights advocate who is actually disabled and not being paid to represent some lobby group I fully support and individuals right to a dignified means to end ones life when the quality has expired."

First off, I am not quite sure that I agree that it is compassionate to euthanize a sick pet. I have always thought that it is an incredibly cowardly act to decide for yourself the fate of another creature (unless of course you're going to eat it, which is a perfectly natural thing to do). If this animal lived in the wild do you think it would have a "humane" and "peaceful" ending? No. If it even survived to old age, it would live as long as it was able and then it would die. Probably its death would be quite painful. It would be a struggle. That is, after all, what life is. It's not neat or pretty or peaceful or dignified - it is a struggle and and that's that.

Secondly, a human being is not a pet. A human being displaying the wish to die is someone that is deeply troubled and in need of help, love, and compassion. Saying, "well, we agree, your life sucks. Lets get you killed!" is not the compassionate response. Period. It is certainly the easy reaction to suffering - it absolutely eliminates a million hard questions such as how do we care for this person, how do we alleviate their pain, how do we keep them involved in society, how to we mitigate the effects of their disability, how do we show them that they are still valued and loved, how to we make sure their last days aren't miserable, how do we ..... but assisted death is not the answer to these questions, and the multitude of other questions that accompany end of life issues.

Finally, I want to address the idea that individuals have a right to decide when they will die with dignity. First off, no one is arguing that people do not have the ability to decide when they will die. Ever heard of suicide? The information is readily available, and anyone and everyone has the means to commit suicide, refuse treatment, or hasten their death. If someone's future is really so bleak that they believe death is better than life, then such a person absolutely has the ability to end their own life. In fact, they should be the only person who ends their own life. That way it is absolutely certain that the final choice was their own. What we are arguing against is the idea that other people can legally help someone accomplish that goal. Why? Because people can be pressured, can be tricked, and can be taken advantage of. The weak, troubled, sick, and handicapped have very small and easily ignored voices in this world. The healthy, powerful, and well-off have loud voices and commonly believe that they know what is best for those who are in their care. This law can easily be abused. In fact, even with the illegality of assisted suicide I have no doubt that such abuses still occur - but at least they are not sanctioned by the state. Finding and prosecuting such abuse is and will be almost impossible to do - after all, the only true witnesses to this abuse would be dead.

End rant. Hope this made sense. I haven't done as much reading on assisted suicide or euthanasia as I have with abortion, but I still believe that every second of every life is worth living. I have known and lived through the deterioration and death of loved ones, and even unto their last days they were beautiful, loved, valued, and they believed their lives were worth living. This is probably because they were not alone, and were surrounded by loved ones who would miss them and who wanted to spend every moment they could with them until they finally left. If only every person could be shown such love. To be ill, dying, and alone must be the hardest thing to face. I can certainly understand why people would seek out euthanasia in both fear and loneliness. And so we should work towards being a more loving and compassionate society, and we must make sure that no one ever feels alone or worthless in this world. <3 RIP

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Why don't more pro-lifers resort to violence?

This post from the AntiAbortion Gang gave me a lot to think about today, so I thought I'd share it here. You can read through Ben from Canada's impression of pro-lifers, and my and the AntiAbortion Gang's thoughts on his post.

I always find it surprising when someone asks, "Well, if you really believe that fertilized eggs are people, then why don't you do more to protect them?" These people don't actually understand what it means to be pro-life, or what the goals of the pro-life movement are. Sure, if we kill a few abortionists then some babies might be saved. But abortion is so prevalent in our society that another clinic, another abortionist, will simply pop up to take the deceased's place. How does that solve anything? It doesn't. Our goal (or at least, what I believe our goal should be) is to induce a cultural shift. Unborn children need to be viewed as valuable and precious, not burdens. Pregnancy needs to be viewed as a natural, spiritual experience, not as a terrifying, horrible ordeal. People need to realize that all human life, and indeed all life, has value. And besides, as pro-lifers, should we not fight for the right of ALL human lives? Are not abortionists human? Are they not people? Could they not repent sometime in the future? We never know who or what someone will become. And ending someone's life on the assumption that they will always be who they are, and that their life will always seem as bleak as it does now, is the height of arrogance. That applies to both the lives of the unborn and the lives of those who are actively pro-choice. Pro-life, pro-love. Love and life for everybody. No matter who they are, no matter where they are, no matter what their age. <3  

Disclaimer: In no way am I suggesting that abortionists should not be punished for their actions - I simply want to stress that it is not our place, nor anyone's place, to use the threat of violence or death to make a point.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

END the KILLING

Is this video awesome??

Answer: yes!

So, what can everyday pro-lifers do to help?

Friday, 21 October 2011

On Ultrasounds and Manipulation

I came across the argument today that pro-lifers try to manipulate abortive-minded women by forcing them to view their unborn child in an ultrasound.

I can't even begin to tell you how angry this argument makes me. It is complete, utter B.S.

First off - if most women change their minds about abortion after they view an ultrasound, what does that tell you about the conviction with which these women believed that they needed an abortion in the first place? To my mind at least, it tells me that these women were unsure. Helping them come to a decision by showing them the reality of their pregnancy is not manipulation, it is being informed. And why are women who view ultrasounds and decide to keep their children "manipulated", according to pro-choicers, but women who are given no information and are rushed into making a decision are somehow empowered.

Abortion is the only issue I know where suppression of information is considered empowerment.

Secondly - I can't tell you how many times I've read both pro-life and pro-choice stories about women who, before and at the abortion table, are terrified, crying and just wishing that they could escape their entire situation. Out of all the abortion stories I've read, only one has had an abortion doctor send a women away because he could see that she was obviously upset. But she ended up getting an abortion anyway, after returning to the clinic because her boyfriend was pressuring her. How can anyone think it is ok to perform an elective, permanent surgery on someone who is so fearful, so obviously unsure, and so uncomfortable about what is going on? Did it ever occur to pro-choicers that women who are in this situation might feel empowered by viewing their baby's ultrasound - that someone who is scared and unsure might finally come to a true decision upon seeing exactly what it is that they are thinking about destroying? And who exactly is trying to manipulate here? The abortion clinics and doctors who perform abortions on terrified, sobbing women without a thought to whether or not this is truly what these women want; or the pro-lifers that give women information and encouragement on their pregnancy in the form of an ultrasound that shows them exactly what is going on inside their womb, and information and resources that will allow women to protect and nurture the new life within them.

In my opinion, the answer is pretty clear.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Genesis

Just in case you haven't yet seen this video ... watch it, it is awesome!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Censorship?

Hi all,

Recently, a story spread like wildfire on Facebook - the story behind the photo below.



I'm sure all of you pro-lifers have seen the picture of Baby Samuel's surgery before, but many people haven't. One of my friends shared the story on Facebook, originally posted and written by someone else. About five minutes after I shared the photo, it had three likes, several comments, and three more shares.  Everyone I talked to simply thought the picture was phenomenal, and were amazed that fetal surgery is even possible. You'd think this would be a pretty amazing story to share. Apparently, Facebook doesn't think so.

The next morning I checked my Facebook and found that my fetal surgery post had disappeared. It was gone from all of my friends' pages as well. In fact, I couldn't find it anywhere. Facebook had taken it down.

Since then I have heard that the story and photo were removed because of the "graphic content".

Here is the story that accompanied the photo:

"A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the paper, you probably will never see it. The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner.

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs  these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. During the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor of the gift of life."

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture.

She said, "The photo reminds us my pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, its about a little person." You can see the actual picture, and it is awesome ... incredible.

Pass it on.. the world needs to see this one."

