The #MarchforLife and Overcoming Fear

Yesterday I told someone where I worked.

This isn’t unusual for most people, but I don’t like confrontation and I’m timid and tend to avoid it. I can post stuff on Facebook and I try to keep it non-controversial, but on Facebook I can turn off the notification.

Today I told someone where I work, face to face, and it was terrifying.

I work for a right to life organization, and I’m okay with telling people when I know they are allies. For everyone else, I just say I work for a non-profit and pray no follow up questions are asked.

But today, I just said it without hemming and hawing and it felt natural.

I was shocked.

Fear is something I’ve dealt with forever. I’m fearful, anxious, and constantly worried about saying or doing the wrong thing in social situations.

Today, however, it just felt so natural. I stared at the woman and her face reacted a little bit but she said nothing: no confrontations, no accusations about being anti-choice or anti-woman.

Lately, my faith life has been…not the greatest. I’ve been busy at work, and there have been so many setbacks and it has been so discouraging. I have said the odd prayer here and there, mostly for strength.

I was asking for the strength to be courageous in the fight for life.

I was asking for strength to proclaim life to strangers, even if I’m hated, yelled at, and ostracized.

I’m still not perfect (obviously), and I’m still not sure that today meant anything. Maybe it was just a fluke. I don’t know.

But maybe, just maybe, it was the start of something.

Today in my province is our March for Life; tomorrow we gather to stand up for life from all stages, in all circumstances. Today I’m a face in a crowd, but still, we march.

I’m wearing a shirt with a bold slogan; it’s not exactly subtle.

And today I march for my little brother who is years younger than me and has special needs, but whose life is just as valuable as anyone else’s.

I march for a friend’s sister who happened to have Down’s Syndrome, because upwards of 90% of Down’s Syndrome children are aborted.

Today I march for those who are elderly, lonely, and suffering. Canada has removed its restrictions for euthanasia and, unless we end up with a miracle, euthanasia will end up in the same legal vacuum as abortion in Canada, with no laws at all governing it.

Today I march for women, all women, because our equality is not dependent on giving up our femininity. Our power lies within our ability to bear children and bring forth life.

Life is filled with less than perfect circumstances, but our ability to love those around us, at every stage of existence, regardless of age, location, or abilities should not be governed by circumstance. Love is a choice and it is stronger than death.

So today, above all, I march for love.

Advertisements

#No2Trudeau – A Reflection

Monday night was the Fredericton stop for the #No2Trudeau campaign. I was a little bit apprehensive because I was the local organizer and no one was really committed to actually showing up. I was certain it would be just me and 3 other people in attendance.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst the silent and not-so-silent pro-lifers that, in Canada, it is no longer possible to vote in good conscience for a federal Liberal member of parliament. Why? Because:

no2trud

Source – CLC Youth

(Justin Trudeau has also said a number of other disparaging things about Canada. There is an entire website dedicated to his habit of putting his foot right into his mouth. But I digress.)

The focus of last night’s event was clear: pro-lifers need to rally and actively and vocally let people know that in Justin Trudeau’s Canada, pro-lifers are persona non grata. Thousands of children are being killed in utero. Children with beating hearts, unique DNA and human dignity are being slaughtered, torn limb from limb, and suctioned out of what should be the safest place for them.

The tactics used by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform & Campaign Life Coalition – Youth  in their End the Killing Campaign are controversial. To be perfectly honest I was extremely on the fence about using graphic images of aborted children to further an agenda. (I’ve discussed this a little bit before after I assisted in the postcard campaign against Brian Gallant in New Brunswick in September).

These children have dignity. They have worth. They did not deserve what happened to them. No one deserves to be treated like this because every person is equal and worthy of life and love, but does that make the use those pictures appropriate or necessary?

In short, I would say “yes”.

These images force people to reconcile the idea of abortion with the reality of abortion. It forces people to see what they support. It forces people to confront the humanity of these children and their own culpability in legalized abortion, and most importantly, it forces a discussion. Change is ultimately made through discussion and public outcry.

At the campaign stop last night, Jonathon Van Maren, talked about how graphic image campaigns have been successful in the past. It takes perseverance, tenacity and ultimately, just constantly reminding people that every year in Canada 100 000 preborn children are killed.

He spoke of William Wilberforce and his mission to take down slavery by using images of slaves and their treatment on slave ships. Wilberforce was ultimately successful because he changed hearts and minds of the public by awakening them to the reality of what slavery looked like and how slaves were treated until the public outcry grew so loud it could no longer be ignored.

