Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life

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Choice Chain

The responses to “Choice” Chain were numerous and varied. Images of aborted human beings are not something we are generally confronted with on a daily basis. The question “What do you think about abortion?” is not something we often hear. Some people chose to ignore us. Some people chose to answer quickly and walk away. Some people chose to swear at us. Some chose to make their own posters expressing their views, or chant slogans.

So the big question must be: do we think it was worth it? Yes. Absolutely. Because among all those responses, there were countless people who were open to discussion. Some quite openly disagreed with us, but were nevertheless willing to ask and answer questions and generally carry on a very rational conversation. Some came up and said something along the lines of “Ok, give me your pitch, tell me why you’re out here.” And some of the people we spoke to had never really thought about abortion before. Whether they knew about the issue but had not put enough thought towards an informed decision, or if they hadn’t really though about what abortion really was in the first place, they left having seen the truth, and having been encouraged to spend more time thinking about abortion. Good, interesting, challenging conversations were had throughout both days.

To those who were offended and upset by the display, we can only stress that while we recognize that it is controversial, we also see it as a legitimate way of sharing the truth with people. We believe in judging actions, not judging people, and thus we value people just as much whether or not they agree with us, and regardless of the choices they may have made.

To those who stopped to talk: thank you. It was so good to see openness to considering views outside the mainstream and a willingness to discuss things even though we may have strongly disagreed.

We share with you some quotes that occurred throughout the two days:

 “Wow. I never really thought about this before. These pictures really make you think. I need to think about this more. Thank you.”

“These pictures really put it into perspective. I never thought of it this way before. We’re killing a child.”

Images of aborted human beings AREN’T something we are generally confronted with on a daily basis, but abortions happen nevertheless, at a rate of about three hundred per day in Canada alone. To those who think our tactics are the wrong way of going about things, I ask: if you honestly believed that three hundred human babies were being legally killed in your country on an average day, what would you be doing about it?


Why “Choice” Chain?

Dear UVic Students and Community Members,

If you’re on campus today or tomorrow, you may see YPY members standing with signs displaying images of aborted babies, as well as images of healthy developing preborn babies. More information about the project, “Choice” Chain, is available on the CCBR website.

It would be much easier not to do “Choice” Chain. It would be easier not to stand outside and encourage dialogue on such a controversial issue. It would be easier to keep hidden the images that we know will upset and offend our classmates and peers. It would be easier, but it would be irresponsible.

If someone you cared about believed a lie, what would you do? Would you let them go on believing that lie, even if it was the cover up of the deaths of your fellow human beings, or would you tell them the truth, and face the hostility that might cause? What would you want someone to do for you? Would you rather believe a lie, or have someone love you enough to tell you the truth, even if the truth was shocking and perhaps overwhelming?

Why are we doing this? Why are we standing outside with images that we know are disturbing to look at? Ultimately, because we care about you. We care enough to tell you the truth, even though this truth is one that’s easier to ignore. The truth is that when we talk about “choice” in the context of abortion, we are talking about the choice to kill a human being. This is a choice that ends the lives of around three hundred preborn babies every day in Canada. The idea that abortion is in any way justice is a lie. We hope that you will feel comfortable coming to talk with us about the truth.


Youth Protecting Youth

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SFU Lifeline and the Genocide Awareness Project

Simon Fraser Lifeline, the pro-life club at Simon Fraser University, stood up for the rights of the pre-born and their own right to freedom of expression this week as they brought the Genocide Awareness Project to campus. Monday’s press release can be read here. The event took place peacefully and sparked many discussions with passing students. We applaud SFU Lifeline for their steadfastness and hard work.

Update: A report on the results of the display:

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Good news for Carleton Lifeline

You may remember that on October 4, 2010, pro-life students at Carleton University were arrested while trying to set up the Genocide Awareness Project display on their campus, and charged with trespassing. Video can be found here:

Carleton Lifeline has just announced that the trespass charges have been dropped. Their press release can be found here:

Student Trespass Charges Withdrawn in Carleton University Free Expression Case

We congratulate the members of Carleton Lifeline for their continued courage and perseverance, and are thankful that these unfounded charges have been dropped.

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Time for an update!

What’s been going on with YPY? So far this year, we’ve had tables at President’s Day and Clubs and Course Unions Days to reach out to students and invite people to sign up for the club. We’ve also had two Coffee Times and one general meeting. This weekend, two of our new executive members attended the annual National Campus Life Network Symposium, so we’re looking forward to hearing all about it!