So, what do you think? Is this a case of censorship, or is the photo above really too graphic to have on a Facebook profile?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Does the Pro-life Movement Help Women? ... and other myths

Staying up-to-date on abortion news and reading through philosophical and medical arguments in favour or against abortion can be a really depressing task. You encounter so much rationalization and anger, that it can be difficult to know how to respond without bursting into tears. But one argument that I've come up against a lot lately is the fact that pro-lifers only care about the women and the fetus before birth - after birth we leave them hanging out to dry and God help them if they're poor or in abusive homes. I kind of like reading about this side of the argument because it is so obviously untrue, and finding information that proves it wrong is such a life-afirming and hopeful activity. So today I thought I'd write about the ways in which the pro-life movement is providing help to women and babies everywhere. First off, this is something every casual pro-lifer should know, that way if they get hit with this argument they know how to educate their opponent. But more importantly, if anyone out there is pregnant with a surprise baby, there are REALLY good resources and information out there for you, and hopefully this entry will help you find some of them. :)

Pro-choice Myth #1:
Pro-lifers are only interested in forcing women into giving birth through exploitation and guilt.

Fact:
We're interested in making it possible for women to choose life. Too often women in crisis pregnancy situations believe that they only have one choice - abortion. We're here to show them that they don't have to choose abortion, and that there are other options out there. For instance, take a look at the Feminists for Life website. They have great resources for pregnant women. An excerpt from their Mission page reads: "If you believe that no women should be forced to choose between sacrificing her education and career plans and sacrificing her child [...] join us in challenging the status quo." This definitely does not sound like a group interested in forcing women into giving birth. If you look on their Pregnancy Resources page, they have some great projects, including the "New National Directory of Campus Resources", an AMAZING resource for US students who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.

Pro-choice Myth #2:
Crisis Pregnancy Centres coerce and mislead women into giving birth, and then abandon the mother and child to a life of poverty and abuse.

Fact: Pregnancy Care Centres are there to provide help and options to pregnant women. If you go to the Campaign for Life Coalition website, click on "Abortion", where you will find a tonne of information, including facts on abortion in Canada, abortion videos, pro-life talking points, and women speaking out on abortion - sure sounds like an organization trying to coerce and mislead people. Anyways, they have a page called "Pregnancy Help", where you can find a pretty comprehensive list of pregnancy centres throughout Canada. I clicked on all the websites available under "Ontario", and this is what I found (if you don't want to read through all of my summaries of CPC's in Ontario, you can skip down to myth #3):

Brant Pregnancy & Resource Centre:  The homepage already belies the myth that we abandon women once they've given birth. Under pregnancy they list pregnancy options, pre-natal education, post partum support, post adoption support, post abortion support, miscarriage/infant loss, one-on-one peer support, and self-administered pregnancy test. Note all of the post-[insert word here] supports they offer, and notice how all of the things they list don't just apply to women who are in crisis pregnancy situations. Clearly they are interested in helping all women, not just women who might abort their child. Also, under their list of programs, they have a program called "Growing Hearts" which is a parenting support program designed for moms who have children in grade school (notice - this is AFTER birth!). They also have a program called M.O.P.S. for soon-to-be mothers, all the way to mothers of pre-school aged children. In addition, they provide help for absent or disengaged fathers, as well as a "Manhood" program (evidently for Christians) that help men deal with identity issues (oh look at that - they aren't just interested in dealing with abortion-minded women, but are interested in helping families!). They also have a "Lets Get Real" section, with abortion facts, information on open adoptions, help for post-abortion grief, and many other resources. They also offer confidential, judgement-free help. Really sounds like a coercive environment to me *sarcasm*.

The Pregnancy Care Centre (Toronto): They provide free services in several languages. Their services include free pregnancy tests and information, abortion information (procedures and risks), support for post-abortive women, and pregnancy options and referrals to support agencies. They also offer something called the Life Boat Program, which helps create a plan for the future of both mother and child, they provide mentor support for moms (note: NOT just pregnant women!), and their resource referrals include housing, adoption, medical, legal, educational, health, and financial help. They are also asking for donations of diapers, baby wipes, and bottles, so they obviously help out on the practical side as well. Their support workers are trained to help expectant mothers explore their options, including parenting, adoption and abortion. They stress taking the time to learn about options in order to make an informed decision. They also state that they are not a medical facility, and do not refer for or preform abortions. They do, however, give you information on abortion procedures and risks in a confidential, private appointment. Yet another CPC that isn't coercive, provides comprehensive help, and doesn't abandon mothers once they give birth. Awesome.

Birthright International (they are located in many cities): The philosophy of this CPC is one I think everyone can get behind. Their only priority is helping the mom and baby. They do not show abortion slides or pictures, picket clinics, and are not involved in the public abortion debate at all. Its services are free of charge, and it does not have any religious, public or political affiliation. They offer non-judgmental, confidential support for women in crisis pregnancies, free pregnancy tests, medical referrals, legal referrals, educational assistance and referrals, maternity and baby clothes, housing referrals, referrals for professional counselling and to social agencies. They offer information on prenatal development, job search/career development, adoption, pregnancy and childbirth, child care options, and child safety issues. This is another CPC that is not interested in forcing a women into giving birth, but provides comprehensive help to allow women to keep their children and give their children a good life. They also state in their philosophy that they do not use any scare tactics to coerce women into choosing life. So much for this pro-choice myth.

Niagara Life Centre: This is another CPC that is not misleading. They state on their homepage that they are Christian-based and provide counselling services. They do not just focus on pregnancy, but also provide aid and counselling for marriage and family breakdowns, depression, grief, anger, co-dependency, parenting and post-abortion trauma. Notice that this CPC is also interested in helping families as well as individual women. The goal of this agency is to inspire life change. Go to their FAQ's to see all the issues their counselling is prepared to address. Yet another pro-life organization that is not obsessed with giving birth, but is instead interested in providing real help for people no matter their life issues.


Stratford House of Blessing: This Christian organization provides a wide range of services. Their resources include: a food bank which provides an emergency hamper once a month to those under the poverty line, a clothing cupboard which provides clients with clothing at no cost, and a furniture bank which provides furniture and attempts to supply appliances as well. Their programs include Home With a Heart (helping families with homemaking), Cooking on a Budget, thINK Food (trading in donated, used ink cartridges for money to buy food for their food bank), Phones for Food (same idea except with cell phones), Off to School smiling (providing school supplies and a new outfit for the first day of school), and Christmas Hampers. Like all the other organizations discussed, they also provide support and referrals for a wide range of issues. In addition to ALL of these services, the Stratford House of Blessing also runs a Pregnancy Care Centre. They provide one-on-one support, counselling, and free education and services. Their free services include pregnancy tests (identical to those used in hospitals), education on pregnancy, prenatal development and care, child birth and child care, adoption, and many other issues. They also provide help for post-abortion and post-miscarriage grief. They provide referrals. They also provide maternity clothes, baby clothes, furnishings, diapers, and formula. All for free. Considering the wide range of services offered here, its quite obvious this organization is not just interested in coercing women into giving birth, but provides real help and education, as well as help for anyone living under the poverty line in the community. They also have a disclaimer: that their information is not meant as a substitute for professional or medical advice. So, no purposeful misleading happening hear either.

The Saint Monica House: They provide support to pregnant and parenting young women through residential supported housing and community programs. So right off the bat, we know that this organization also does not abandon women once they have given birth. In fact, they specifically offer help to parents! They also state that they provide a non-judgemental atmosphere for pregnant youth to choose between adoption or parenting. So they tell their clients the choices they promote - hard to make a case for coercion here as well. They also offer subsidized housing for single mothers and their children. They also offer support services including parenting classes, pre and post-adoption support, health care and prenatal classes, career counselling, toy-lending library, referrals, child development assessments, and workshops, to name a few. Their support is 24-hour. They also have a nursery for babies up to 11 months on site. Sounds like they offer comprehensive and meaningful help to me!

