Youth Protecting Youth

Defending the Dignity of All Human Life


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A Simple Survey

On March 13 and 14, 2012, members of Youth Protecting Youth were out distributing surveys to UVic students. Here are the answers and appropriate references.

1)    When does human life begin?

a)    At the moment of fertilization

Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote(original emphasis). This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual,” (Moore and Persaud, 2013, Page 13)

b)    At birth

c)     When the child is no longer physically dependent on the mother

d)    When the child is conscious and self aware

e)     Other______________________________________

 

2)    When does the fetal heart start beating?

a)     At birth

b)    Somewhere between the 24th and 25th week of gestation

c)     Somewhere around 22nd day of gestation

“Major changes in body form occur during the fourth week…. The heart produces a large ventral prominence and pumps blood.” (Moore and Persaud, 2013, Page 76)

d)    Fertilization

e)     Other­______________________________________

 

3)    During prenatal development, the pre-born human…

a)     Is a part of the mother

b)    Is completely independent of the mother

c)     Is a unique individual, but completely dependent on the mother until around 22 weeks gestation

Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote (original emphasis). This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual,” and “There is no sharp limit of development, age, or weight at which a fetus automatically becomes viable or beyond which survival is ensured, but experience has shown that it is rare for a baby to survive whose weight is less than 500g or whose fertilization age is less than 22 weeks.” (Moore and Persaud, 2013, Pages 13 and 94)

d)    Is simply a parasite

e)     Other_______________________________________

 

4)    The Canadian Law on abortion states…..

a)     All clinical abortions are illegal

b)    Only clinical abortions in performed in the first trimester are legal

c)     There is no abortion law in Canada. Though few doctors will perform late term abortions, abortions are legally permitted during all 9 months of gestation (Morten, 1992)

d)    Clinical abortions are legal only when the mother’s life is in danger

e)     Other_______________________________________

 

5)    Every year in Canada there are approximately…

a)     2 000 000 clinical abortions

b)    200 clinical abortions

c)     No clinical abortions

d)    100 000 clinical abortions

Statistics Canada 2005

e)     Other________________________________________

 

References:

Legal Abortion in Canada. AbortionInCanada.com. Retrieved from http://www.abortionincanada.ca/history/legal_abortion_canada.html.

Moore, K., & Persaud T.V.N. 2013. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (9th ed.). Elsevier Saunders. Canada.

Morton, F.L. 1992. Morgentaler v. Borowski: Aboriton, the Charter, and the Courts. McClelland & Stewart Inc. Canada.

Induced abortions, by age group, Canada, provinces, and territories. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.abortionincanada.ca/stats/Annual%20abortion%20rates%20pdfs/Canada%20abortion%20rates,%201988-2005.pdf.

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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: 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:

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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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.


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Silent No More makes an impact

Last Monday, March 28th, about 50 people went out of their way to stop in front of the SUB and listen to the stories of three courageous women as they spoke of how abortion has affected each of their lives. The fact that these women were sharing from their own experiences made the presentation quite powerful. A number of students who heard the presentation reflected on what the message meant to them. The event’s emcee had this to share:

I was riveted by the power of all three presenters’ speeches. I find it’s difficult to get first-hand accounts of abortion, because it is not a subject I feel comfortable asking about, nor one that women freely talk about. After the presentation, being a healthcare worker, I asked a colleague for her anonymous experience with women who have had abortions (I was emboldened by the presentation) and she said it was all but universal that these women have extreme difficulties post-procedure. She added that many of them feel few immediate effects, but develop psychological problems even a decade later. This made me think of cigarettes: perhaps I want to smoke, but I should be made aware of the long-term effects.

Another student shared this with us after hearing the stories:

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was a shocking snapshot of life pre and post-abortion. I was surprised to hear that all three speakers chose the abortion unwillingly and out of fear, to mask the shame of admitting they were pregnant. It was particularly numbing to know that one woman’s mother and grandmother drove her to the hospital, exterminating their grandchild and great-grandchild in the process.

Although a large number of the students who came to listen to the speakers were pro-life, a large group of other students professing to be pro-choice were also present. One of YPY’s executive members shared this experience after interacting with some students:

I had the privilage of speaking with a number of students throughout the day, some of whom professed to be “pro-choice” and some of whom professed to be pro-life. … Two of the students who had stopped to observe the campaign outside of the library said that they were personally opposed to abortion. After asking them whether or not they were personally opposed to rape, and whether or not they felt they would be placing their subjective morality on someone who was not opposed to rape, they came to understand why abortion is not merely a matter of personal preference or belief. If any human life has value, then all must have equal value and must be protected.

