At the beginning of this school year, we talked about what was new with YPY. So what have we accomplished since then? As with all pro-life activism that engages people, the results of our work can’t fully be determined or quantified. Who knows how many students reconsidered their position on abortion after reading a pamphlet, seeing a picture, or talking with someone who treated them with respect? But it can be useful to review quantifiable activities, so here’s this year in review:
Club members gave about 25 man/woman-hours of “Choice” Chain and pamphleting, handing out over 2700 pamphlets. They chalked 20 chalkboards for about 20 weeks during the semesters. The club added more than 30 new people to the regular email list, and our president gave four presentations to classes. We held three apologetics workshops which were attended by all active members at one point or another.
Events included two successful open houses with a total of about 30 curious students attending and many good conversations. Over 130 bought tickets for the Gala fundraiser. The club sent a representative to the NCLN (National Campus Life Network) symposium in Toronto. YPY’s annual $1000 bursary was provided to a young mother from Campbell River. The club showed the documentary “It’s a Girl,” which addresses the issue of gendercide.
We also held a blog-writing workshop to equip our members to contribute to the blog. We published 12 (now 13) blog articles since September 2012. The blog received over 5000 views in this time, making for a total of over 28,000 views. 237 facebook users “like” our page and if every one of them posted an article, over 92,000 people could see it.
In conclusion, we’d like to thank everyone who’s contributed to this year’s success, especially the executive members. We would love to have you join YPY in our life-saving efforts. With your help, next year will be even better.
Monday, January 28, 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the Morgentaler v. The Queen decision in which the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s last law restricting abortions, effectively declaring open season on pre-born children and leaving them to defend themselves. Since that time abortion has been fully legal in Canada through all nine months of pregnancy, from fertilization until the child “ But who has been paying for , and what has it cost them?
Pe-born children have been paying the price for this supposed fundamental human right. According to Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, at least 2,263,482 pre-born babies have paid for our “right to choose” with their lives since the Morgentaler decision. Many more deaths are unaccounted for, due to lack of reporting. Because of their age and level of development, they don’t have a voice of their own, and their silent screams have gone unheeded; the horrific images of their broken bodies are their last cry for us to stop paying the bills with their lives. But even with all of their blood, there have been expenses yet unpaid, and others have been forced to cover the costs that remain.
Next on the list of people who have paid for the consequences of this court decision are the women and men who have been affected by abortion. Though organizations such as Silent No More Awareness Campaign have been established to support those who now regret their abortions, countless women and men have been forced to silently endure the pain of realizing what abortion meant for their pre-born child.
Lastly, we as taxpayers have by and large been the ones to front the money for abortions in our respective provinces. With the exception of Prince Edward Island, where abortions are not performed, Canada’s provincial governments pay for abortions with taxpayers’ money, and it is conservatively estimated that $80 million is spent each year to pay for the one hundred thousand or so abortions that are performed nation-wide annually.
Bearing these things in mind, let us critically consider whether or not the purchase has been worth its price, because the cost will keep rising unless we change things, and we know who will have to keep paying the tab.
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?
One of our club execs has an opinion piece in the current issue of the Martlet. Check it out!
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
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: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/blog/2011/11/09/changed-hearts-and-minds-simon-fraser-university
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeJkBQn1-r8
Carleton Lifeline has just announced that the trespass charges have been dropped. Their press release can be found here:
We congratulate the members of Carleton Lifeline for their continued courage and perseverance, and are thankful that these unfounded charges have been dropped.
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 email@example.com.
Other pro-life events in Victoria:
40 Days for Life is going on right now, organized by Choose Life Victoria. More info here: http://www.40daysforlife.com/victoria/
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.