Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life


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Feminist from Conception

By Miriam David

As someone who was pro-choice for her entire teenage career and into her young adult life, with that conviction only growing in fervency as she learned feminist political ideology, I can testify that most within the movement do not know the truth of its roots: the early feminists were pro-life.

“Without known exception, our feminist foremothers opposed abortion and sought to address the root causes that drive women to abortion” – Feminists for Life.

Susan B. Anthony, a radical feminist activist, Alice Paul, who drafted the primary version of the Equal Rights Amendment, and Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, among many others, all considered abortion to be a means of exploiting both mother and child.

I had always assumed I had to choose between being pro-life and being a feminist. Luckily, I am not the only female out there who felt caught within this trap. As I struggled between wanting to advance the rights of women, and wanting to protect the life of the unborn, I found The New Wave Feminist movement. It seeks to dignify what they call a ‘consistent life ethic’; that is to protect life against violence from the earliest moments of our existence to our natural death. They, like the early feminists, see the foetus as the most vulnerable member of the human family. They see the link between the oppressive power that women were under when they did not have rights, and that same power we now wield over the unborn. Instead of accepting that, they want to change the discourse to say to women that they can do it, they are strong enough, and we will help you.

 “Our liberation cannot be bought with the blood of our children” – New Wave Feminists.

Once you understand the undeniable humanity of the unborn, all other arguments come down to factors such as age, ability, class and even gender. As someone who believes feminism should be intersectional – that is to recognise the different forces of oppression that intersect with gender and disempower women to differing degrees – this strikes a chord. How can I claim to be an intersectional feminist, and ignore the classist, ableist, sexist underpinnings of the abortion industry? How can I support the killing of any human being based on how old it is, whether it has all its functions or not, or the socioeconomic circumstances in which it might live?

Today is International Women’s Day. In Canada, there are no laws preventing abortion under any circumstances – this includes the right of a woman to abort her child because it is a girl. I do not feel like I can celebrate this day in a country where females are still being killed because they are female. The evidence that this is happening makes apathy just not good enough. If you do not oppose sex-selective abortions, you are complicit in their occurrence.

We will never achieve the respect we deserve, we will never have enough resources for crisis pregnancies, or enough structural changes to accommodate the life-changing prospect of raising a child generally, if we treat abortion like the solution to a problem. To do so ignores the reality that it is the cause of many problems, and a solution to none. Today I advocate for a law to protect our unborn girls from gendercide, and a change in the way we, as a society, provide support for pregnant women.

Ultimately, our freedom is a farce if these two things do not work together, and we will never be truly free if the weakest among us do not have the right to live.

“Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women” – Alice Paul (1885-1977).

 

http://www.feministsforlife.org/herstory/

https://weneedalaw.ca/initiatives/defend-girls/

https://www.newwavefeminists.com/

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10,000 Pink and Blue Cover University of Victoria Quad

Today, for the second time in a few short months, the grass outside of the University of Victoria (UVic) library will be covered with 10,000 small pink and blue flags. Students who are members of a pro-life campus club at the University of Victoria will plant the flags and engage passers by in respectful dialogue regarding abortion and the human rights of the pre-born. Each flag represents 10 pre-born children who are aborted in Canada every year. Although statistics are difficult to confirm with certainty because two provinces censor all abortion information, there are approximately 100,000 abortions in Canada every year. That is the equivalent of about 5,000 classrooms filled with children.

 “We believe that human rights are for all human beings. The intentional ending of human life through abortion presents an injustice that should not be happening 100,000 times a year in Canada,” said Cecilia Fillipone, the event organizer and President of Youth Protecting Youth.

Students will have resources available that have been provided by WeNeedaLAW.ca, a national campaign that focuses on building support for legislation that will bring Canada into line with other democracies around the world.

“The reality is, Canada is in an extreme position,” said Fillipone. “Since 1988, we have had zero legal protections for pre-born children. This legal void needs to be filled. Certainly we can find common ground by regulating late-term and sex-selective abortion.”