Other CPC's for you to research:
Elisha House, a pregnancy and family support centre
Haldimand Pregnancy Care Centre

So, I think that provides overwhelming evidence that pro-lifers actually are interested in helping women, children, and families in a supportive and non-manipulative environment.

Pro-choice Myth #4:
Pro-lifers harm women by providing them with false information.

Fact: Its true that some pro-lifers don't check their facts, but many major pro-life sites are factual, honest, and well-sourced.

Some examples:
Abort73: This website has a huge database of information on abortion facts and pro-life philosophies.
Canadian Physicians for Life: A website maintained by Canadian doctors.  They provide statistics, health information, legislation information, and polls and public opinion information on life and bioethics issues in Canada.
Abortion In Canada: A website on abortion issues in Canada, with facts, stats, history, health effects, abortion methods, and funding information.
Campaign for Life Coalition: A political initiative website with a wealth of information on life issues, from pro-life activities to election information and politician voting records to factual information on prenatal development, abortion, cloning, etc.

In addition to great resources online, pro-lifers are very active in making sure women who are considering abortion are able to make informed decisions. Abortion is an irreversible, elective surgery, and we want to make sure women know the truth beforehand. We campaign for mandatory waiting periods, ultrasound laws, and full disclosure on health risks, abortion methods, and fetal development. These are NOT the actions of an organization interested in misleading women and providing false information.

Pro-choice Myth #5:
Pro-lifers are all conservative religious nuts interested in legislating morality and forcing everyone to become Christian.

Fact: This could not be farther from the truth. We are a diverse group of people of all ages and stripes - look at organizations such as Feminists for Life, Secular Pro-life, Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League, Democrats for Life of America, National Campus Life Network, and many more!

So, next time a pro-choicer hits you with one of these myths, remember all the information here and be prepared to correct their assumptions and stereotypes. Also, remember if you ever get pregnant, or if you know someone who's in a crisis pregnancy situation - there are resources out there and there are many, many people willing to help you and support you throughout your pregnancy and on into your life as a parent.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Maternal Mortality

A very interesting speech from the SPUC blog: http://spuc-director.blogspot.com/2011/09/pro-abortion-ideology-is-costing-lives.html

I especially love this quote on abortion in South Africa:
"It is farcical for the government to talk about safe abortions in situation s without sterile surgical facilities, safe blood transfusion or emergency back-up. Running abortion clinics in slums, shanty towns and the bush will harm or kill women as well as killing babies."

A Contemporary View of Abortion from a Novel

I love to read. Over the summer holidays I probably read through at least a book a week, most of them fantasy or mystery novels. I did branch out a bit though, and read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

First off, it was an amazing book so don't let this entry dissuade you from reading it. This book is set up as a historical mystery and adult fairy tale rolled into one. One of the most poignant and driving themes of the book is the connection we feel with our family - our need to know who are family is and our need to have a family of our own. Much of the novel deals with the relationship between mother and daughter: the strength of such a bond, and the emptiness felt when such a bond is non-existant. I found it curious, and rather sad, when abortion was mentioned in a very cursory manner.

A secondary character mentions, just before the climax of the novel, that she regrets never becoming a mother, but had an abortion when she was a young woman because, at the time time of her pregnancy, she wasn't ready to start a family. The reaction of the main character to this story is strangely lifeless, considering she has spent most of her time within the novel struggling to find out who her grandmother's true parents were, and considering her own backstory (her husband and child were killed in a car crash). The story barely pauses at this point, and simply goes rushing on to the conclusion, which celebrates the strength and tragedy of the mother-daughter bond, and demonstrates in a very shocking manner the lengths that we will sometimes go to have our own family.

It's sad, really. The abortion narrative was placed there in juxtaposition to the main storyline, but barely any time is given to the implications of this character's decisions. And most readers, when passing over this story line, would probably never bat an eye, and simply take this small story as ordinary and unremarkable, and not realize the irony that a novel which focuses on the importance of family ties and on the bond between mother and child, should gloss over the killing of one's own child in such a casual manner.

This is how many people in North America view abortion today. They look at it from afar, and gloss over the details without much thought. We have to get them to take a closer look, to start to examine the implications of our pro-choice society.

At least this novel mentioned abortion. Too often it is treated as something you just don't talk about. And minds will never be changed if our culture treats abortion in such a manner.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

So this is weird ...

It's a double post today, after neglecting this blog for awhile.

I just read this article on LifeSiteNews. Apparently, we give maternity benefits to mothers who have aborted their children. Canada is strange!

Seeing Hope (4)

So, it's high time for another "Seeing Hope" blog post!

First, an awesome initiative from Feminists for Life: a national campus registry for pregnant and parenting students. Seriously SO AMAZING! Doing research for the University Series (which I have also sadly neglected for awhile) has shown me how hard it is to find help when you are on your own and pregnant. Hopefully we get / there is something like this for Canadian student mothers! In the meantime, I'll hurry up and update my small contribution. :)

Also wanted to include this neat initiative called Image Clear Ultrasound Mobile (I See You Mobile). They are a fleet of mobile ultrasound vehicles and pregnancy centres which go directly to women and show them their unborn babies. Cool idea, especially great for women who don't have access to a crisis pregnancy centres! You can follow them on Twitter as well at @icumobile.

For another great way to see hope, just go on Twitter and view the huge number of groups posting every day and getting the word out on life. Seriously, it has been inspiring for me.



Friday, 26 August 2011

A Gorgeous Photo

so beautiful - but very sad. 

According to the blog, this is how the majority of aborted babies look before they die.


It doesn't say where the photo came from, so I'm not sure who to credit. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mother Teresa


She's so eloquent, just had to put this all out there :)

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts - a child - as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters.
And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlements by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign."

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurst her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion."

"Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!"

To the President and First Lady: "What is taking place in America is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

The Abortion Debate is not a Religious Issue

From the National Post: Is the Abortion Debate Really About Religion?

I've always said you don't have to be Christian to believe that abortion is wrong. The fact that I am Christian has absolutely no bearing on the fact that I'm pro-life. And there ARE non-Christians out there who are just as pro-life as I am. Love this article, and so glad its getting some face time on the news. So many people dismiss the pro-life position because it is "Christian" (as if that is a good reason to ever dismiss any position *sighs* but that's beyond the point). Anyway, hope this makes some people think about their stereotypes, on both sides of the debate. :)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Further Discussion on a Pro-choice Argument: "It's unfair to force a woman to carry an unwanted child"

So, I've been blogging all summer about my pro-life experiences, and my last post got the attention of some pro-choicers :) ... (and yes, I am happy about that. After all, what's the good of having an opinion if you never talk to people that disagree?) A pro-choice blogger named Beth posted an argument against my argument - well, it's not really my argument, I heard someone else use it and liked the idea and thought I'd take a stab at explaining it. You can find Beth's post here.

So I won't go through all the thought experiments again, you can go and read my previous post for that (or just read Beth's post, she explains everything very well).

Here is Beth's response to the Prankster analogy:

"What Prolife girl fails to acknowledge in this analogy is that the President of the Prankster's Guild isn't at the mercy of his biological design to commit pranks. Women, even when they utilize preventative measures, are susceptible to a condition that places their very existence at risk regardless of their consent. Judith Jarvis Thomson does a great job at demonstrating this point in the example below.
'If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would be absurd to say, "Ah, now he can stay, she's given him a right to the use of her house - for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars burgle."'"

Whew that's a lot of quotations there. Anyway, I believe that this analogy is flawed for three reasons:

1. A house is not meant to be burgled.
2. The burglar knowingly enters a house which is not built for him.
3. Burglaries are events which the victims cannot control.

