Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life


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Press Release- October 3rd 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FORMER PRO-LIFE CLUB PRESIDENT SUES THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA FOR INFRINGING UPON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Victoria, BC (October 3 2013) – On September 26th, 2013, Cam Côté, representative and past president of the pro-life club at the University of Victoria (Youth Protecting Youth (YPY)), filed a constitutional lawsuit against the University of Victoria in the BC Supreme Court.

The lawsuit, which seeks to restore YPY’s freedom of speech and expression on its campus, is in response to a number of discriminatory actions the University of Victoria has taken against the club. This includes the university’s cancellation of a previously approved “Choice” Chain event, the suspension of the club’s outdoor booking privileges for a year, and threats to punish club members who participate in similar events in the future.

This “Choice” Chain event, which involves club members peacefully engaging students in dialogue while holding signs of either aborted fetuses or naturally developing pre-born humans, was approved by the University until the day before it was scheduled to occur. The University then reversed their initial decision and cancelled the event, citing the University of Victoria Student Society’s (UVSS) 2012 assertion that this event constituted harassment under their harassment policy.

“We were very disappointed when our university administration upheld the UVSS’s efforts to censor our message. We hope that this petition will ensure YPY’s right to freedom of speech and expression on campus,” says Côté, now graduated and working as an Activism Coordinator for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

“A university cannot censor students when they deem their views to be unpopular and the promotion of these views to be potentially disconcerting to others. Freedom of expression is essential to a university, particularly when the issue at hand – abortion – is a matter of life and death for pre-born Canadians.”

The BC Civil Liberties Association has joined Cam Côté as a co-petitioner, and together they are represented by Craig Jones, Q.C., and Emily Unrau of Branch MacMaster LLP.

For further information contact:

Cam Côté (YPY Representative) 778 678 4275

ccote@unmaskingchoice.ca

Youth Protecting Youth

youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com

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You Don’t Have to Be Pro-Choice

Recently, while doing a “Choice” Chain display at UVic I asked a friend and fellow biology student what he thought about abortion, and he responded by saying that he “pretty much had to be pro-choice”. Confused by this response I asked him what he meant, and he replied “well, I’m going into med-school, so I pretty much have to be pro-choice. You know, with the whole Hippocratic Oath and everything.” Though initially I was caught off guard by this gross misinterpretation of the Hippocratic Oath, what disturbed me the most was that this student felt legitimately obliged to support the decapitation, dismemberment, and disembowelment of pre-born children because of his future career.

The more I think about this conversation, the more I realize how many people have accepted and even embraced the idea that they are for some reason required to hold the pro-abortion position. Countless men have told me that because they are men they either cannot have an opinion on the issue, or have to support a woman’s choice. Similarly, many women have told me that they must support abortion if they are to fight of gender equality, and many others have offered comparable reasons as to why they are obliged to be pro-choice.

Though you could certainly argue that some of these people are simply making excuses for choosing to adopt the more culturally acceptable stance on abortion, it has become more apparent to me that some people legitimately think that they have no choice but to support abortion. To this I can offer only one response: You do not have to be pro-choice.

Being a man does not mean that you have to forfeit your support of pre-born children. Standing up for women’s rights does not mean that you have to support a woman’s choice to end the life of the child developing in her uterus. And being a doctor or nurse does not mean that you have to turn a blind eye to the most vulnerable in our society. No employer, government, or significant other can force you to support abortion. You do not have to be pro-choice.

– Cam Côté


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What’s New?

When you think about what has changed at UVic and with Youth Protecting Youth since this time last year you might think that there isn’t anything new. UVic is still one of the most liberal campuses in Canada, abortions are still fully legal in Canada through all nine months of pregnancy, and approximately 300 pre-born babies are still being decapitated, dismembered, and disemboweled every day. Oh yeah, and we’re still paying for every one of these abortions with our tax money. So what’s new? Lots.

Our participation at the President’s Day barbeque and our time spent at the UVSS Clubs Days table has translated into over a dozen new members, all excited to join us in our mission to defend human life at all ages. While at Clubs Days we also spoke with leaders from many of the other campus clubs, and we hope to network with them, getting even more students and community members involved with spreading the news about the humanity of pre-born children and the inhumanity of what abortion does to these, the most vulnerable members of the human family.

Within the club we’ve already done multiple training workshops, designed to prepare club members to be ambassadors for the pro-life movement. We’ve spent hours doing practice dialogues, preparing ourselves not only for the common arguments presented to us by abortion advocates, but also preparing ourselves for times when we encounter someone that needs support, help, or healing. And we’ve found time to build community and fellowship, uniting ourselves behind this common desire to defend the dignity of every human life.