Jonathon spoke of Lewis Hine and his use of photographs of children in child labour situations. He showed images of children who were maimed because they were using machinery meant for adults. Like Wilberforce, Hine was ultimately successful because he refused to give up. People were, rightly, horrified by how these children were treated.

Thirdly, Jonathon spoke of Emmett Till, and how the photographs of Emmett’s dead, mangled body sparked the civil rights movement which ended segregation in the United States. After Emmett was killed and his mother saw what had been done to his body, she insisted the casket be left open and those images spread through news publications across the United States. Those actions inspired Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.

Jonathon then spoke about how graphic images are used in the Amnesty International Campaign entitled, “It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now“.

These images enlighten and educate. No change has ever happened by people remaining comfortable. At a certain point everyone of us will be forced to see something we’d rather ignore.

abortquote

Once we are confronted with these horrors, we can no longer say we don’t know. Sure, some people ignore them and explain them away; others can pass them off as someone else’s problem. Or we can start to raise our voice and make a change.

JVM no2trudeau

Viewing these images and the inevitable discussion that they cause can be used to engage in civil discussion. This will, in turn, change hearts and minds.

Prolifers cannot afford to stay silent; sometimes we have to force the issue. The longer we stay silent, the longer we assume that others will eventually come around to the idea that abortion is a violation of basic human rights and the longer the bodies of abortion babies will continue to pile up as medical waste.

The #No2Trudeau campaign’s goal is precisely this: to educate, inform and to push people to act on behalf of the victims of abortion, to signal to the federal government that pro-lifers will not be silenced and that we will rally; that we deserve fair representation. Justin Trudeau is not offering that to the Liberal Party and the Liberal voters.

Open Letter to My MLA

Today I wrote a letter to my local member of legislative assembly (MLA), he belongs to a prochoice party and I certainly didn’t vote for him, but the pro-life MLAs are trying to get a debate open before the Liberal Leader of New Brunswick unilaterally and behind close doors makes decisions that will be to the very detriment of my province. 

I want to talk to you a little bit about the abortion issue and how New Brunswick is currently handling it. I know I’m probably just one voice and that most of your supporters are encouraging you to support Brian Gallant’s plans.

I’m in my 20s and I firmly believe that I have no right to an abortion and that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms supports this belief. I assume you are familiar with the Canadian Charter? It states that all Canadians have the right to “life, liberty and security of person”. Not having access to abortion doesn’t trample on these rights. However, more than just incorrectly using the charter to support an unnecessary procedure I’d like you to consider the economic implications of funding abortion.

Paying for an elective procedure is something the New Brunswick government can ill-afford. Our Medicare system is already straining because young people are leaving New Brunswick and older people are retiring. The Telegraph-Journal reported that funded abortions would cost approx. $500,000 to $700,000 additional each year. Where is this money going to come from? Is New Brunswick going to go further into debt for an elective and, in the majority of cases, completely unnecessary procedure?

Population growth triggers economic growth. If younger people were encouraged to stay in New Brunswick and to start families and work in this province think of how much good that could for New Brunswick. If New Brunswick became a province that fostered a culture of life the economy would recover. However, this can only happen if we don’t use the little tax money New Brunswick currently has available to fund a procedure that literally kills the future of the province.

I know that pro-abortion advocates (who are the minority in this province ) like to paint a doom and gloom outlook for maternal health if abortion were to become unavailable, but the fact is, they have no proof. The coat hanger statistics that are often quoted were fabricated by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the 1 in 3 women have abortion statistic is also a fabrication. The fact is that in country with no abortion access maternal death rates are lower (the Republic of Ireland, for example, reported 6 deaths per 100 birth in 2013 while Canada has 45) and more women die from legal abortion than illegal abortion (the CDC recently released a review of abortion in the United States and it showed that from 1973 to 2010 421 women died from legal abortion and in the same time frame 56 died from illegal).

My point is that abortion doesn’t make sense. Economically it does more harm than good, it causes a higher number of deaths than pregnancy (not to mention the well documented post-abortive syndrome and substance abuse that occurs in women that have had abortions), and the Charter of Rights does not require abortion to be publically funded.

I just ask that you consider facts and not rhetoric when it comes to the abortion debate in New Brunswick. I ask that you consider science (new DNA from the moment of conception and a heart beat by 6 weeks in utero). I ask that you consider the economy and the future of a province you clearly care about.

I chose to move to this province bucking the trend of most people my age who move away from New Brunswick, please vote against publically funded abortion if you are given the chance. It’s a better choice for New Brunswick.

Brian Gallant, Postcards and the Economy

On Wednesday I participated in the Face the Children postcard campaign initiated by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform and Campaign Life Coalition – Youth.

