Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life


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Who inspires you?

I was recently given a wonderful opportunity: I got to meet Nick Vujicic, a 27-year-old motivational speaker from Australia. To date, he has traveled to 32 countries and spoken to millions of people about his story and his faith.

What makes this man so inspirational? He was born without arms or legs. His parents didn’t expect this while his mother was pregnant – they found out when he was born. I encourage you to learn more about his story. This man has overcome so many obstacles and has dedicated his life to helping others.

But what is this doing on the pro-life club’s blog? The unfortunate reality of our society is that when a woman is pregnant and prenatal testing reveals that the baby may have some sort of disability, there is significant pressure for her to choose abortion. After meeting Nick Vujicic we met a woman whose young daughter was born without arms. Doctors encouraged her to have an abortion, but she chose not to. Her daughter is two years old now, and she’s a wonderful little girl.

Many times in discussions of abortion people have said to me “What about babies that are going to be born with disabilities? Isn’t it better to spare them from such a difficult life?” I ask you: Would someone be justified in killing Nick Vujicic because he has no arms or legs and faces many challenges in his life because of this? Of course not! Would someone be justified in killing a toddler born without arms because she will face many obstacles as she grows up? Of course not! Would someone be justified in killing a newborn baby because of his or her differences or disabilities? Of course not! So why would we kill an unborn human being for these reasons?

This brings us back to the fundamental question in the abortion debate: what are the unborn? As American apologist Gregory Koukl says, “If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion is necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate.” Biologically, from the moment of fertilization, there exists a unique individual of the human species – a human being.

Our value is determined by what we are (human beings), not by what our capabilities are. We don’t have to look too hard to find examples of people who inspire us precisely because they have overcome significant challenges in their life. Who inspires you?


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Accepting Affirmation, Truth and Flowers

By Cameron Côté, proud member of YPY

“Hello, I am a member of the pro-life club on campus. We are giving out flowers today as an affirmation of women’s dignity; would you accept a flower?”

For many of the busy ladies at the University of Victoria, that was all they could take the time to hear as they rushed between classes on Tuesday March 30th, as members of Youth Protecting Youth handed out flowers and pamphlets to any woman on campus who would accept them.

The aim of the day was simple: To affirm the inherent dignity of all on campus, but of the women in particular. This dignity is something that was not given to them as a birthday present from society when their brain reached its full potential. Nor did they receive it in the mail from an unknown sender when they reached puberty, or even from a nurse, when they first opened their beautiful eyes to see a whole new world outside of their mothers’ wombs. This dignity of which I speak was with them from the moment they were conceived, and will be with them until their final breath.

Many women were pleasantly surprised by the affirmation, and, placing the flower proudly in their hair (many blushing), walked away reading a pamphlet, which was a gift that accompanied the flower that explains why many women in our society decide to proceed with abortion. There were, however, a few who did not feel comfortable accepting such a gift. One girl in particular stands out in my mind, with whom I had the privilege of discussing (at length) why it was that she could not accept the flower.

She began by agreeing with me that in our present day and age, society is failing in its duty to provide women with the means to deal suitably with unexpected pregnancies. I argued that although the killing of an innocent child could never be justified by a social situation, women in our society often feel as though abortion is the only way to cope with the terrible circumstances that they are faced with. She countered my argument and said that abortion always needs to be an option in desperate cases – no matter the state of society, but she agreed that society lacks sufficient support for women, and that, with more support, fewer women would be inclined to consider abortion, let alone proceed with it. It was from here that our discussion progressed.

Upon asking her to help me understand what, in her mind, these desperate cases were, she identified the cases of rape, physical inability to carry the child, and overpopulation. We discussed each of these circumstances at length, respectfully hearing the other’s point of view, with each circumstance returning to the simple fact that because an unborn child is a fully dignified human being with personhood, the decision to kill him or her could be compared to the decision to kill any other human being. She had no difficulty accepting that killing any other human being was wrong. This circle of obvious reasoning deeply frustrated her, and after apologizing for the frustration it caused, I admitted to her that that was – without a doubt – where all arguments would return to on such a topic. After accepting that all of her issues were inescapably rooted in the status of the unborn child, she decided to pursue the issue that, although all of these conclusions were correct if it were in fact a child, the “fetus” simply could not be considered a child until after birth.