Through this we have kindled a renewed fervor for this work, and have over 20 members prepared to engage the students and staff at UVic in conversations about abortion. We have a greater urgency now than ever before for the pro-life cause, and this has translated into a number of big ideas about how we will show the University of Victoria the truth about abortion. This school year, we will expose the injustice. This year, we will confront the UVic culture. And this year, we will change more hearts, more minds, and save more lives than ever before. Get ready UVic because this is what’s new with YPY.

Cam Côté

Vice President


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Welcome Back!

Youth Protecting Youth, the pro-life club at the University of Victoria, would like to offer you a warm welcome to our website and blog. Whether you are a club member, a student at UVic or Camosun College, or a just an interested member of the community, we hope that your time spent on our blog will be informative and thought provoking. This 2012/13-school year we are looking to post more articles, get more views, and provoke more discussion than ever before.

 

As a club made up of primarily students, we hope to offer a wide range of articles that articulate, examine, and showcase what it means to be pro-life. We are committed to publishing high quality posts and articles that are creative in nature and honest in substance. We hope that the articles you find on our blog will encourage you to examine your beliefs, and if you find that you disagree we hope that you will be open to respectful debate and discussion. As always, you are welcome to contact us via email at youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com. Happy reading!

 

YPY Executive 2012


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A Simple Survey

On March 13 and 14, 2012, members of Youth Protecting Youth were out distributing surveys to UVic students. Here are the answers and appropriate references.

1)    When does human life begin?

a)    At the moment of fertilization

Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote(original emphasis). This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual,” (Moore and Persaud, 2013, Page 13)

b)    At birth

c)     When the child is no longer physically dependent on the mother

d)    When the child is conscious and self aware

e)     Other______________________________________

 

2)    When does the fetal heart start beating?

a)     At birth

b)    Somewhere between the 24th and 25th week of gestation

c)     Somewhere around 22nd day of gestation

“Major changes in body form occur during the fourth week…. The heart produces a large ventral prominence and pumps blood.” (Moore and Persaud, 2013, Page 76)

d)    Fertilization

e)     Other­______________________________________

 

3)    During prenatal development, the pre-born human…

a)     Is a part of the mother

b)    Is completely independent of the mother

c)     Is a unique individual, but completely dependent on the mother until around 22 weeks gestation

Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote (original emphasis). This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual,” and “There is no sharp limit of development, age, or weight at which a fetus automatically becomes viable or beyond which survival is ensured, but experience has shown that it is rare for a baby to survive whose weight is less than 500g or whose fertilization age is less than 22 weeks.” (Moore and Persaud, 2013, Pages 13 and 94)

d)    Is simply a parasite

e)     Other_______________________________________

 

4)    The Canadian Law on abortion states…..

a)     All clinical abortions are illegal

b)    Only clinical abortions in performed in the first trimester are legal

c)     There is no abortion law in Canada. Though few doctors will perform late term abortions, abortions are legally permitted during all 9 months of gestation (Morten, 1992)

d)    Clinical abortions are legal only when the mother’s life is in danger

e)     Other_______________________________________

 

5)    Every year in Canada there are approximately…

a)     2 000 000 clinical abortions

b)    200 clinical abortions

c)     No clinical abortions

d)    100 000 clinical abortions

Statistics Canada 2005

e)     Other________________________________________

 

References:

Legal Abortion in Canada. AbortionInCanada.com. Retrieved from http://www.abortionincanada.ca/history/legal_abortion_canada.html.

Moore, K., & Persaud T.V.N. 2013. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (9th ed.). Elsevier Saunders. Canada.

Morton, F.L. 1992. Morgentaler v. Borowski: Aboriton, the Charter, and the Courts. McClelland & Stewart Inc. Canada.

Induced abortions, by age group, Canada, provinces, and territories. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.abortionincanada.ca/stats/Annual%20abortion%20rates%20pdfs/Canada%20abortion%20rates,%201988-2005.pdf.


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You are loved

This weekend some of us had the joy of meeting two of the Sisters of Life and hearing about their ministry. They are a community of women who devote their lives to “the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life.”

They shared with us stories of the women they work with and walk with, and gave beautiful insight on how they go about their ministry.

What struck me most was their love. These women radiate love for everyone with whom they come in contact. And so, I have a message for you from YPY, which reiterates our very first blog post, but which cannot be said enough:

You are loved. You are loved regardless of your actions, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of your views on abortion or your opinion of us. You are a person of value and dignity simply by nature of being. Whoever you are and wherever you go, you are loved.


