Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life


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Pro-Life is Pro-Woman

 

By Bianca Rojo

Almost a month after the March for Life in Washington, I am still thinking about the theme from this year’s March.  Before I get into that, however, here’s a little history lesson about the March for Life in Washington.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the pro-life movement, it’s that we, as pro-lifers, must always remember how we came to where we are today.

Forty-two years ago, on January 22nd, 1973, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in favour of Roe in the infamous court case Roe v. Wade.  The Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of human life.[1]  Since then, according to the Guttmacher Institute (AGI), more than 53 million legal abortions occurred in the United States.

So, every year, on the anniversary of this U.S. Supreme Court Decision, hundreds of thousands of people march for life in Washington, DC.  This year, even in the midst of an impending blizzard, people from across America realize the gravity of the issue and want their politicians to know that the death of another human being due to abortion is an issue that must be addressed.  This brings me to the reason why I am writing this blog. This year the theme for the March was: “Pro-life and Pro-woman go hand-in-hand.”   This theme struck a chord with me.  It’s something that I’ve always thought about.

Almost every time I do activism, whether it’s on or off campus, I am told that because I am pro-life, I am not pro-woman.  That is the furthest from the truth you could get.  First, as a woman, I believe that all women, no matter what age, ability, or circumstance they are in deserve to be treated equally among their peers, whether or not they are in the womb.  More importantly, I believe that every human, no matter what age, ability, or circumstance, belonging to the human family is entitled to human rights.

Furthermore, being pro-life recognizes that there are two lives at stake when abortion is involved: the pre-born child AND the mother.  As pro-lifers, we must always remember this because to recognize one, but not the other would not be pro-life; it would just be pro-birth.  Caring for the mother and child before and after birth is paramount.  That is why I think pastoral support is so vital in the pro-life movement.  The women who are considering abortion are considering it because of the difficult circumstance they are going through.  Women who have experienced abortion and who are traumatized from their experience should be given all the help and healing they can get.  There are single mothers who may need financial support or a shelter to live in during and after pregnancy.  Women who are trapped in abusive relationships need the support they can get to get out of these relationships.  Women who are considering abortion should be given access to support that will help her carry the child to term.

Alice Paul, a women’s rights activist, once said “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and I have to agree with her.  The moment we, as a society, treat women as property instead of investing the time and energy to empower them, through emotional support and other means, we go down the same path that lead us to the necessity for the March for Life.  These women will have no other option to turn to other than to have an abortion.  Women deserve something better than abortion.  They deserve to be respected.  That is why it is important for us to know how to talk about abortion with someone who is considering it.  It is why the pastoral arm of the pro-life movement is so vital.  This is why every year Youth Protecting Youth fundraises for a bursary to be awarded to a single mother attending post-secondary.  Pastoral work is not only life-saving, it is empowering.  So, Washington’s March for Life took the words right out of my mouth: “Pro-life and pro-woman go hand-in-hand.”

If you or someone you know is considering an abortion check out our resources or email us at youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com and we can help you get the resources you need.

Reference:

  1. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 162
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An Unpleasant Truth

by Kamilah Thorpe

Last year around this time, YPY members participated in “Choice Chain” on the campus of UVic. Choice Chain is a display of graphic images which show the horrors of abortion. Many people were offended and disgusted by the horrible images of aborted fetuses that we chose to expose to the public that day.

I myself am horrified and disgusted by the images and will be the last person to deny that they can be emotionally traumatizing.

But they are true.

The reason that I participated in Choice Chain that day despite my discomfort with the images was because I believe that people need to know the truth. I cannot allow the bodies of those dead children to be left hidden behind clinic walls and disguised under idealistic mantras that cry “pro-Choice”. I want people to see with their own eyes what that “Choice” really is.

If we deny the truth we will never change and we will never heal. That is why I held that sign last year and that is why I would hold it again and again until everyone knows the truth about abortion.

I look forward to the day when people will remember those terrible pictures as something horrible that used to happen in our country.

But today it is still happening, and that is why YPY continues to fight to expose the horrors of abortion to the public, despite any opposition we might encounter.


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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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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


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The Cost of Abortion

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 “has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother. But who has been paying for what the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada calls “reproductive freedom, 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.


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Open House Success

“If you build it, they will come.” This saying held true for Ray Kinsella in the movie “Field of Dreams”, and it certainly held true for us at our YPY Spring Semester Open House. After putting together a comprehensive timeline detailing YPY’s events and activities since its establishment, we chalked our invitation in classrooms across campus, made a couple of announcements before classes started, and hoped the smell of lasagna would draw people to our informal information night.

 Over 25 students ended up coming to the open house, and many of them got a chance to talk with one of the many club members while they ate, before signing up for our email list and heading on their way with a couple of our pamphlets. This event was an incredible success, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped out!

So now what? Well, building on this turnout, we’ll be having our first full club meeting of the semester on Wednesday, January 23rd from 5:30-6:30pm, and you can look for a email about location as soon as we have a room booked! We’ll be doing a short presentation on what the pro-life message is and what our mission is as a club on the UVic campus. Though we won’t be doing a full dinner, we’ll provide a bunch of snacks and there will be lots of time for discussion. We’ll end by talking about some of the exciting plans that we have for this coming semester and how you can get involved with our life-saving work.

 If you have any questions, or if you weren’t able to make it to the open house but would like to join our email list, just shoot us a quick message at youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com and you’ll be added so fast it’ll make your head spin. Thanks again to those who helped out, and we look forward to seeing you out on Wednesday!


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100,000

One hundred thousand. For some people this number is a reminder of the number of minutes from now until they graduate at the end of this semester. For others, this number is a reminder of approximately how many people live in their hometown, be it Lethbridge or Chilliwack. Personally, this number reminds me of the approximate number of pre-born children that will be killed this year by abortion.

As someone who tries to answer the silent scream of these innocent victims, I sometimes find myself sitting behind Youth Protecting Youth UVic’s Clubs Days table (happening today and tomorrow) inviting my peers to join me in taking a stand for the most vulnerable members of our society. Sometimes I find myself organizing fundraisers to support local crisis pregnancy shelters, or filling out UVic’s application form to submit our $1000.00 bursary for single mothers on campus. And still other times I find myself behind a 3’x4’ “Choice” Chain sign, engaging passers-by in conversations about abortion. What would it look like if our pro-life activities were in direct proportion to the injustice being committed?

What would it look like if for every child that will be aborted this year we had someone sign up for our club? Well, we’d have every UVic student register for our club at least five times, and the line-up at our table would stretch around ring road multiple times. What would it look like if we offered a bursary for every family that will abort their child this year? We’d give away over one hundred million dollars. And what would it look like if there was a “Choice” Chain sign held for every child that will be aborted this year? Unless things change, there would be a consecutive string of unique signs stretching from Victoria to Nanaimo. You would need to drive for almost two hours to see each child’s image.

These statistics are not meant to intimidate those who are considering joining the pro-life movement, nor are they stated to discourage those who are already active within it. These facts should remind us that we have work to do, and that if we work together we can end abortion. Let 2013 be the year you choose to help end this injustice.