Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life


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All I Want for Christmas…

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by Kamilah Thorpe

We all know that giving gifts to those we love brings joy. Every Christmas parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles lavish the children in their lives with Christmas presents—small or big, expensive or inexpensive. Giving gifts is a sign of love.

I’ve experienced working in a toy store and had the pleasure of seeing many adults come in and pick out the perfect gift for a child, putting thought and affection—not to mention an economic investment—into their gift. The children who receive those gifts at Christmas are loved. They are wanted.

I ask myself why it is that some children are not.

Why is it that some children in the womb are awaited with joyful expectation while others are considered a curse to be rid of? Does the number of presents under the tree decide which child has worth and which child is worthless? Do wanted children have more of a right to life than those who are unwanted?

Abortion takes away the life of a child because that life is not wanted.

My wish this Christmas is that each child be loved regardless of the sacrifice it might take to give them a chance at life.

My wish this Christmas is that all children be wanted for who they are, regardless of the circumstances in which they come because every child is precious.

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The Fetus is NOT a Parasite

filepicker-Lsw6ycvxTzShnhYb1WFI_fetusBy Angela Beare

This parasitic notion of pregnancy is disconcerting at best, but the fact remains that there have previously been misunderstandings surrounding the distribution of nutrients and energy to the fetus during a pregnancy. The medical definition of parasite is compound, i.e. a definition with two necessary parts. It implies not only that an organism is “living in, with, or on another organism” – a point that would apply in the case of a fetus, but also that that existence entails a degree of harm or is a detriment to the host, i.e. a parasite as a cause of disease.1 The parasitic notion of pregnancy is based on the misconception that the needs of the fetus take precedence over those of the mother, thus putting the mother at risk of inadequate amounts of energy and nutrients. For any human being, an inadequate absorption of nutrients is at the root of many diseases and health complications. If the precedence of the fetus were the mechanism at play during pregnancy, there would be a possibility that the presence of the fetus were causing a degree of harm to the mother, and the argument for a parasitic notion of pregnancy could be re-assessed. However, this phenomenon has been scientifically disproven.

The nutritional status of a pregnant woman is determined first and foremost by the foods and supplements that she ingests. Her needs are fulfilled prior to the allocation of nutrients to the fetus. Some very interesting studies on this topic have been conducted based on the statistics of the Dutch famine of 1944-45. The disruption in the nutritional status of the mothers was, on average, no more severe than that of other non-pregnant women who lived through the famine. However, the adverse effects on the fetuses carried by these pregnant women had long-term consequences which are under study to the present day. Even at critical windows of fetal development, the required nutrients were not delivered to the fetus until the mother’s requirements had been fulfilled. Many consequences have been identified as a result of the allocation of nutrients to the bodies of pregnant mothers before the children in their wombs.2, 3

So what does all this mean to the pro-life cause? Is the fact that the fetus is not a parasite one more set of attestable facts we can add to our reserve of pro-life apologetics? Does it boil down to the reassurance that science is “on our side”? Although these and many other compelling facts about fetal development are invaluable to the movement, the bare truth remains that abortion is not only about facts. It is about people. It is about human beings. Most specifically, it is about two human beings – a woman and the child within her womb. When a woman finds herself in a crisis pregnancy situation, it is not likely Dutch famine statistics and nutrient battles that overwhelm her thoughts. It is the stress of her present situation, the undeniable attachment to her child, and the questions about the future of herself and her child. She may be struggling with very real personal difficulties, to which we may or may not be able to relate. As pro-lifers, we must not judge and condemn, but rather offer our compassion and support. The real and ultimate goal of our efforts is that mother and baby will both make it through those nine months – alive!

Parasite. Merriam-Webster Dictionary online
2 Prenatal nutrition and the human fetus. Nutr Rev. 1971 Sep;29(9):197-9.
3 Effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on adult disease in later life: an overview. Twin Res. 2001 Oct ;4(5):293-8.

