Of all the days this week to pick to start our “Choice” Chain campaign at the University of Toronto, Wednesday’s snowstorm was less than ideal compared to the balmy Monday, Tuesday and Friday this week. But it wasn’t a snow day for U of T — or for abortion clinics — so a little bit of snow wasn’t going to stop us.
We stayed out for a bit over 2 hours, and were surprised at how many people stopped to talk or take a pamphlet, even in the snow. We had 9 volunteers with 4 “choice” signs and 2 life signs on display at the heart of campus.
Thanks to our activism team members who braved the snow this week to make the humanity of pre-born children and the inhumanity of abortion known on campus. If you’re interested in getting involved with the UTSFL Activism Team to change hearts and minds about abortion and save the lives of pre-born children, send us an email at email@example.com!
“Be it resolved that abortion hurts women.” On November 8, 2013, University of Toronto Students for Life hosted a debate on this topic between pro-life activist Stephanie Gray and abortionist Dr. Fraser Fellows. However, the debate soon went beyond its framework, reaching out to the audience and making us responsible to determine the future of abortion in Canada.
Stephanie Gray began the evening with a description of the ways that abortion hurts women. “Abortion hurts a woman because of what it does to her child,” she said, after showing a graphic depiction of the abortion procedure.
Dr. Fellows began his argument with the “why” behind abortion. He said that abortion is never an easy decision, and that desperation is what leads a woman to it. “To deny a woman abortion is to expose her to injury and death,” he said.
In the period of questions that followed, Dr. Fellows tried to discredit Stephanie Gray’s studies and statistics. Stephanie tried to get Dr. Fellows to admit that he is in the business of killing pre-born humans. Stephanie also touched on the issue of sex-selective abortion, which Dr. Fellows does not perform. When asked why choosing to have an abortion because one’s child is female is different from abortion for any other reason, Dr. Fellows said that society has judged sex-selective abortion to be wrong. The nuances of this remark would permeate throughout the evening.
As the debate continued, the idea of abortion laws as the responsibility of society was emphasized by both speakers. Stephanie Gray pointed out that abortion itself never eliminates the problems that drive women to have abortion. “Abortion does not un-rape a rape victim,” she said. She called for a movement to get to the heart of the motivations for abortion and to solve these issues in ways that do no harm to mother or child. Dr Fellows admitted that he is at arms length from the abortion decision process. He then made an astonishing declaration, considering his position: that every woman regrets abortion for one reason or another. Dr. Fellows told the audience that the reason he participates in debates such as these is because he does not believe that we should become complacent about the issue of abortion. He claimed that he is just providing safe access to a service that society has deemed necessary.
So we are left with a debate that went way beyond a mere discussion of the issues. It effectually presented us with two calls to action. One, gathered from Stephanie Gray’s remarks, is the responsibility to alleviate situations that lead women to abortions, such as poverty. This call includes supporting our pro-life crisis pregnancy centers and making them known in our communities. The second call, gathered from Dr. Fellow’s remarks, is much more daunting, but also more crucial. For the most part, the scientific and technical realities of abortion are no longer hidden. There is no way to debate what abortion does and how it does it. But why abortions have to occur remains a contentious issue. Therefore, it is our duty, as pro-life activists, to show people why abortions do not have to occur. It is our duty to show them why abortions should be unthinkable. It is our duty to advocate for the pre-born and to change hearts and minds. As Dr. Fellows admitted, if we want to eliminate “abortionist” from the list of medical professions, what we have to do is to change the way that society thinks of abortion once and for all.
During summer, many miles away from Toronto, a mother was giving birth to her child. After some minutes he passed away. Why? Well, because he was a 19-week child and, at the same time –although our culture doesn’t consider children to be human persons until the full-term of pregnancy– he was the little human brother of a couple girls. It calls my attention that a 19-week child inside the womb wouldn’t be considered as such, while a 19-week child outside the womb, still highly dependent, is considered a living child –for some minutes. Happily, this small and delicate person spent his last moment in the arms of his mother.
If there’s any error, it would be calling this 19-week baby outside the womb a non-living boy just as it would be an error naming him inside the womb as no-person. But many prefer other names even related to the problem of dependency. “He is not quite yet a person”, some would argue. But, if this is the case, this non-person-yet or undeveloped person, should ask us when will we see the standard model of a fully developed person? A teenager developing his or her personhood isn’t deprived from the right to life. A father, with a toddler who might be considered less developed, would never think his child has no right to life. So why shouldn’t a 19-week child inside the womb be a person with right to life?
If this model of a fully developed person is ever found, I am afraid many would stop being considered developed persons with the resulting right to life. Thus, nobody says the teenager mentioned above is nothing but an undeveloped person, or a developing person. Let’s just call him or her as it should be: a person, who is naturally characterized for being constantly developing.
But, when did this happen? No magic wand was in the doctor’s hand when we were called persons for the first time. To leave this to mere human consensus would be likewise. And this is the case of attributing personhood only in the moment one leaves his or her mother’s womb. We have to discard such criterion.
“In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”” (http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/). The documentary It’s a Girl reveals the issue and it asks why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls.
We are saddened to hear about the death of Henry Morgentaler, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family — but our thoughts and prayers are also very much with the 3 million pre-born children who have been killed by abortion in Canada, many by his own hands.
On Monday, March 25th at 6pm in Sid Smith 2135, we’re hosting a free public screening of the documentary It’s A Girl. Help spread the word with our Facebook event. Hope to see you there!
In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.
The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls.
Shot on location in India and China, It’s a Girl reveals the issue. It asks why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls and women.