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On offense and harassment

Two of our members have an opinion piece in this week’s issue of The Martlet (UVic’s student paper):

http://martlet.ca/martlet/article/offended-not-harassed/

“We must challenge ourselves to examine the truth of any claim made. Let us ask if ideas are true, not if they’re offensive, and debate ideas in an open, intellectual fashion. This way we will find out false ideas and dismiss them. The truth may sometimes be offensive, but speaking truth isn’t harassment, and suppressing it doesn’t make it any less true.”


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Press Release – February 7, 2012

February 7, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

Victoria B.C.-The University of Victoria Student’s Society (UVSS) Board of Directors passed two motions to publicly censure the pro-life club on campus, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) last night, February 6th. The first motion was put forward in response to complaints stemming from an event the club held last November called “Choice” Chain and charged the students with violating the UVSS Harassment Policy. The second motion was passed in response to a poster the club put up on campus in October. As a result, YPY will be denied their ability to book public space on campus for their events and is forbidden to hold “Choice” Chain or other similar events. The club is also banned from putting up posters until a new policy is written by the UVSS to govern poster content. The board also ordered YPY to write a letter of apology to groups who were offended by the poster.

 

“Choice” Chain is a project developed by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) and consists of volunteers holding three by four foot signs with graphic images of first trimester aborted fetuses. The volunteers engage passers-by in dialogue about abortion. More information about the project can be found here: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/projects/choicechain

 

“This is a disappointing development,” said Cameron Côté, YPY Vice-President and coordinator of the “Choice” Chain event. “People may have felt offended by the images but that in no way constitutes harassment. If you merely have to claim your feelings were hurt or you disliked someone’s message or way of expressing themselves to find that person guilty of harassment, freedom of speech ceases to exist. While we recognize that some people do not like our message, that doesn’t mean we should be censored.  ”

 

Campus Outreach Director for CCBR, Alanna Gomez, stated, “The charges of harassment have no grounds. There were no complaints made about the conduct of the students, because they acted respectfully and peacefully. The only complaints were based on the negative feelings people had because they didn’t like the pictures the students were holding. Just because someone doesn’t like a picture doesn’t mean they have been harassed, which is what the UVSS is trying to claim.”

 

The poster that resulted in the second motion was developed by National Campus Life Network (NCLN), and compares the current denial of legal personhood to the pre-born in Canada with similar treatment of other groups in the past. The poster can be viewed here: http://www.ncln.ca/resources/print-resources/person-poster/

 

“I thought the UVSS had moved past this type of discrimination and censorship since the settlement of YPY’s lawsuit in July 2010,” said Anastasia Pearse, former YPY president. Pearse currently works as the Western Campus Coordinator for NCLN. “Censorship of the abortion debate at a university is shameful and unacceptable.”

 

“YPY will not tolerate this ideological discrimination,” said Côté. “We must all demand that our   society be free of discrimination and censorship of minority or unpopular viewpoints. If there is a right not to be offended than we cannot have freedom of speech in this country or on campus.The legal killing of so many innocent human beings is a disturbing topic, but it is far too serious to suppress or ignore.”

 

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For further information:

Cameron Côté (YPY Vice President) – 778-678-4275, youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com

Alanna Gomez (CCBR Campus Outreach Director) – 403-690-5217, acampbell@unmaskingchoice.ca

Anastasia Pearse (NCLN Western Coordinator) – 604-365-3484, westerncanada@ncln.ca


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What’s in a name?

I am a clump of cells. I am tissue. I happen to be a collection of cells that comprises an entire individual of the human species. And you know what? So is an embryo. From the moment of fertilization, we are each human individuals. This is a biological fact.

I am a product of conception. So are you. Had our respective parents not conceived us, we would never have existed. Because we were conceived, we began to grow and develop, were born, and continue to grow and develop as we move throughout our lives.

I was once the contents of my mother’s uterus. But saying where someone or something is located doesn’t tell you who or what it is. The contents of my backpack might be a change of clothes, books for school, or any number of other things. We are humans regardless of where we are.

I am pro-life, but that doesn’t mean I’m against the termination of pregnancies. After all, it’s unnatural to be pregnant permanently. Ideally, a pregnancy terminates after about nine months with the birth of a healthy baby. We recognize that some children are born prematurely or with health problems, and that while this may cause challenges for them and their families, it in no way makes them any less human than you or I. Some pregnancies terminate in miscarriage – a tragic but natural occurrence. The only pregnancy terminations I oppose are those that involve the direct, intentional killing of the unborn child.

Calling the unborn “clumps of cells”, “blobs of tissue”, “products of conception”, or “uterine contents” does not adequately explain what they are. What they are is human beings at early stages of development. In simple terms, they are very little babies. But it’s easier to talk about terminating a pregnancy than to think about ending the life of a baby. I want to live in a society where we don’t need euphemisms for “baby.”

(Inspired by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOm41wZN9C4)