The house in the burglary analogy is not built so someone can come and steal from it. A uterus is built to house and nourish an unborn child. That's why it exists. The very definition of a uterus makes that perfectly clear (btw Beth acknowledges this later on, I just thought I'd point it out again because it is a flaw in Judith Jarvis Thomson's argument):

u·ter·us/ˈyo͞otərəs/



noun: The organ in the lower body of a woman or female mammal where offspring are conceived and in which they gestate before birth; the womb.

So in the case of a pregnancy, the "burglar" (i.e.: the baby) is exactly where it belongs - inside the uterus. In addition, the child is placed within the mother. He or she doesn't enter the mother of their own volition, like the burglar, or like some person who, not paying attention to where they are walking, accidentally wanders into a house that doesn't belong to them. The baby has no choice in the matter - they are forced, by nature, to exist once a sexual relation has taken place. And they are quite literally trapped within the mother. These two facts - that the uterus exists, biologically, to nurture an unborn child, and that the child MUST exist within the uterus once it has been created, should have weight. A person who enters someone else's home does not enter a place which exists to nurture him or her. A person who enters someone else's home does so because they are capable of deciding to ... they are NOT dependent on the home for survival, and they were NOT forced into the home.

The crux of Beth's argument, I believe, is this: "Women, even when they utilize preventative measures, are susceptible to a condition that places their very existence at risk regardless of their consent." This is why, from her premise, a burglar analogy seems to work. After all, burglaries are things that people cannot control - if someone decides to burgle you, well, they've decided to, and if they're good at committing burglaries, they'll go through with it whether you try to stop them or not. And obviously that's unfair. But what Beth, and a lot of pro-choicers, fail to acknowledge is that consensual sex is entirely in the control of the two people involved. They are not victims of something that was forced onto them. The chose to have sex, and everybody knows that, biologically speaking, mammals have sex so that they can have babies.

Let's go back to the Prankster thought experiment. Here, pranking is the choice. It is analogous to deciding to have sex. After all, I could just as easily say that the Prankster, by his very nature, is extremely tempted to prank. And because he enjoys pranking so much, he must prank, because it is in his nature to. Unfortunately, he failed to prevent the victim of his prank from becoming dependant on him. Maybe he tried his best to make sure that it didn't happen. But, as there was always a chance that it could, he is still responsible for the victim's condition. If you were the victim, and you found yourself attached to the prankster after being kidnapped, and he told you, "I'm extremely sorry, but I tried my very best to make sure my prank would not cause you to become dependant on me, but my best efforts failed. This was always a risk, however small. And I love to prank - its my life. You can see why this had to happen. I know you're going to die, but I just can't let you use my body. I withdraw my consent.", would you decide that the prankster has no responsibility for your life (and your death)?

Using the example of a home ... a better analogy would be if you invited a person within your home, locked them within a room that could only open nine months later, and then decided that they were not welcome - and so killed them.

So, to summarize: babies are trapped, in 98% of abortion cases, because the mother and father did something that they knew was (biologically) meant to create children. They might have tried their best to prevent a child, but there's always a failure rate to any type of contraception (natural, pill, and barrier methods).

I.e.: the child is a natural consequence of their act. It exists in the uterus, and has no choice but to exist, and cannot leave. Like the prankster, deciding that the dependant cannot stay is effectively creating them to die. I think most people, in the case of a born baby (who is still dependant on the mother's body for well-being and survival through nursing)  would not advocate for the child to be born and then killed. Infanticide is recognized as being horribly cruel - even in eras long past where the dependancy of a newborn child on their mother's body was much stronger (especially if no other pregnant mothers existed for miles around - which I'm sure happened to some people at some point). Formula did not exist in Roman times, when infanticide was widely practiced, and yet we still condemn the practice.

Anyway, I disagree that the home analogies demonstrate that "a woman is capable of participating in consensual sex without consenting to the use of her body afterwards", as it is she and the father who created the trapped child in the first place. People entering your home uninvited are not created by you. People-seeds drifting through the air like pollen are not created by you. A child, resulting from your consensual act, is created by you. You put the child in a situation of dependancy, and that child exists exactly where it is supposed to be. I fail to see how this could not result in the mother having a responsibility towards her child. A responsibility which includes not killing her child. This is not "punishing" women for their biological design - this is recognizing that a woman HAS a biological design, and that knowing her biological design, she should use it wisely. It's a similar to the idea that a person with STD's has a duty to inform his or her sexual partners of his or her disease, since he or she could unwittingly infect them, even when using precautions.

Equal rights to life DO exist for both the women and fetus, but the person providing the housing does not ultimately have the right to decide whether or not to share her body if she is the one who put the other in that situation. A single human being is obligated to share their body (or home) with another if they are the one who created that dependancy (i.e.: trapped the person within the home). Of course Cillian Murphy isn't morally obligated to kiss a dying Beth - he is not Beth's father, he did not cause Beth to become sick, and his lips are not meant to kiss Beth's lips. A father and a mother both create their child, and so have a responsibility to that child. In the case of born children, this is recognized through child support and anti-child abuse laws. In the case of unborn children, it is not. We pro-lifer's are just trying to change that. :)

P.S. Notice I never once said "RABBLE RABBLE Sanctity of Life RABBLE RABBLE. Exit." Ugh.
But I just had to comment on her last paragraph, because I absolutely love it ... actually no, I don't. Unlike the rest of her post, which I thought was well-written and very civil, it made me really angry. I'm hoping that the following paragraph doesn't mean what is says, and instead it is simply a poor expression of how life is not fun or easy or even very beautiful sometimes (and if that's the case, I absolutely agree). But anyway, I felt I had to respond to this just in case.

"For anyone who still suffers from the fanatical delusion that life is sacred, I cordially invite you to visit Sudan, Congo, or Somalia. A quick vacation in one of these spots should cure you of any fantasies that persuade you to believe that life is in any way, shape or form, sacred."

If read at face value, I think this is perhaps one of the meanest things that I've ever read. So because these people are suffering, because they are trapped in a world where they are offered very little relief from their suffering, their lives, and consequently our lives, are not sacred? The very reason such suffering is so horrible and tragic is because their lives ARE sacred. If they aren't, as Beth has claimed, then can we go and bomb the living daylights out of these people so that their suffering can end? I don't think so. Killing the poor is obviously not an acceptable solution for poverty. Why? Because life is sacred (or valuable, or precious ... pick your adjective). I have a friend from Iraq, another country that has gone through some terrible suffering. Luckily, his immediate family managed to escape when he was quite young. The rest of his family only recently managed to leave the Middle East and come to America. They went through a lot. They witnessed a lot of unnecessary suffering. They lived through a lot of unnecessary suffering. Their lives, and the lives of their countrymen, are still sacred. They are still precious, they are still valuable, and they are some of the most joy-filled people that I know. They would challenge anyone who claimed their suffering makes it otherwise.

P.P.S. I thought I'll also include a simple mathematical statement that pro-lifers use a lot. To have a right to bodily autonomy, you must be alive. Therefore, Right to Life > Bodily Autonomy. In fact, Right to Life > All Other Rights, because you cannot have rights if you were never alive / never existed. Ergo, the Baby's Right to Life > the Mother's Right to Bodily Autonomy. Combine that with the mother's (and father's) responsibility to the child that they created, and I cannot understand how 98% of abortions, performed for reasons other than rape (which is not addressed here), can possibly be acceptable.