From here, I not only gently reminded her that she had mentioned earlier that it was in the third trimester that the “clump of cells” officially gained the status of person, but also challenged her to explain what it was about birth that gifted that which was a simple clump of cells mere moments earlier with the full status of personhood. Each of her points was logically examined with the use of a good friend named SLED until she reverted to her original stance that the second trimester was the point of status acquisition. She used exactly the same argument that she had used before, and then unfortunately decided that she could no longer discuss the matter. She genuinely thanked me for the flower and for the time in conversation, and respectfully walked away, flower in hand, reading the pamphlet. Though I knew the situation was not completely resolved, I was confident that I had planted a seed, and I was overjoyed that she had agreed to continue to think about the issue, and that she would return if she had any further questions about the pro-life stance.

Though subsequent conversations were not as long or as in depth, this has been just one of several encounters that I had the privilege of being a part of. We ended the day with a feeling of hope, believing that women and men alike on the campus may have been provoked into personally contemplating the morality of abortion.


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“Gendercide”?

So I found a link here to this article in The Economist. Two things struck me about the article:

The first is that the unborn are unabashedly referred to as “babies” and specifically “daughters” throughout. The author readily admits that the unborn are babies, and that abortion kills them. This is impressive not because it tells us anything we don’t already know, but because it presents abortion as what it is (the killing of unborn babies), without so much of the usual rhetoric surrounding the issue in the mainstream media.

The second is that while the prevalence of sex-selective abortion and the resulting gender ratio are presented as a problem in the article, one cannot actually be opposed to sex-selective abortion while remaining logically consistent with many of the arguments used by those representing the “pro-choice” view.

For example, some who advocate abortion argue that “every child should be a wanted child.” Well, some parents in these countries don’t WANT these baby girls. Why should they have to carry these pregnancies to term and have these children? Does it matter WHY a baby isn’t wanted? How is not wanting me because of my gender any worse than not wanting me because I don’t fit into your plans right now, or because I might have a disability? If “unwantedness” justifies abortion, then couples have a right to abort all these unwanted baby girls. The problem with that argument, of course, is that degree of wantedness doesn’t change the humanity or intrinsic human dignity of the unborn, or anyone.

There are those who argue that if a child is going to be born into a difficult life situation, abortion is the best choice to make. Well, being female in a country with very apparent gender inequality is a difficult life situation. Maybe parents are just sparing their daughters this hardship by killing them before they’re born? Our response to those who face difficult situations, to those who are suffering, should be to work to make their lives better, not to make their lives end. As Stephanie Gray so eloquently puts it, “we need to alleviate the suffering, not eliminate the sufferer.”

But, some might say, perhaps these abortions are bad for society? That may be so, but “nobody should be able to tell a woman what to do with her body and her pregnancy.” After all, my right to “bodily autonomy” should come before my “duties” to society, yes? This argument boils down to biology: the fact is, from fertilization onwards, we’re dealing with two bodies – the bodies of two human beings. That this practice is harmful to society is true, but more importantly, it is fatal to a large number of human beings.

The idea of sex-selective abortion on a large scale is uncomfortable. I suggest that many who accept abortion in general would have a problem with this practice. But if the reasons listed above justify abortion, then there can be no objection to sex-selective abortion, even if it’s bad for society. Those supposed justifications for abortion imply something that simply isn’t true. It is reasonable to say, then, that there must be (indeed, there is) some problem with those justifications.

For an in-depth look at the pro-life argument against abortion (addressing the “pro-choice” arguments above, and many more), visit http://caseforlife.com/ or read the articles in the section “The Case Against Abortion” at www.abort73.com.