What do you think? Vote on Facebook and feel free to leave your comments below!
On Friday, March 11, 2011, Brock Students For Life will be hosting Stephanie Gray from the Canadian Centre For Bio-Ethical Reform to do a public presentation entitled “Echoes of the Holocaust.”
While no two atrocities are identical, comparisons—that identify
similarities—can often be made. When a reporter who covered the crisis in
Bosnia in the 1990’s asked Walter Reich, director of the Holocaust
Memorial Museum, if the phrase “echoes of the holocaust” was appropriate
to describe what was going on, Reich replied, “Yes, very loud echoes.” Do
we continue to experience “echoes of the holocaust” today? Is the claim
that abortion is comparable to the holocaust accurate or appalling?
As posted by Rebecca Richmond on the National Campus Life Network webpage.
By Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director
Yesterday’s ruling by Madam Justice J. Strekaf in Pridgen v. University of Calgary did not concern abortion or pro-life university students. But I still cheered when I heard the news that Keith and Steven Pridgen had won their case.
Why? Because the ruling clearly states that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does protect the freedom of speech of students on their university campus.
As Justice Strekaf said,
“I am satisfied that the University is not a Charter free zone. The Charter does apply in respect of the disciplinary proceedings taken by the University against the Applicants [Keith and Steven Pridgen]….While the University is free to construct policies dealing with student behaviour which may ultimately impact access to the post-secondary system, the manner in which those policies are interpreted and applied must not offend the rights provided under the Charter.”
For more information on the specifics of the Pridgen’s case, see the Calgary Herald’s article.
The ruling is good news for the Pridgens. It’s great news, as well, for pro-life students across Canada who have faced, or will face, discrimination from university administrations and student unions because of their pro-life message.
University administrations and student unions should take note of this ruling – especially the University of Calgary and Carleton University, which seem to have a particularly hard time respecting free speech rights of students, at least when it comes to pro-life students. Justice Strekaf’s ruling sets a clear precedent. Students do have free speech rights on campus and they have the law on their side.
By Margaret Stephenson
After 5 students were arrested at Carleton while setting up a pro-life display on campus it seems that our knee-jerk reaction is to denounce the university administration for censoring pro-life rhetoric on campus.
Such censorship should be condemned.
A clear message was sent by Carleton University’s administration: abortion is taboo. Don’t mention it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t protest it. And for heaven’s sake don’t show pictures of it!
But something else is going on here, something that bloggers, on-lookers, and protest-participants decried immediately. Carleton University infringed upon the students’ right to exercise their freedom of speech.
I first heard news of the arrests from my sister (president of uOttawa Students for Life) on Monday morning, just before 10am. I was shocked but not surprised. After all, I had just spent the weekend talking about such incidents with a group of incredible pro-life students from across Canada (where I had the privilege to meet 2 of the brave students arrested). But how frustrating to be in St Catharines, dependent upon sporadic text messages for news from the “front,” instead of in Ottawa!
I couldn’t help but talk to nearly everyone about the arrests. The first friend I encountered on campus got an earful about the goings-on at Carleton. Much to my annoyance (profound annoyance) her support for the students vanished as soon as I mentioned it was a pro-life protest. …so then does the content of the speech/expression determine whether or not it may be freely spoken/displayed? Or do we live under a stable, democratic, constitutional monarchy that provides for the freedom of expression?
Today Michael Coren invited his panelists to discuss just that question on his TV show. It’s worth a watch: http://www.ctstv.com/michaelcoren/
On Monday morning 5 peaceful pro-life students were arrested at Carleton University while setting up the Genocide Awareness Project display on campus.
Brock Students For Life humbly applauds the courage of each of these students. Through their suffering they draw our attention to an even greater injustice: the killing of unborn children.
The students were denied a public space to air the peaceful protest, and were instead offered a closed room in a remote section of campus.
This is an issue of censorship of an unpopular message by the Carleton University administration, and a shameful violation of the rules laid out in Carleton’s own student handbook.
The students were charged with trespassing.