Oh! And one more thing ... a pro-choice society could never exist in Narnia. C. S. Lewis was a Christian apologist, and thus pretty much pro-life. :) [if you followed the Twitter conversation, you'll understand]

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Discussion of Pro-Choice Opinion: "It's unfair to force a woman to carry an unwanted child"

From my experience, this is the opinion most often used to support a pro-choice viewpoint, and the reason that most people are themselves pro-choice. Even people who are personally pro-life can be publicly pro-choice, because they also believe that it is unfair to force a pregnant woman to carry her unwanted baby. People who don't ever pause to think closely about abortion, also decide that they are pro-choice for this very reason.

That's why I think this is Pro-choice Opinion we need to focus on the most. It ignores the intrinsic nature of the unwanted child completely (so personhood arguments largely fail), and focuses solely on the emotional and physical state of the woman. She is, after all, more visible, and much easier to relate to. Most people have no problem imagining what it would be like to suddenly become pregnant - I myself realize that if I were to become pregnant today, it would be extremely tempting to try to erase the whole incident.

However, from a pro-lifer's point of view, it is perfectly fair to "force"a woman to carry her unwanted child to term. For a pro-choicer, it is not. I believe that the strongest pro-choice argument in support of this opinion is the Violinist thought experiment, first proposed by Judith Jarvis Thomson in 1971 (see the wikipedia article here). The thought experiment is pretty simple:

You've been kidnapped by the Society of Music Lovers, and wake up hooked up to a famous, unconscious violinist who is dying of a rare disease. According to your medical records, only you can save him. You must remain hooked up to the violinist for nine months, thus keeping him alive. If you decide to unhook yourself, he will die. Since the violinist is in a coma and is unaware of what has been done to you, he is an innocent person. And like all people, he has a right to life. The Society of Music Lovers therefore claims that you are morally obligated to remain hooked up to the violinist. 


Most people, when presented with this thought experiment, recognize that, while it would be very generous of you to keep the violinist alive, you are not obligated to remain hooked up to the violinist since you were forced to become so in the first place. As an individual, you have a right to bodily autonomy. This is why people cannot be forced to give blood, or donate organs.

What is so powerful about this argument is that it acknowledges the fetus's (i.e.: violinist's) right to life, but in this thought experiment, it does not follow that the fetus/violinist has a right to what is necessary to sustain his life.

Another thought experiment can be proposed to refute the first:

This time imagine that you, a perfectly healthy individual, are kidnapped by the President of the Prankster's Guild, who decides to play a cruel trick on you. You are knocked unconscious, and wake up in the hospital hooked up to him. He is currently asleep, you are horrified, and immediately unhook yourself and run for the door. But as you are running, you notice yourself becoming weaker, dizzy, and nauseous. A nurse runs in. "Stop!" she cries. "You'll die if you unhook yourself! You must remain there for nine months, only then can you stay alive without the President of the Prankster's Guild".  You quickly run back and hook yourself back up to the Prankster. Several hours later he wakes up. He looks at you, then calls for the nurse. "Nurse," he says. "I have a right to bodily autonomy. I do not want this person using my body to stay alive. I did not fully realize the repercussions of this prank. Unhook me."


In this case, it is obvious that the President of the Prankster's Guild has a moral obligation to keep you alive, since he is the one who caused your dependence in the first place. This scenario is much more analogous to pregnancy and abortion, where the mother and father (i.e.: the prankster) both engage in an act which creates a new person (you), and causes the person to become dependent on the mother/prankster. As in the thought experiment above, the mother then has an obligation to sustain the child's life, since she (and the father with her), caused the child's dependancy in the first place.

So this is why it is perfectly fair to expect a woman to carry her baby to term. Notice that the above thought experiment does not address pregnancies which result from rape. However, it is important to realize that most abortions are not done in the case of a pregnancy due to rape. According a Guttmacher Institute fact sheet on abortions in the United States, out of all women who have had an abortion:

- 3/4 obtain an abortion because they are have a concern or responsibility towards other individuals
- 3/4 say they can't afford the child
- 3/4 say the baby would interfere with work, school, or their ability to care for other dependents
- 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent, or are having problems with the father

Therefore the majority of abortions are preformed for reasons other than rape.

To take this a little further, according to this paper, used as a reference on the Guttmacher fact sheet, less than one percent of women who have an abortion are doing so because they became pregnant due to rape (see this table  for a break-down of all reasons US women have abortions). This means that if the above argument is true, and a woman is obligated to support throughout pregnancy the child that she herself created, 99% of abortions in the United States are morally wrong (if you don't like the use of the word "morally" you can just use "wrong" or "unfair", or "violate the obligation of the 'prankster'", or what have you).

Disclaimer: I am against abortions in the cases of rape an incest as well, I just chose to stick with the specific arguments of the Violinist thought experiment for this post. Incidentally the pro-choice Violinist thought experiment is limited to addressing cases of rape, for the exact reasons I went though. I'll address the rape argument another time, though it has been done beautifully elsewhere.

Update: for a great (and far more detailed) discussion of the Violinist, you can view this pro-life podcast from Life Report.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Pro-Choice Hard Cases

There's been a lot of articles on multiples-reduction and sex-selection abortions lately. And it's gotten me thinking. Pro-lifers must always defend the extreme examples in the abortion debate. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing - after all, the hard cases are difficult to discuss for good reason, and all good pro-lifers should have their opinions and defence of them sorted out in their mind. These cases include:

1. Abortion for the life/health of the mother (I deal with this question here)
2. Abortion in the case of rape/incest
3. Abortion in the case of fetus abnormality

Abortion in these cases are often used by pro-choicers as a defence for abortion-on-demand (i.e.: abortion for any and all reasons, at any time during pregnancy).  While the pro-life hard cases should be discussed, doesn't it strike you as odd that pro-choicers can use (and have used) extreme examples to support ALL abortions. Try using this logic against them - use the pro-choice hard cases to show that abortion isn't perhaps the great and amazing feminist accomplishment it is made out to be.

Here are some pro-choice hard cases:

1. Sex selection abortion
2. Twin/multiples reduction abortion (a post by Les Femmes discusses this)
3. Abortion for minor and fixable abnormalities such as cleft-lip
4. Abortion of viable fetuses (see this post from Shouting It Loud)
5. Partial-birth abortions
6. Forced abortion (e.g.: one-child policy)

Next time someone turns the discussion to hard cases, ask if they support abortion-on-demand (most vocal pro-choicers I know do), and then bring up these pro-choice hard cases. It will give you a much better idea of where they stand, and also hopefully force them to think hard about their opinion.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Volition

I don't think I can watch this video without crying. It's absolutely amazing. Share it with everyone.


You can find a compilation of other pro-life videos here, under the "Pro-life Media" section.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Abortion vs. Shopping - are they even comparable?

Well ... looks like I'm never buying anything by Kenneth Cole -_-' They currently have a pro-choice campaign (other issues are also included, such as gay rights and war - navigate around to view them too) which compares the right to choose an abortion with the right to choose a handbag ... because a woman "carries" both (see the Live Action article here).

Seriously, who compares abortion to shopping anyways? This an insult to women who choose life, and an insult to women who choose abortion. Even if you're pro-choice, I think most people are reasonable enough to realize that choosing abortion is an extremely difficult decision, and a harrowing experience. Abortion is nothing like shopping. For one thing, the act of shopping itself is basically morally neutral. And it is rarely emotionally difficult to do.

Their current question regarding abortion is "Should the government have the right to choose?"
I'm not even sure how to answer that question. By banning abortion a government is not "choosing" anything - at least not in the ordinary sense of the word. A government would simply be making a law which limits what actions we can or can't do ... something that is pretty much normal for a government to do. For example, we're not allowed to drink and drive here in Ontario. I guess that's a "choice" that the government has made for us. But it is a reasonable choice to enforce, because it protects people. Banning abortion would protect people as well - it would protect children from having their lives brutally and unfairly terminated, and it would protect women from killing someone without realizing it (well, here I'm assuming that a lot of women who have an abortion rationalize away the implications of ending a life - I think overall that's a safe assumption to make. After all, few people want to kill their children once they are born - once they obviously human and alive). And besides, by banning something the government is not deciding who will do the action and who won't, they are simply stating that anyone who chooses such an action would be violating the laws of the land, and will be prosecuted under the law.