We are extremely thankful for the people from Silent No More Awareness Campaign for coming and sharing with us their experiences. Many students were touched and many more went away thinking about the issue and how it not only affects the lives of pre-born children, but all who are involved in the choice of abortion. For more information about the Campaign or more personal testimonies about abortion, see their website here.


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Silent No More Awareness Campaign coming to UVic

March 28th, 2:15 PM, Student Union Building, UVic

 

In my experience, one of the most powerful ways that I have come to know and accept certain ideas or messages into my own life is through personal testimony. Learning through the personal testimony of others can be a powerful way to learn how to deal with a personal situation. As a club that seeks to uphold the dignity of all human beings, it is important for us to remember that not only does abortion kill pre-born human beings, but also that it may deeply hurt the people who make that choice.

 

YPY invites you to come hear a group of speakers from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign as they share their personal stories: how abortion affected their lives, and how they have healed. They speak from experience and their stories are very powerful. They will be speaking outside the Student Union Building at around 2:15 on Monday March 28th.


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Embryo Research: Experimenting with Humans?

Ever wonder what embryonic stem cell research is? It is essentially an area of research involving the use of human cells that have the ability to differentiate into many other different types of human cells. However, how researchers go about acquiring these cells is a topic of ethical debate. A reflection on this topic and how it relates to the abortion debate can be found here in an article by Abort73.com.

This Tuesday, March 15th, Youth Protecting Youth is hosting a presentation by Dr. Clement Persaud on the topic of embryonic stem cell research and the ethical questions associated with this process. The presentation will begin at 6:00 PM (in the Bob Wright Science Building, room B150), and will feature a presentation of approximately 45 minutes regarding embryo research, human embryo hybridization and other related biological processes. He will address the ethical issues involved with such procedures and propose practical points of action. This presentation is particularly relelvant to any student or person in the field of biology, medicine, embryology, or ethics. There is no cost to this presentation. We invite you to join in this event which will be sure to be very informative.

 


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International Women’s Day

Today is a day to celebrate all women!  It is a day to be grateful for all the advances made towards equality of all people.  Many victories and many struggles have brought about the acknowledgement of personhood, the right to vote, shift toward equality in the workplace, the right to inherit property, and other advances towards a society that respects all people, regardless of gender, as valuable, autonomous individuals. We have inherited this legacy from many courageous women whose vision of justice was profound and dynamic.  As we respect their achievements, we should also ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling their vision.

How can we say that feminism has been victorious if women are still forced to choose between their education and careers and their children? Feminists for Life is an organization that says “abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women.” The prevalence of abortion is a symptom of – not a solution to – the problems that still exist in our society. Feminists for Life seeks solutions to these problems because they believe women deserve better than abortion. On their website, you can read quotes from many of the early feminists which indicate that these women would not accept abortion as a way for women to gain equality, and that they saw it for what it was: killing children.

“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

 And therein lies the real question: how can abortion be a step towards equality when abortion law inherently treats the unborn as non-persons. The early feminists fought hard for women to be recognized as persons under the law. What would they think of a society that treats unborn children as non-persons? So often the pro-life movement is regarded as against women’s rights. As Andrea Mrozek of ProWomanProLife wrote in an article entitled “Pro-life doesn’t mean anti-woman”:

“There’s no battle between feminists and freedom. Being pro-life is a distinctly pro-woman stand; it is only for a lack of freedom of speech in Canada today that the debate is rarely framed this way. The abortion debate is only partly a question of rights. It is, more often, a question of life. With each repetition of “my body, my choice,” women’s rights to complete information, to intellectual integrity, to the scientific roots of life, furthermore to her own physical and mental health, are denied.”

 

She goes on to point out that in many cases, abortion does not get to the root of the problem:

“Asking why a woman wants an abortion highlights the real problem. Is it because her parents will throw her out of the home? Is it because she was raped? Is it because her culture demands she produce a boy, yet she knows she is carrying a girl? In each of these cases, abortion does not address the problem, but sweeps it under the carpet. Abortion clinics can’t ask the whys of it all: That’s an infringement of women’s rights — the unalienable right to suffer in silence. Pro-lifers support women, not abortion. Freedom of information has been curtailed such that no one understands how this could work. If abortion is not about another person, as well as the woman, none of this debate matters. If the fetus is a person too, then offering women one life-and-death choice without first fully discussing what is at stake is a denial of women’s rights beyond comprehension.”

 

So while we celebrate the achievements of feminists over the years, let us remember that we are still far from achieving personhood and equality for all human beings, both in Canada and in the world at large. Let us work towards real solutions to the challenges women face. We all deserve better than abortion.

Further links of interest: 

An open letter to pro-choice advocates by a woman who had two abortions can be found here.