This is the second flag display that Youth Protecting Youth has been involved in since November. Their last event was vandalized by protestors who pulled up  all the flags. Instead of defending the free expression of the pro-life students, campus security stood by while the protestors destroyed the flag display.

“The University was very accommodating and recognized that our event was improperly managed by security staff, resulting in vandalism by protestors. We are very thankful for their gracious response to our concerns,” said Fillipone. “When they offered to grant us another event permit for the spring semester we put plans in motion which have resulted in today’s flag display.”

Fillipone concluded by saying, “Universities are places where ideas ought to be debated. As young Canadians we should welcome opportunities to be challenged so we can formulate our own thoughts and worldview. The reality is, when Canadians are informed that there are no laws, a majority consistently say pre-born children should be protected, at some point, by the law.”

Cecilia Fillipone can be reached at youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com.


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UVIC PRO-LIFE STUDENTS SETTLE OUT OF COURT

VICTORIA, BC – After two and a half months of consultation, the legal conflict between the University of Victoria’s pro-life club, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), and the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) has come to a conclusion.

The legal conflict was the result of two years of discrimination and censorship, during which YPY was repeatedly denied funding that other clubs received. The situation escalated in the spring of 2010, when the UVSS refused to recognize YPY as a club, and made policy modifications that specifically targeted pro-life advocacy. YPY responded by filing a petition in the BC Supreme Court.

The case has now been settled out of court: the UVSS has recognized YPY as a club, granted it funding for the summer semester, repaid all funds wrongly withheld since fall 2008, and eliminated policy additions that had targeted pro-life advocacy. Having watched other pro-life groups face discrimination and censorship, YPY welcomes these developments that recognize the right to free speech at UVic.

“This is a great victory for YPY,” says club president Anastasia Pearse. “We interpret the UVSS’ concessions as an admission of wrongdoing, and we’re happy with the new direction it’s taking.”

The UVSS has also agreed to an unusual condition that allows YPY to hold the petition in abeyance indefinitely, making the process required to reinitiate legal proceedings quicker and easier, should it become necessary – a circumstance that YPY would view as regrettable. It is hoped that holding the UVSS immediately accountable will curb censorial behaviour.

Despite the free speech challenges it has faced recently, YPY remains focused on advocating for the right to life of all human beings at all stages of life, and will continue to boldly exercise its freedom of speech in proclaiming this message.

The club sincerely thanks Joseph Arvay of Arvay Finlay Barristers – who represented YPY – for his exceptional legal representation.

YPY is pleased that the BC Civil Liberties Association, which has generously acted in support of the club’s free speech, has been granted intervener status in the lawsuit, and will be intervening should the lawsuit need to be revived under the abeyance agreement.


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Pro-Lifers Connect Across Borders

Dedicated pro-life activists in Ireland are doing good work, trying to keep Irish women and their unborn children safe from the devastating hurt of abortion. Government data released recently shows that in Britain, where Irish women sometimes go to have abortions, dozens of teenage girls aged 17 or under who had an abortion last year had had at least two abortions previously. The statistics follow controversy last month about Britain’s first television advertisement for abortion services.

We of Youth Protecting Youth like to raise awareness of the challenges advocates for life across the country and around the world are bravely facing, so we are responding to the Irish pro-life group Youth Defence, which has asked us to tell our club members and online followers about their pro-life efforts.

Check out their facebook page and get aquainted with the group. We can always do more to protect and defend life, and today we are connecting across borders to transform hearts.


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YPY Continues Legal Consultation

As of this writing, Youth Protecting Youth and the University of Victoria Students’ Society’s engaging in legal conflict has failed to reach a final conclusion. The UVSS Board of Directors has voted to remove new anti-pro-life clauses from its policy (changes to its Harassment Policy had discriminated against pro-life advocacy) and grant status, funding and retroactive monies to YPY. Although these measures address some of the requests made in the petition to the BC Supreme Court, two key points remain unresolved: The UVSS hasn’t declared the action it has taken against YPY in the past to be unlawful, and the UVSS hasn’t promised that YPY’s behaving as it has so far will prevent it from being silenced again.