One comment on the Live Action article makes an interesting point regarding the government question:
"The governments right to choose? Don't they do that in China?" - Cassie Wonderalke

Anyway, now I'm really pissed off. And I wonder ... will we ever see a major company come out in support of life? I haven't heard of any, and I'm not holding my breath.

:(

Monday, 8 August 2011

Rejection from Within

If you haven't read this story from LifeSiteNews yet, you can read it here.

Basically, Crossroads Canada (they're walking across Canada to end abortion) reached Montreal and went to the historic Notre Dame Basilica to pray. Because they were wearing their Pro-life t-shirts, they were told that they weren't allowed to enter the basilica because the message on their clothing was "too political".

They ended up being allowed into the adoration chapel, where they wouldn't be seen by most of the public.

Awesome. And a little ridiculous, considering they've never been refused entrance anywhere before - not even in public places like restaurants.

Update: Here's what happened, according to the Crossroads Canada blog.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Pro-life Art: A Voice for the Voiceless by *The-Howling

Sorry for the long absence, I recently became obsessed with Castle and I spent the last several days watching all three seasons. Absolutely amazing! I LOVE Castle!

This is just a quick check in, to post a beautiful piece of art that I found on deviantART (if you're into art - join, its overall a really great community). The piece is call A Voice for the Voiceless, and you can find it here. Read through some of the comments as well, the artist does a wonderful job defending her pro-life views. I just wish there were more people like her out there!

<3

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Where are all the Canadian Pro-lifers?

This is just an observation I've had once I started this blog, and began to seriously research pro-life issues. I am finding it really difficult to find active pro-life blogs by Canadians, or really any pro-life information from Canadian sites. The vast majority of pro-life sites that I've found through Twitter and Google are American. In terms of the traffic on my site, here's the breakdown:

United States: 383
Canada: 96 (minus a bunch of my own views before I realized how to stop Blogger from tracking them)
Australia & United Kingdom: 8
And then a bunch of other countries with a couple of views each.

So, where are all the Canadian pro-lifers? Is the abortion issue just a lot more important in the States? How can we have that same momentum here in the great white north?

Update: Sweet post by Suzanne at Big Blue Wave here ... and some awesome ideas! I know at my high school we often had Coffee Houses for good causes - though never a pro-life cause (of course), even though we were a Catholic high school. But so many students got involved, and if there was a place for all of them to go, with an overall pro-life message where they could contribute, a lot of students would get involved ... and it would be a great way to get some people thinking :)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Raising Kids As a Student, The University Series: McMaster University

I decided to start with McMaster University, because out of all the universities I've looked into so far, this will be the easiest to write about. First, a little background on the school:

McMaster was founded in 1887, and is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. McMaster is a research-forcused university, and uses a student-centered, problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning known as the "McMaster Model". The school's homepage can be found here.

Location
Hamilton, Ontario

Size
21 173 full-time undergrads
3025 full-time graduates
296 acres, 45 buildings

I began my search at the Campus Health Centre website, whose mission is to "enhance education through health, and health through education". Their services relevant to sexually active or pregnant women include E-fill, which provides female students access to their birth control prescriptions online, sexuality choices counselling, other birth control options, pregnancy testing, emergency contraception pills, screening for sexually transmitted infections, as well as STD prevention counselling. As far as I could see, there was no information available regarding pregnancy options beyond what to do if you forget to take your birth control pill. On their Health Topics page, there are two articles listed under the label Sexual Health: B.Y.O.C - Bring Your Own Condom, and The Birth Control Pill and Pregnancy. In the Birth Control and Pregnancy article, they briefly mention actual pregnancies: "The cost of unintended pregnancy in Canada is a burden to the healthcare system with $30 million being spent on providing abortion in 1998". Nothing on what to do if you are pregnant, nothing on the options open to pregnant women beyond a brief mention of the costs associated with abortion. Thanks McMaster for reminding me that $30 million of our tax dollars are spent on killing. At least we both agree that its an unnecessary burden on the health care system.


So I had to continue my search elsewhere. McMaster also has a Student Health Education Centre (SHEC), which provides peer-based health education, resources, and support. Under their list of services they include a few possibly relevant services regarding pregnancy: confidential peer support, resources (books and pamphlets), and free confidential pregnancy testing. As an aside, they also offer free feminine hygiene products - pretty awesome.


So anyway, by this point I got a little impatient so I searched "McMaster pregnancy" in google, and found McMaster's policy pages on pregnancy and parental leave (here and here). Both pages only apply to McMaster employees and their families. I think (not 100% sure though) that graduate students would fall under this policy, but not undergrads. 


I also searched "McMaster daycare" in google and found that the school has a licensed daycare centre run by the Student Union. From their website [emphasis added]: 
"The Child Care Centre provides educational programs for children 18 months to 6 years old. The Centre also offers a program for senior kindergarten children as well as a day camp program during the months of July and August for children 5 to 7 years old. We provide an escort from GR Allan Elementary School back to the centre at ~11:30 a.m. after morning kindergarten during the school year.
The Centre's first line of clients are the children of McMaster undergraduate students. The Centre also accepts, on a priority basis, enrollment of children of graduate students, McMaster staff and faculty, and the community at large."
The Daycare hours are Mon-Fri 7:30 am - 6:00 pm, which is not bad considering undergraduate students often have classes starting at 8:30 am, but is not so great for those students who find themselves with night classes.   
The daycare fees for full time care (5 days/week) are as follows (effective Spring 2011):
Preschoolers: $827.00/month
Toddlers: $975.00/month
For part time care:
Preschoolers: $509.00/month for 3 days/week, $343.00/month for 2 days/week
Toddlers: $600.00/month for 3 days/week, $400.00/month for 2 days/week
There is no information offered to undergraduate students on how they could go about paying for the childcare. For instance, they don't mention any possibilities of bursaries, government aid, or financial aid provided through OSAP or McMaster. 


Either way, it is great that the university does offer a daycare specifically for undergraduate students' children. If only it wasn't so hard to find that information, and if only there was more resources available to undergrads (and graduate students) on how to deal with having a kid during school. There is absolutely no information as far as I could see on University policies regarding the completion of exams and assignments, or class attendance, for women who are pregnant or have young children.


There is one more service that I thought could be useful to pregnant women and student families known as McMaster Bread bin. They provide anonymous food assistance and distribution to McMaster students in need. This is actually a great program, so check it out.


However, McMaster University seems to fall short overall. And that, dear readers, is why this school is the easiest to write about ... as in, there was very little to actually write.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Conscientious Objection

A survey conducted in the UK found that a growing number of med students believe that doctors should be able to refuse to provide treatment that they object to on moral, cultural, or religious grounds. An article The Guardian mentions procedures such as contraception, or treatment of someone who has overdosed on drugs or alcohol, but focuses primarily on abortion, which elicited the strongest response.

The survey found that:
- almost a third would not perform an abortion for a congenitally malformed foetus after 24 weeks
- a quarter would not perform an abortion for failed contraception before 24 weeks
- a fifth would not perform an abortion on a minor whose pregnancy was the result of rape

Research Dr. Sophie Strickland says "In light of increasing demand for abortions, these results may have implications for women's access to abortion services in the future."