Hey guys. I was reading a great article about Linda Gibbons the other day. We have talked about Ms. Gibbons before. She is an extremely brave women who has spent more than 10 of the last 20 years in prison for violating the temporary restraining order (among the longest “temporary” restraining orders in the country) that surrounds abortion clinics, often physically walking into abortion clinics to take her message that what she sees is wrong directly to the source. As a point of reference, legendary serial killer Karla Homolka was given 12 years for her role in the deaths in the rape murders of two teenagers and the rape of her own sister. Ms. Gibbons and her associate Mary Wagner, who has also found herself behind bars for her counseling of pregnant women inside the restraining order zone, were nominated for the Diamond Jubilee Medal by Conservative MP Maurice Vellacoit, and Ms. Wagner ended up receiving it. The Diamond Jubilee Medals are medals that each MP can give out to a certain amount of people, in this case 30, who have made a difference in the community. Now there can certainly be disagreement about whether or not you agree with these women’s policies. I certainly see the merit in arguments that pro-lifers must always keep their protests within the boundaries of the law, no matter how wrong that law is. Despite this, however, there can certainly be no doubt about these women’s courage and determination, standing up to a legal system that kills that those that it should be protected, even at the cost of their freedoms. This kicked off a very interesting conversation in my head about civil disobedience: how far would I, or anyone else I know, be willing to go to stop something that is as wrong as abortion? How far should we go? Some of the great rights movements of our time have, after all, been accomplished with the very type of civil disobedience that Ms. Gibbons and Ms. Wagner are employing, a point that Mr. Vellacoit made in his speech. It was this point in my reading that I came upon a different point of view, that of interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae. Rae pointed out that awarding an honour to someone who has broken the law crossed the line, and said that this could be used to incite others to break the law themselves. He then went further and said that Mr. Vellacoit had in fact broken the law by encouraging others to break the law. I love descriptions of the pro-lifers, or just people in general, in which politicians treat us as if we hold their opinion in such high esteem that if they gave a wink we would be burning down buildings. If this is how Mr. Rae feels at about this issue, however, I can certainly see where he is coming from. Politicians are, after all, necessarily protective of the laws that they helped to create. That is why I know that Mr. Rae will support the efforts to take the Order of Canada away from one Henry Morgentaler. Dr. Morgantaler was, in 1974, convicted of performing an illegal abortion, and has admitted to performing many more. I of course understand that Mr. Rae had nothing to do with giving Dr. Morgentaler the Order of Canada (for that we can thank the redoubtable Stephen Harper) but I am sure that he would agree that if giving the Order of Canada to a convicted law breaker such as Dr. Morgentaler were to stand, it could lead to encouraging people to break the law thinking it could get them honoured by their country. Such a thing would undermine the sanctity of Canadian law, as we know it. That is why I completely support Mr. Rae’s (implied) campaign to remove orders of prestige from Henry Morgentaler. Or maybe a little consistency really is too much to ask these days. Anyways, this is what I think, but I’m much more interested in what you think. What’s your opinion on abortion, or any of the other issues raised here? Please leave a comment in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
We don’t wish to take the country back in time; rather, we aspire to move it forward, beyond a time when women are treated as objects and pitted against their children and their religious institutions — and toward a time when truly emancipated women embrace their intrinsic dignity and, with it, their authentic womanhood.
Granted, this case from the Ottawa Citizen is not representative of every woman seeking an abortion, but it does raise the question of, “What constitutes choice?”. Here are some highlights from the article:
Anna, first, asked her mother whether she would help her, if she had the baby. Her mother flatly refused, saying, “I do not want to waste my life babysitting.” Her male partner said he “wasn’t interested in a kid” and their relationship has since broken up. She tried to get an appointment with her gynecologist to discuss her options, but the first available one was two months away. She then contacted an abortion clinic, which gave her an appointment in two weeks, at which time Anna was nine weeks pregnant. She said, “I went to them to get information on abortion, to know more about my options, the consequences of an abortion. I was open to getting an abortion, because that was what everyone around me recommended I do. I saw abortion as an option, but was really not sure. I was hoping for some answers.”
What answers did Anna (not real name) get?
Anna met, first, with a nurse for a “consent interview.” She said, “The nurse told me that at this stage of the pregnancy the fetus is just a bunch of cells. I also asked her if the abortion would have any impact on my health, my future pregnancies, and so on. She said abortions had no impact at all, no consequences at all, that all that I had read (to the contrary) were myths. The nurse said, ‘In two weeks, it will be as if all this never happened’.”
Anna changed into a hospital gown and was taken into an examination room where a technician proceeded to do an ultrasound. Anna asked what the fetus looked like and could she see the ultrasound. She said, “The technician told me she was not allowed to show me the images and I was unable to see the screen,” which showed the fetus. At nine weeks gestation, it would have had a beating heart. The technician then picked up the printout of the ultrasound, but dropped it on the floor. She scrambled to gather it up quickly, saying, “You don’t want to see this.” But that’s exactly what Anna did want.
So, Anna was told that her 9-week old baby was just a “bunch of cells”, that after 2 weeks she will be as good as new and she did not have to worry herself with those pesky ultrasound images. That’s great information! Choice wins the day! But all kidding aside, this girl wanted information and was not given any so she had an abortion.
Anna said that “the attitude in Quebec, that ‘of course you should have an abortion, it is of no consequence’, is not true.” She explained, “I feel terrible. I can’t go to work. I’ve started seeing a psychologist. I feel guilty.” She mused, “I wonder why Quebec is like this.”
It’s not just Quebec. These lies about abortion travel all over the world. This is not a case of a woman exercising her choice to have an abortion, this is a case of a woman who did not have support and felt that abortion was her only chance. And, since she was told abortion was more like getting your tonsils removed than the killing of a human being, she thought “what’s the harm?”. I wonder how many more woman there are like Anna, who experienced the wonders of “choice”.