The UVSS must take steps – in a spirit of true reparation – to ensure that it will  act consistently and fairly in the future. At present, we fear that there are no guarantees that the students’ society won’t discriminate against pro-life students in semesters to come.

YPY remains in legal consultation at present, reasonably seeking to secure lasting protection from censorship and discrimination against its members and its message.


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Celebrating and Defending Life

“We are here to celebrate life.” These words were spoken by Pope John Paul II in one of his visits to Canada, and were repeated by Bishop Monroe from the Diocese of Kamloops at this year’s March for Life. Over 2000 participants walked through the streets of Victoria to the legislative buildings, bearing witness to their love and respect for life from conception until natural death. Our celebration of the beauty of life is tainted by forty years of unlimited access to abortion in Canada, but we are not without hope that we can make a change.

The march united people of all ages, representing a variety of religious beliefs from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and other communities. It was encouraging to see so many enthusiastic youth lead the way to the legislative buildings, carrying the pro-life banners, and cheering loudly whenever they received positive comments from bystanders. As Rev. Rob Fitterer from Emmanuel Baptist Church noted in his address to the marchers, the younger generation has noticed the devastating effects of abortion and the lifestyles that lead to it and is embracing an authentic vision of life. Nowhere is this more evident than on university campuses, where Youth Protecting Youth and other pro-life clubs across Canada are bearing witness to the truth despite facing censorship. Minerva Macapagal from Capilano College reminded those gathered that although pro-life advocacy on university and college campuses may make us unpopular, it is essential; we who understand the reality of abortion have a responsibility to tell the truth.

Rachel Daniels told the truth as she described an authentic feminism to march participants: “True feminism bears witness to life. True feminism chooses life.” We must be compassionate towards women who are contemplating abortion or who have had one, and reach out to them so they too can understand their dignity as women.

“Give up, you lost.” As Rev. Rob Fitterer pointed out, these words have been thrown in the faces of many pro-life advocates in the past four decades. Since Canada abolished its laws on abortion, over three million unborn babies have died, and countless women and men have been hurt; this is abortion’s legacy. But pro-life advocates are not going to sit back and watch as the children of our nation are killed.

Drawing a confident comparison to VE day, Jose Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform spoke of a new day – a day coming soon – when we will celebrate victory over abortion. Jeff Charleson expressed a beautiful foreshadowing of the joy we will feel when this day comes, as he sang his uncle’s traditional First Nations song for the marchers. Each of us needs to work in our own way to save the unborn, and someday soon we will celebrate VA day.

Anastasia Pearse, Eric Kyfiuk, & Catherine Shenton, of Youth Protecting Youth






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Freedom of Expression Update: New Policy of Censorship

Recent posts have addressed the dangers of euthanasia and informed about the struggles of pro-life students at other Universities. Here is an update on our struggle for freedom of expression.

Clubs at UVic receive a small sum of money each semester to support their activities. The University of Victoria Students’ Society has denied us this funding – that every other club receives – for the past two years on the grounds that putting up a few small, non-graphic posters that challenge the morality of abortion (first and second posters used) constitutes harassment of students. This semester, the UVSS revoked club status entirely, pending a modification of clubs policy, because we continued to put up the posters in addition to holding a very well-attended debate. We protested against such unfair treatment.

In the last week of this semester, we were offered club status. However, the catch is we will eventually have to sign policy that would prevent us from voicing some central pro-life beliefs. This is an act of outright censorship initiated by our ideological opponents. Note Part F – Harassment of the new Clubs Policy: Amended Apr 2010.

We will do everything we can to stop this. We can’t be silenced when so many women are suffering, and so many children are dying.