As a side, note how an officer claims that the university is private property. It is not private property and is in fact government funded and they say so on their own web site:
By the end of the 1960s, Carleton, like other universities in the province, had become a provincial institution, relying on provincial grants to cover its operating and its capital costs. One consequence was that the regulations governing these grants often shaped university planning.
By Margaret Stephenson
Members of BSFL brought the pro-life message to crowds of students at Brock today!
BSFL set up a booth at the Vendor and Club Fair which showcases community services, campus services and student clubs. In a flurry of activity a few thousand students checked out the fair today and happily scooped up all the free-bees they could carry.
Predictably, the BSFL table didn’t attract hordes of students. Most passersby noticed us, though. A few abortion advocates asked questions; one hopes to engage us in dialogue later in the semester. Some pro-lifers connected with us, too: we look forward to working together this year!
James, in a stroke of pro-active presidential genius, suggested walking through the crowds to hand out as many of NCLN’s We Know Better Now information flyers as possible. We handed out 500 flyers (497 to be exact – we kept 3 copies at our booth). Tomorrow we’ll pass out another 500. This is what the cover looks like:
Thank-you NCLN for producing a resource that looks so unassuming! We’d ask each student “did ya get one yet?” and almost without fail they’d grab one from us and say “thanks!” Distributing pro-life info couldn’t be easier. Some stuffed the flyer into their bags, hopefully to read it tonight or when they rediscover it in a few months on their bedroom floor. Others opened the flyers up right away and started reading. Right away people were talking. Awesome! Let’s get people talking.
Come by and visit our booth at the Vendor Fair tomorrow!
By James Carnegie
If one thing is evident in the abortion debate, it is the difference in argument of those in favour of abortion and those who oppose it. You can see this by listening to speakers or reading literature from either side. While pro-lifers often refer to their opponents as ‘pro-aborts’ the pro-choicers often use the term ‘anti-choice.’ In seeing how names are used in this debate one thing becomes clear: those opposed to abortion and those who support it are arguing two separate issues.
The argument of Brock Students For Life, along with all other pro-life advocates, is based upon demonstrating the inherent dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. Our opponents, however, build their argument upon the idea of choice. For this reason, rather than arguing why the unborn are not human, the pro-choice side tends to argue why the woman has a right to control her body.
In my experience, the abortion advocates I have encountered have avoided the question of the humanity of the unborn by turning to the worst-case-scenarios. By resting upon the cases of rape, incest, and the endangerment of the mother’s life the pro-choicer turns the argument back to ‘choice,’ thus appealing to the “mushy middle,” those who do not have a strong belief in either direction.
What the pro-life advocate must do is keep the conversation focused on the topic of ‘life’ as opposed to ‘choice.’ When the opponent argues that abortion should be legal because of the cases listed above we must explain why in both the case of the rape of a minor and the inconvenience of another child to a married couple the fetus is, in fact, a human being and, therefore, aborting him or her is murderous.
Without disrespect to those I have debated in the past, I have noticed a tendency to deny the reality of factual evidence. Usually this is justified by the argument that “there is nothing wrong with aborting a clump of cells.” Otherwise the facts I’ve presented are glossed over and ‘choice’ is again trumpeted.
In my opinion, this is further proof that it is essential that we, as pro-life advocates, have the tools and skills necessary to defend our position. We must be able to explain to persons of any opinion that the unborn are human, that it is not a matter of choice but a matter of life and death.
In future posts I will dive further into pro-life arguments and the how to defend our position when challenged (apologetics = “to speak in defense”). If anyone has a particular pro-choice argument to which they would like a pro-life response please leave it in the comment section and I will include it in my next post. Until next time, keep fighting the good fight!
By James Martyres
A dark room. The room is enclosed with red walls and Joseph has a rope attached to his waist. Dr. D.Seat enters stage right with a pair of large forceps in his hand.
Joseph looks up towards Dr. D.Seat.
Doctor (talking to the room): Don’t worry, there is nothing in here but unneeded tissue. I will get rid of it.
Narrator: Joseph looks frightened and tries to move away but is unable because of the rope.