And I felt conflicted the entire time. Dropping off postcards in people’s mailboxes with pictures of aborted babies? Did it need to be so graphic to make its point? Does it have to be so in your face? What about the dead babies? Do we really have a right to use them in this way?

My head was a bundle of conflict and anxiety. What if there was a confrontation? WHAT IF SOMEONE SEES ME?! What if they yell? Swear? Attack?

I was nervous, I was anxious and the whole morning before I went postcarding I was certain I was going to throw up. (I am really good at working myself up into an anxious frenzy).

But then I realized 2 things:

  1. I have really great friends who listen and respond when I am being a complete head case 
  2. If I don’t speak for these children, who will?

Their lives mattered. People deserve to know them. To see their faces. To see their bodies. 

Their lives matter, and people need to see what choice does. The heartbeats that it stops. These children deserve their voices to be heard. 

In the postcard campaign, they get a voice. People see them. People see their faces, their hands and their feet. People see their humanity.

We live in our comfortable little bubbles. We talk of abortion using flowery language to disguise its nature. We talk of choice, reproductive health, and bodily autonomy.

We never discuss the children. The children who had no say in their conception and no choice in their death. We treat them as disposable garbage, as inconveniences. We deny them their right to life.

And that is wrong. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that all Canadians have a right to life and freedom of conscience. Abortion on demand eliminates that right, and the Liberals want to eliminate freedom of conscience both federally and provincially.

“The existing incumbent MPs were green lit (to seek nominations) originally through a different process that we respect. But the policy going forward is that every single Liberal MP will be expected to stand up for women’s right to choose.” – Justin Trudeau

“Some Liberals who oppose abortion have insisted their leader won’t impose his beliefs on them, but Gallant has said the party will adopt a policy similar to the federal Liberals’ and promote a position “that respects a woman’s right to choose.” – Brian Gallant

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the very thing our politicians are meant to uphold, they are willing to violate.

And, just so we are clear, in Canada there is no constitutional right to an abortion.

People are quick to say that abortion doesn’t matter in the New Brunswick election. The economy matters. According to the CBC, New Brunswick is barrelling towards bankruptcy.

But, Brian Gallant’s Liberals, the NDP and the Green party want to tax fund abortions.

According to the CBC: “Annual increases in public spending on health care in recent years have exceeded economic growth, inflation and population increase. In other words, massive infusions of money into health care are impossible”

But, the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party want to tax fund abortion.

“The province’s net debt currently stands at about $11 billion and could jump to about $62 billion by 2035, he said.” 

But, the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party want to tax fund abortion.

Abortion is not an essential service. Abortion on demand is not necessary and not economically reasonable. “Medically necessary” abortions would still be available. 

New Brunswick, like Canada, is below population replacement rate. More people are aging and drawing pensions, the median age of workers is 44, and there are no young workers coming up to replace them and pay into the social programs that provide the pensions.

You can’t recover an economy if there are no workers. The economy will continue to suffer if people are not here. Jobs get outsourced when people aren’t here. Population growth, again from the CBC, drives economic growth.

But don’t worry, because even though we don’t have people to work and stabilize the economy, we can use the precious tax money we do have to fund the elimination of unborn children instead of funding programs that would foster life, families and actual growth. Tax funded abortion perpetuates economic decline, it doesn’t foster population growth and it takes money that could be used on practical and necessary services and wastes it.

Wasting money on abortion is not what is good for New Brunswick, a woman’s  choice is more than one woman and one baby. The ramifications effect everyone.

That is ultimately why I chose to involve myself in the postcard campaign because even with all the violence we see in the movies people still react such an outcry to images of dead babies because it makes us uncomfortable but it sparks a discussion, as it should.

We need to ask why it makes us so uncomfortable. Is it because we know the only outcome to pregnancy is a baby? Is it because we know that what we all have in common is that we were all at that stage of development in our mother’s wombs and someone could’ve made the choice to kill us? Is it because we were given life and they were not?

Or, is it because seeing these images make it harder for us to deny the humanity of those aborted babies?  People don’t like to be wrong. Facing choice makes it harder to reconcile the pro-abortion viewpoint with human rights. And I think that is why people respond so strongly. They are so committed to the euphemisms they aren’t able to see the reality and when they do, they don’t want to be wrong so they get angry. 

And that is why I decided to help people Face the Children, because their voices may be silenced, but mine is not. 

10700697_667006856751846_9047705173824537211_o

Never thought I’d see myself agreeing with this guy…

If you are interested in seeing the postcard that was distributed, it can be seen here: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/sites/default/files/gallant_web_large.jpg