What’s coming up? We have another general meeting, which will also be an apologetics training session. We’ll also be having more Coffee Time sessions. Coffee Time is an open, informal discussion session for anyone (club member or not, pro-life or not) to come participate in an intellectual discussion about abortion and surrounding issues. If you’re interested in joining the club and coming to meetings, or interested in coming out to Coffee Time, or have any questions, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at

Other pro-life events in Victoria:

40 Days for Life is going on right now, organized by Choose Life Victoria. More info here:


Don’t Get Comfortable

I’ve heard a lot of criticism for certain pro-life tactics. Specifically, I’ve seen it suggested in a variety of instances that in our efforts to further the pro-life cause, we should be careful not to upset people – not to make people uncomfortable. After all, won’t people reject our message if we make them uncomfortable?

Imagine you’re sitting in a chair. What would motivate you to change your position? If you’re perfectly comfortable sitting just the way you are, why would you change? Discomfort is what tells us that maybe our position is not the best. Maybe there’s a better one, and maybe we should move.

We live in a country where around 100 000 human beings are legally killed each year through abortion. Revealing to people that abortion kills human beings should make them uncomfortable. If we are willing to look at the truth of the matter, we should all be very uncomfortable, in fact, with the position our society takes toward the treatment of human beings before birth. If we all stopped cushioning abortion in euphemistic language and looked at the fact that preborn human beings are deliberately killed by doctors on a daily basis, perhaps our society would shift its position.

The initial reaction to being confronted with the truth about abortion may very well be anger. Most people don’t like to feel uncomfortable with their position.  Those open to discussion and honest examination of the issue, however, will soon see that it’s not the message or the images of abortion that are so disturbing – it’s the fact that this is really happening and we’re allowing it to happen. Others may not be willing to discuss or even consider the issue when it’s presented to them – that is their decision.

Telling people the truth about abortion may upset them. Not telling them is doing them a disservice in that they may remain unaware of the injustice that we as a society are currently allowing. Not telling them covers up the deaths of around three hundred human beings in Canada alone every single day. It’s ok to say abortion kills human beings, because it’s true. It’s ok to make people uncomfortable by being straightforward about the injustices going on in our world. It’s not ok to hide the truth for fear of making people uncomfortable. That helps no one.

I challenge you to let yourself be uncomfortable. Read the medical case against abortion. See the reality of abortion in Canada. Consider the uncomfortable truth about the way our society treats unborn human beings, and about any other injustice you encounter . Don’t shy away from your discomfort – let it motivate you to make change for the better.

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In Our Lifetime

On Thursday May 12, 2011, large crowds gathered in various cities across Canada, united by a common message: we wish to see all human beings treated with respect and dignity. All human beings are valuable, regardless of age or race or gender or creed, regardless of relative levels of development or ability, regardless of what they have or haven’t done. A person’s a person, no matter how small or young or old or ill or different from ourselves. The theme at the march in Ottawa put it very bluntly: abortion kills human beings. This is a biological fact, and this is a reality we cannot sit back and do nothing about.

In Victoria, participants made their way from City Hall to the lawn of the BC legislature. Organizers reported a record turnout. There were many enthusiastic high school and university students; there were families; there were tiny babies (born and unborn) being carried along; and there were older people who have seen the pro-life movement grow and develop for many years. There was an atmosphere of hope.

At the lawn, MC Pavel Reid challenged participants to work to bring an end to the injustice of abortion in our lifetime. Archbishop Miller, of Vancouver, spoke of truth. We must always speak the truth in love, and be ready to engage with people persuasively. The truth must not be hidden. Injustice must not be ignored. We must be ready to give an account of why human life needs to be protected. We must educate ourselves, and go on to educate our world.

International pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling shared her personal story. She spoke of learning, at eighteen, that she was conceived in rape, and that had abortion been legal at the time, her birth mother would have aborted her. Her testimony was powerful, and gave voice to the fact that those who are aborted are people. There are many missing from our generation, not because they never existed, but because they were killed before even being born. Saying you believe in abortion in cases of rape, Rebecca tells people, is like looking her in the eye and saying you think that her mother had the right to kill her. She was once a fetus in danger of being aborted – now she speaks for those who cannot yet speak for themselves.

Kathereen Kessler, of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, also shared her testimony. In her case, it was the story of the effect that having an abortion had on her life. She shares her story because she deeply regrets her abortion, which she came to recognize as the loss of her child. She is courageous enough to share her story of pain and healing – to be silent no more – because she hopes to spare others similar pain and regret.