Re-blogged with author’s permission from uOttawa Students For Life


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Canadians’ Awareness of Abortion Law

 

 

Some time ago, the We Need A Law campaign released this graphic showing the results of a survey. Canadians were asked “As far as you know, when can an abortion be performed in Canada?” Only 8% answered correctly: abortion can be legally performed in Canada “any time up to 9 months.” Babies aren’t recognized by the law until they proceed entirely from the birth canal, actually; there is no abortion law in Canada. And judging from a recent local firsthand account, this lack of regulation does indeed result in relatively late abortions, right here in Victoria.

WeNeedALawGraphic

Why might we find abortions that happen later in pregnancy more distasteful? We might expect the results of earlier abortions to be less graphic and recognizable to view because the unborn baby is less developed. On some level, this is true. However, it’s worth noting that by 3-4 weeks, the baby’s brain, spinal cord and heartbeat are present, and the woman might not even know she is pregnant yet.

But when we forget that each unborn baby is human and start focusing on his or her level of development, we begin to lose our respect for all human life. With that said, we can still use the huge gap between what Canadians believe about abortion law and statistics and the reality as a starting point for conversation. When we bring an important and controversial issue to light, it’s helpful to establish common ground with those who we hope to educate. And with so few Canadians well-informed about these issues, there’s plenty of opportunity for dialogue.


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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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Left Outside the City Walls

Last year I took a class on Roman history and I was recalling it recently when I realized something specific that our present-day society has in common with theirs. The Romans were very practical. We all know how good they were at building amazing roads and aqueducts all throughout Europe. However, something that struck me recently was that this pragmatic way of dealing with problems also extended into the family structure. The Roman household, without going into detail, was basically headed by a male member—usually the father or eldest brother—and everyone else in the family and household was in a sense property of the paterfamilias. Everyone in the household had a value, and that value was decided ultimately by the head of the household. Value could be entirely monetary, as in the case of slaves. The value of the wife and children were calculable as well to a certain extent, based on their usefulness and their potential to serve the household.

I recently made the connection that this pragmatic way that the Romans viewed the value of people is very similar to the way in which our society often values people. A child in the womb is considered valuable only if he or she is wanted by his or her parents.

The Romans very often exposed their infants by leaving them outside the city walls if they did not want them, for whatever reason—deformity, poverty, illegitimacy…is this much different from a pro-abortion mentality that ends the life of unwanted children for pragmatic reasons?

I would argue that very few Romans exposed their infants out of hatred for them—it was done rather because they were not needed or wanted for pragmatic reasons.

I acknowledge that mothers do not desire abortion. They do not seek it out of hatred for their child but rather because the circumstances they are in have driven them to believe that abortion is their only option.  Mothers and fathers who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy can face real obstacles such as lack of means, complication of lifestyle, and discomfort—obstacles that our society needs to acknowledge and address.

The motives for infanticide on the part of the Romans and the common motives for abortion today are very similar. I would hope that we have progressed in our understanding of problem solving since then. I would hope that we will see that a society which discards its unwanted members for pragmatic reasons is ultimately a cruel one;  children are valuable because they are children and not because of pragmatic reasons.

Kamilah Thorpe

YPY Club Member


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Why I Do “Choice” Chain

As president of Youth Protecting Youth I am often asked why I do what I do. Why do I spend so much time preparing for club meetings when other people in a similar position would be studying for their mid-terms? Why do I bother designing posters and writing blog posts to articulate the pro-life message? And why do I organize events like “Choice” Chain on campus, when it creates so much controversy?

Sometimes I answer these questions with some explanation about how every day in Canada approximately 266 pre-born children are killed by abortion, and how these pre-born children are genetically unique individuals. Often I’ll include an explanation as to why there is no ethically significant factor that makes a pre-born child any less valuable than a born child, and sometimes I’ll simply say that my taxes pay for abortions, and that because of this I should be doing something every day to save these children.

Although these answers resonate with some people, I have started to respond differently. Now, when people ask why I do “Choice” Chain, I say that I do it because they are valuable, regardless of what I think of them, what they think of themselves or what they are capable of doing. I do it because you are valuable, even if your human rights , which depend on your right to life, are undermined. If I am to stand for anybody’s human rights, then I must stand for everybody’s human rights.

– Cam Côté