What Else Is At Stake?

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/

Carleton Students Arrested

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.

Pro-life Super Bowl Ad

By Stephanie Della Smirra

How can you spread the pro-life message to hundreds of millions of people? Show a commercial during the Super Bowl, of course!

As much as it’s known for serious football the Super Bowl is known for high-profile ads that attract millions of viewers (myself included!). A commercial with a pro-life message was aired during this year’s Super Bowl on February 7, 2010 amidst much controversy.

The advertisement, produced by Focus on the Family, features star University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, who had refused to have an abortion many years ago. While living as a missionary in the Philippines Pam Tebow was advised to have an abortion after she took strong medications to treat amoebic dysentery. Why? Because the medications put the fetus at risk for serious disabilities. But she refused to abort her child and gave birth to a healthy baby boy: Tim Tebow. Now Tim is a Heisman Trophy-winning American football quarterback.

Pro-choice advocates were less than thrilled with CBS’s decision to air the ad. Groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL and NOW protested loudly and drummed up much controversy over the matter. After all the hype many expected the commercial would be a harsh, distastful anti-abortion plug. In reality, it wasn’t offensive at all.

Judge for yourself. View the commercial.

Many were puzzled as to why all the controversy had been created in the first place.While heartwarming, the ad is so mildly pro-life that viewers may have missed the point if not for the protests of pro-choicers.

One of the perks of the freedom of speech is that if Focus on the Family wishes to spend $2.5 million on airtime they have a right to do so.

Admist all the Super Bowl ads that promote immorality, this 30-second clip was devoted to an important moral issue. Despite complaints that you shouldn’t mix sports with politics, I think it’s refreshing to see a young football star standing up for his beliefs.

Opening Your Eyes

By James Martyres

For many who start to become pro-life, there is the question “so what do I do now?” or “what am I standing up for?” Most importantly, there is the idea that you want to show the rights of the human being.

Being part of the pro-life movement has shown me how people sometimes fail to see the reality of things. Through the years I have come across many that oppose my view. They have said that it is the women’s right to do what she wants, to choose to have an abortion. But that’s not always the case. Consider Roxanne Fernando of Winnipeg who was brutally beat to death by her boyfriend Nathanael Plourde (with accomplices) because she refused to have an abortion.

A surprising number of people that have gone to a clinic to have an abortion are forced or pressured by parents, husband/ boyfriends, profit-driven abortion clinics, and friends. It is not pro-woman to force a mother to abort her child. She carries a human being in the womb and that human being possesses a right to life.

Sadly some women may be vulnerable to such compulsion, frightened and unaware of the selfish motives of others. But these women must be shown other options, including adoption and support centers for crisis pregnancy. There are many couples unable to conceive children and so will choose to adopt a child. Also there are support organizations that can assist with the care of mother and child as they establish a stable footing.

So to all new pro-lifers: open your eyes to the good you can do protecting both the dignity of motherhood and of human life. And, as you open your eyes, work to open the eyes of those around you!

“Surgite!”

By Margaret Stephenson

As most students at Brock University are enjoying a break from study for the summer BSFL is working hard to prepare for the year ahead. So, following in the cyber-steps of University of Toronto Students for Life and uOttawa Students for Life, BSFL is excited to launch a blog space!

Why? Mostly to give members of the Brock community a chance to interact with our members as we chew over current life topics. We will flex our advocacy muscles as we wrestle with tough life issues and we welcome, encourage, and invite your responses to our  blog posts! Please get involved!

Our club’s purpose is to actively promote the non-negotiable right to life of each human being. At present in Canada this right is blatantly denied to the unborn and is only grudgingly extended to the elderly and the suffering. This purpose is so important to the social, moral, and political fabric of Canada that we joyfully promise to set aside time in our busy lives of study to regularly compose worthwhile posts!

If we need more inspiration to boldly assert our presence on campus let’s mark the final words of our University’s namesake Major-General Sir Isaac Brock. As he died while leading British forces in Upper Canada in the War of 1812, Sir Isaac encouraged his tired troops saying “Surgite!” or, in English, “push on!”

So let’s “push on” into the year with the confidence that our advocacy for the lives of the vulnerable is of great importance. Let’s “push on” in our tireless encouragement of those brave individuals who defend life. Let’s “push on” to make any infraction against the right to life unthinkable.