Dr. Rev. Robert Fitterer, of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria, spoke of the power of technology and social media in spreading the truth. The face of communication is changing. We can see the unborn more and more clearly through medical technology, and we can see the efforts of those in the pro-life movement across Canada and around the world, whether or not they are reported in the mainstream media. Most importantly, perhaps, he reminded us that the March for Life cannot be the end of our pro-life efforts for the year. If anything, it’s the beginning. It is our duty to defend life not just one day a year, but every single day. This is a challenge, and a difficult one to live up to, but isn’t it what we owe our fellow human beings? If we take up this challenge, if we come to the defense of the defenseless wherever we see human beings denied their dignity, I believe we will see an end to abortion and other affronts to human dignity in our lifetime.

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March for Life 2011

Tomorrow, May 12, the March for Life is taking place in Victoria. All are welcome to join in standing up for the dignity of all human life. Speakers at the Victoria March include Archbishop J. Michael Miller of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Rev. Dr. Robert Fitterer of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria, and international pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling.  The full schedule of events is available here.

Marches will also be taking place across Canada in places such as Ottawa, Edmonton, and Regina.


Echoes of a lecture

Tonight I attended Jojo Ruba’s talk “Echoes of the Holocaust.” It has a plain message: the millions of abortions that are performed each year are echoes of the bloody atrocities which humanity has committed against her own kind. Throughout the centuries, societies have been collectively guilty of standing idly by as her members enacted terrible violence against the weak and marginalized. I do not need to name those atrocities of the past, but I will say that my society is guilty of being apathetic toward the hundreds of children that we are killing everyday within the walls of our hospitals and clinics. I share in that guilt.

Some may disagree with me on this point. Many do not believe that we are killing our own children. Many do not believe that any people are actually being harmed. That is the point of the question, though. I know that it is difficult to hear, and I don’t say this to capitalize on the pain of any past generations. Some did not believe that they were killing their own people as the Jews and Gypsies and gays were being gassed in the concentration camps. Those people were wrong.

But I do not want to dwell on that point. I do not like to speak with a tone of condemnation. Even as I write this, believing and accepting the guilt of my culture, I don’t condemn anyone. I believe that I can name the wrong that is being done, and work to put an end to it, but I do not wish to leave in this note the impression that there is only despair for those who have been active participants in the wrong. I accept the guilt of my own passive participation as well.

As I think upon tonight’s presentation, I recall a comment made by a young woman. She accused Jojo of basing his presentation on the fallacy of “false analogy” because she believes that a human being has to have a certain level of cognitive capacity in order to be a person. Frankly, the analogy can only be false if her belief is true and that is what is being contested. If Jojo’s belief is true, then the analogy is apt.

So, the crux of the question comes when we try to understand the reasoning behind the belief that we are justified in judging the value of others by their capabilities—cognitive or otherwise. What we know is that there is extensive pressure toward abortions for women who are carrying Down syndrome babies (trisomy 21) and other trisomy conditions. The judgement is passed on them is that their lives will be of little value and not worth living. What I know is that I cherish my life experiences with those people I have met who have Down syndrome. I have never met one who wishes that he or she never lived.

I have a friend who’s second child had trisomy 13. She was traumatized by the pressure that was put upon her by her doctor and the hospital staff who urged her to have an abortion. She was given little support when she refused. My friend entrusted her child to the care of those medical practitioners, but they considered the child of no account. But the child was accepted and loved by his family from the time he was conceived until the day he died. His little heart did not have the strength to keep him alive more than a few months after his birth, but his parents’ hearts had the strength to love him through his short life.

So it came to my mind that it is not possible for us to judge people according to their capabilities. Often, neither we nor they will have any control over what those capabilities are. We can only judge others according to our own capability to love them. That is all. Whether man or woman, black or brown, gay or straight, intelligent or simple, born or unborn: our judgments are nothing other than our own successes or failures at love.

The measure of our success can be seen in the world around. The homeless and addicted suffer because of our failure to love. The elderly and the sick suffer because of our failure to love. The imprisoned suffer because of our failure to love. Women suffer the choice between their futures and their children because of our failure to love. Children in the womb suffer because of our failure to love. We have judged them and told them their value by our own capabilities—by our own hearts.

We need a change of heart. We need to understand that we each live not only for ourselves, but for the people around us. We need to understand that we don’t love others because they are what we want. We love them because they are. That is the only reason. We owe them all the love that we are capable of giving.

I don’t know if these words mean anything to those who read them. I don’t know if anyone will believe them sincere. All I know is that they are the words that my heart is speaking after tonight’s presentation. I can only hope and pray that I will live by them from today forward.

Contributed by YPY member Del Myers