The article goes on to describe how this has become an increasing worry in some health care circles in the UK. First off, obviously I think that's awesome - though of course, it would be better if the demand for abortions decreased along with the availability of abortion services. The scary part is what the pro-choicers have to say about this:

"Abortion is taught increasingly infrequently in medical school, and students may not be required to engage much with the reasons why a woman may find herself with an unwanted pregnancy and the distress this may cause. All of us involved in women's reproductive healthcare need to ensure that young doctors understand why women need abortions, and that this is a profession to be proud of." - Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service

"Once qualified as doctors, if all these respondents acted on their conscience and refused to perform certain procedures, in may become impossible for conscientious objectors to be accommodated in medicine." - Dr. Strickland

Now in the cases of the treatment of individuals who may die from overdosing on drugs, obviously doctors should be required to perform life-saving procedures. It is the purpose of a doctor to save lives, after all. But the article focuses primarily on anti-abortion views, and that is where these quotes become a little frightening.

Never mind that it is inconceivable to my mind how the abortion profession could be something to be proud of ...! How can anyone be proud of terminating pregnancies when the vast majority of abortions are performed on women and babies who are perfectly healthy? I don't see how anyone, pro-life or pro-choice, could think that that is a good thing, because to my mind it indicates that other options are not widely available to these women, who then feel like abortion is their only "choice".

But to suggest that doctors should be forced to perform a procedure that they believe kills a unique individual ... that is horrifying indeed.

We cannot pass on our sins ...

I just read this amazing opinion piece by Abby Johnson and I had to share it. Everyone should read this.

Abby Johnson: Abortion Doc Told Patient "I Will Take Your Sin"

The thing that horrifies me most about her story is that despite how obviously torn up and scared the woman was about her abortion, the doctor still went through with it. I still can't figure out how he could care enough to say "this is my sin, not yours", but not care enough to refuse to perform the so-called "treatment" that the woman was so conflicted over. You can't reverse an abortion. At the very least, you'd think that pro-choicers and abortion doctors would want their patients to be 100% sure that this was what they wanted - because once its done, they can't go back.

It's so sad.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Abortion to Save the Mother?




These are two amazing photos taken by a med student in India. The mother of this baby was diagnosed with cancer in her cervix, and had a hysterectomy as treatment. The baby was also removed as a result, and here he or she is, completely whole and absolutely beautiful. I was reading over the comments on the image and I wanted to clarify a few things, specifically comments along this vein:

"Yes, I'm not convinced abortion is a crime because, unlike you, I realise that not everything is black and white. Is this abortion a crime? That's what this is - the fetus has been aborted to save the Mother's life (albeit it as a side-effect of having the womb removed) - do we consider this a crime, or is the greater crime to allow the mother to die?" - Yottskry

"Pope Ratzinger will condemn to hell the mother, doctor, and all who participated in this sad, but necessary surgery. Her other ix children will continue to have the love and nurturing of a healthy mother. Perhaps that doesn't matter to the anti-abortion fanatics?" - Sirman42

So I guess the first thing we have to do here is properly define abortion. Is it simply defined as the ending of a pregnancy, regardless of the circumstances? This definition would include miscarriages, and procedures such as this one which inadvertently cause the baby's death. So obviously, if this is how abortion is defined, there are some instances where abortion is a morally acceptable or, at the very least, a morally neutral act. If, however, you define abortion as an act which is performed with the singular purpose of intentionally causing the death of the baby, then our opposition to abortion is hopefully easier to understand. In this case, the procedure that the mother went through would only be considered a hysterectomy, not an abortion. This is because the intention was not to kill the baby, and the action did not directly cause the baby's death. The baby died because the entire womb was surgically removed, not because a doctor dismembered the baby or burned the baby with a saline solution. If this was an abortion as pro-life Catholics define it (since I am a Catholic, that is who I can speak for), then the pictures of this baby would not look beautiful at all.

So, to address the first comment. If you define abortion as the intentional killing of a baby, yes it is a black and white issue because it is always wrong to intentionally kill someone. That is not what happened here. The baby died as a side-affect of the mother's treatment, NOT because it was aborted. And anyway, a hysterectomy is not included as an abortion procedure on any abortion websites I've read.

To address the second comment, Pope Benedict would not condemn this woman, her doctor, or anyone involved in the procedure, to hell, because they did not intentionally kill a baby. They treated the mother's illness. And sadly and very regrettably, the baby died as a result. As long as the intention is not to kill the baby, this is allowed in Catholic teaching. We are against elective abortion. We are against abortions which tear apart the baby's body, or burn it until it dies ... we are not against performing standard, life-saving medical procedures, when the procedure is one that would be used in the case of both a pregnant or non-pregnant woman and when the procedure does not intentionally cause the death of the baby. We are for doing everything possible to save the mother AND the baby, but we recognize that sometimes, it isn't always possible to save both.

Hope that clarifies the issue for all the pro-choice people who might come across this. It is extremely frustrating when people misunderstand your position, and are against it without really knowing what the position is. It happens all the time with Catholic teachings, and it happens all the time to pro-lifers. That's where ignorant statements about the Pope condemning people to hell come from. Incidentally, the Pope cannot condemn people to hell anyways. In fact, the Catholic church has never decisively stated that anyone is in hell, because no one can know the state of someone's soul before they die. Only God does. :)

I'd like to end this post with another quote from the comments.

"what nobody notices is that the foetus we are looking at has just died, or is dying, from hypoxia. not a very pleasant way to go. i have no issue with the reason the abortion was performed, or the fact that it was, but just wish to point out that entities in situations that make them photographable, and that look pretty and fascinating may be suffering, unbeknownst to us because we can't recognise the signs" - restiform body

I don't agree with everything restiform body said, but it is important to remember that while the photos of this baby are beautiful, the baby is dying, and we should acknowledge that.

Update 29/03/2012:
Hi Everyone. I noticed that this is a really popular post, so I thought I'd make a small addition. I talk above about how this photo would not look beautiful if it had been a typical elective abortion procedure. To contrast the above photo, I thought I would show you all some pictures of babies who have been aborted, according to the definition I use above. Here is a video called Created Equal. I warn you, it is VERY graphic (and I have not checked if the images and videos have been verified by a doctor - but they seem consistent with images I have seen which have been medically verified - but of course I am not in the medical field so I cannot say with any certainty whether this is actually the case or not). So watch it if you feel you can (and take it with a tiny grain of salt). I burst into tears halfway through and probably won't ever see it again if I can help it.

Update 25/08/12:
Here is an excellent post by Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma that explores this issue in a very logical framework (I encourage you to read through the whole thing!):
Abortion and the Life of the Mother 

Saturday, 23 July 2011

10 Reasons to be Pro-life

1. The right to life trumps every other right, since you can't have rights if you're dead.

2. Women often feel that they have no choice but to abort - where are their options? No one should feel that it is too difficult to have a baby.

3. No one can look at pictures or videos of abortions and not feel uncomfortable about the practice.

4. Life begins at conception - and personhood begins when life begins. Insisting otherwise simply imposes subjective ideas on the status of our fellow human beings.

5. Women who choose to go through with their pregnancy are looked down upon because they could have had it easier if they chose an abortion - like that's really being pro-choice.

6. Abortion survivors, and other children whose mothers wanted to abort them, should never feel like they shouldn't have been born.

7. Fathers have no control over the fate of their children if the mothers decide to "terminate" them, and that is not fair.

8. Abortions aren't the simple, painless medical procedures that some pro-choicers make them out to be.

9. Everyone deserves to have their chance at life protected - even those who are handicapped, unwanted, or  inconvenient, and especially those who are helpless and voiceless.

10. Being pro-life is being pro-women - pregnancy is a natural, beautiful fact of life, and something only women can do! It is not a disease, and it doesn't need to be "cured". It is an amazing gift.