Voice (offstage): Please get rid of it quickly. I don’t need this right now.
Doctor: Relax. The procedure won’t harm you. Just relax.
Narrator: Dr. D. Seat walks up to Joseph and grabs him by the arm with the forceps. Joseph tries to speak. He wants to tell the doctor to stop. He tries to shout out but can’t even get a sound out.
The doctor pulls at Joseph with forceps, tearing his arm from his body. Joseph collapses on the floor. Again the forceps grasp Joseph, this time slashing the right side of the chest. The doctor twists and yanks his torso. Lastly the forceps locate and squeeze Joseph’s head. Blood trickles down his scalp.
Doctor: Almost done.
A final snap is heard as the skull of Joseph is broken.
Voice: Is it over?
This story might seem absurd, but it reflects a tragic reality in Canada. It attempts to depict the stark contrast two perspectives on abortion: the doctor who understands it as a “clinical procedure” and child who is brutally killed.
Let me discuss Joseph’s character.
Joseph is an unborn child (fetus). Some say (and have said to me) that a fetus is just a blob of tissue. While each person is comprised of various tissues those tissues form organs. As a fetus develops, his or her heartbeat can be heard as early as 4 weeks. Fingernails are formed by 10 weeks. Hair on the head is present by 20 weeks. Even more astonishing, a baby can survive out of the womb at 20 weeks (15% chance).
The “voice”? The voice represents the mother of the child. Many abortive mothers are unfamiliar with the details of the abortion procedure and don’t know what to expect. Most fear an uncertain future. A pregnancy changes parents’ lives in major ways. An unexpected pregnancy is no exception and abortion is held up as a “quick fix,” a fast, private way to eliminate an inconvenient problem.
Just as true friends kindle their friendship in the present moment undaunted by the potential problems of the future, so too parents are to care for their children regardless of a frightening future. Our culture and, more importantly, each one of us must support and encourage men and women who, even unexpectedly, discover themselves to be new parents.
For more information on the many different methods of abortion please explore the links below. Be warned, the methods are unnerving. Remember: these methods are legal in Canada. Sometimes I ask myself, “is it over”?
LifeSiteNews: Abortion Types
BellaOnline: Common Pro-Life Questions
I’ve been thinking of a topic for a blog post since Margaret kindly came up with this concept for our club. It has been difficult for me, to say the least. To be perfectly honest, I do not have much experience in expressing my pro-life view with words. I have always known that abortion is wrong, but I haven’t given much thought to why, exactly. Certainly it isn’t a bi-product of partisan politics, since I was pro-life long before having any conservative political views (in fact, I was a self-described communist/anarchist during most of my teenage years). I suppose what really made up my mind was the fact that in Canada we do not have any laws regulating when exactly a fetus becomes ‘viable’ and therefore a human being. It is a troubling thought that a full-term, 9-month old fetus can have its head impaled and be ripped out of the womb by a doctor who, presumably, feels absolutely no moral reprehension regarding this greusome ending of its life. Such is the case in Canada where such late-term abortion legal. I have not read any polls on the subject (much as I have faith in Canada’s professional pollsters, I doubt many would take on such a job), but I’m positive that the majority of Canadians would find this sort of late-term barbarism appalling. I’m also positive that any such poll would reveal that the vast majority assume that cases of full-term abortion are illegal in Canada, as they should be. Therein lies the key for the pro-life movement as I see it in this nation. Once we get people thinking about the utter wrongness of full-term abortions, the next logical question is when exactly a fetus should be considered a viable human being. Of course putting an exact figure on that, as they do in most Western countries, would then raise the question of what that means for the fetus only one day short of the cutoff date. Is the 22-week 6-day fetus no less a person than the 23-week fetus? And what about the 22-week 5-day fetus? And so on. If only a person looks at the situation with such logic, the only fair position to take would then be to side with life in all cases, as we in BSFL do. This, my first humble post among such intellectual giants as Matt, James (and James), Andrew, Stephanie, and Margaret, will hopefully not be my last. The important thing is getting the discussion started. Right-minded Canadians will do the rest of our jobs for us.