What are your reasons?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Reaching Out

I haven't written for awhile, simply because I've been having one of those weeks where you constantly feel stressed out, but looking back, you can't really figure out what was bothering you. At least its finally Friday, and I can start this new week fresh :)

I've been thinking a lot about some pro-life outreach issues. How to explain why the unborn are valuable and deserve the same right to life that every born person has. How to discuss abortion issues in a civil and informative way. How to be a witness to life everyday with friends and family without causing conflict between people.

Even though it shouldn't be, sometimes being a witness to life seems like such a challenge. It can be so easy to slip into an apathetic mindset, because this is such a big issue. It doesn't seem appropriate to discuss abortion with family / friends / boyfriends / children / etc... and sometimes it gets to the point where it is really hard to talk about abortion at all.

I am currently at that point in a lot of my relationships. Discussing abortion is such a terrifying thing to do because I don't want to learn something about the people I care about that will lower my opinion of them. Sometimes it is so much easier to just live in ignorance. And then there is the fear of what others with think of me when they find out that I am pro-life in all circumstances. Will they be willing to talk about my views, to consider my reasoning fairly, and to do their own research into being pro-life? Or will they just dismiss my ideas as the convictions of a religious nut who is incapable of thinking for herself? Its difficult to even post pro-life stories on Facebook because I don't want to start flame-wars.

But it always helps to remember that this is exactly how the pro-choice/pro-abortion side will shut us down. By silencing our voices and dismissing our ideas, and influencing the culture around us until it is too late to do anything about it. So always remember, by keeping silent we are helping abortion remain legal.

Besides, isn't the life of at least one baby worth our discomfort?

Monday, 18 July 2011

Seeing Hope (3)

This is an amazing report on prenatal surgery for spina bifida:

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/11/137712436/a-prenatal-surgery-for-spina-bifida-comes-of-age

How anyone could believe that the unborn aren't human after reading about this is beyond me. I mean, a single surgery done before birth can have such an amazing affect on the rest of the baby's life! If the unborn are not truly alive, then why does the prenatal phase have such an impact on "actual" (i.e.: postnatal) life?

How to be best friends with a pro-choicer

One of my oldest and closest friends is about as pro-choice as you can be. She is also one of the only people who I've ever managed to have a civil discussion on abortion with. This is probably because we both hate conflict.

The last time we talked about abortion she agreed that an abortion decision should not just involve the mother - but also necessarily involves the father and the child in the womb. She did not deny the dangers of having an abortion (i.e.: infertility, infection, even death), or the fact that a fetus can feel pain. She even found it very difficult to answer the humanity/personhood arguments against abortion (in fact, every time we've discussed abortion she's changed the subject at that point). But in spite all of this, she firmly believes that abortion-on-demand is a good thing. Her reasoning behind this?  It would not be fair to "impose her ideas of abortion on others".

Most pro-choicers I know also follow this line of reasoning.

I find it hard to understand how people who are otherwise strong, smart, and eager to impact the world around them, can have such a laissez-faire approach to the abortion debate. My friend, especially, is a mystery. She's a bit of a socialist, and is eager to have government mandate, require, and involve itself in so many issues - except for abortion.

I find it hard to understand, but I don't find it at all difficult to be friends with her. We share so many interests and hobbies, and like so many, she is simply blinded by the culture around her. I'm probably one of the few people she is close to who challenges her world view in any way.

I also happen to hope that eventually she'll come around and be mostly pro-life. The funny thing is, I'm sure she thinks the same thing about me - that I'll eventually come around and be pro-choice.

(don't worry, that will never happen!)

Question of the Week:

This week I'm curious about YOU my readers :D

Select the option that best describes your beliefs.

1. I am pro-life and Christian.
2. I am pro-life and atheist.
3. I am pro-life and agnostic.
4. I am pro-life and Muslim.
5. I am pro-life and adhere to another religion.
6. I am not pro-life.

Vote on the poll to the left! :)

NOTE: Question of the week is lasting for two weeks this time :)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Abortion Question

"The abortion debate will not go away. The fundamental issue at stake is not reproductive freedom but the desire to extend human rights to all - even the smallest and most vulnerable human beings among us."

I don't remember where I found it, but this quote is so beautiful and so very true. The fundamental question is not whether a woman should have control over her own body (after all, how many of us have real conscious control over everything that our bodies do anyways?), but whether a growing, unborn baby deserves the basic right to life.

In Canada, each of us, at one point in our lives, did not have a right to be alive. We aren't alive because we are individual humans with intrinsic value and dignity. We are only alive because of a single external factor ... our parents wanted us. Or at the very least, our mothers couldn't bring themselves to kill us.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at someone you love dearly. Should they have been killed if their mother had decided it was necessary? Think really hard about that question, before you decide whether or not a single person should have control over the continuation of your loved one's life.

Maybe it would be easier to think about with a concrete example. My best friend's boyfriend is from a country where abortion is outlawed except in certain cases. This man's mother unwillingly gave birth to her son. If abortion-on-demand had been legal, he would be dead now. Should he have died because he wasn't wanted? Take a look at some of the abortion survivor videos in the "Pro-life Media" page. These are people who should be dead, but managed to survive. Would you be able to look them in the face and tell them that they should have been "terminated"?

I know I couldn't.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Dark Knight and Abortion

The Dark Knight. Probably one of my very favourite movies. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't think its one of the greatest things they have ever seen. The Joker is a terrifyingly perfect villain, and besides, who doesn't love Heath Ledger?

But what exactly does the Dark Knight have to do with abortion?

Well, watching that movie, abortion was one of the first things I thought of. I'm referring specifically to the scene with the two boats leaving the city - one boat full of criminals and one boat full of civilians, both so close to death. It is just so perfectly symbolic. I couldn't hope to describe the situation better than the Joker himself:

[over the PA] Tonight you're all gonna be part of a social experiment. Through the magic of diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate, I'm ready right now to blow you all sky high. Anyone attempts to get off their boat, you all die. Each of you has a remote... to blow up the other boat. At midnight, I blow you all up. If, however, one of you presses the button, I'll let that boat live. So, who's it going to be: Harvey Dent's most wanted scumbag collection, or the sweet and innocent civilians? You choose... oh, and you might want to decide quickly, because the people on the other boat might not be so noble. 

Of course we all know how this ends (and if you don't know - what the hell is wrong with you? watch the Dark Knight!!!!) - neither boat can bring themselves to blow up the other, even though they know that if they don't blow up the other boat, they will die.

I found this to be wonderfully symbolic of abortion, which pits the mother's life against her child's. If the mother allows her child to live, then the child ruins the mother's life. On the other hand, the child could die, the mother's life would remain intact. The Dark Knight seems to me to be a dramatic representation of the abortion debate - with one key difference. Both parties in the Dark Knight have some measure of control over their fate - after all, they can choose to blow up the other boat (hopefully before the other boat chooses to blow them up). But in an abortion, the baby makes no conscious decision to ruin the mother's life - he or she is simply existing as nature intended them to. The mother has all the control during an abortion decision.

I find it interesting that ultimately neither boat blows up the other, knowing full well that death is imminent (though of course they end up being saved by Batman - but that's an external factor neither party had any knowledge of). Both groups are shown to be remarkably courageous and ultimately GOOD by their willingness to recognize that their own lives are not worth the deaths of those on the other boat.

I like to think that most of us would make that same decision.  But with so many women (and men) out there in favour of abortion-on-demand, I sometimes wonder if that would be the case. So many people are willing to end a life to just preserve the status-quo of their own lives. I guess people are just innately selfish when faced with fear of the unknown?

Oh and P.S. SO psyched for The Dark Knight Rising!!! :D