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Quebec Life Coalition defends the human person from conception until natural death.

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Thinking of the Unborn this Christmas Season

Warmest Christmas and Season's greetings.

Here at the Quebec Life Coalition, as the year 2011 comes to a close, we wish to thank you for your generous support over the past year. Together we have been able to work on building a more just society, one that defends life, from the womb until old age, respecting all persons, irrespective of handicaps and health.

In this period, two issues have garnered most of our time and resources – the abortion and the euthanasia/assisted suicide issues.

In the abortion debate, over the past year we have been active in various ways. For example, this past May, we forcefully brought our message before our elected officials as we chartered a bus and travelled to our nation's capital to participate in the National March for Life.

Again in May, we also visited our provincial capital, carrying our message of life with us. These we held our annual congress, with distinguished speakers promoting the family. This is no small feat in a Quebec society that is more akin to a culture of death for, lest we forget, the Quebec National Assembly voted 109-0 (out of 125 members) on May 18, 2010, in favour of a woman's right to choose and the right to abortion.

In addition to having carried our pro-life message to politicians, twice this year we brought it to the public. For 40 days each time, we coordinated peaceful, prayerful vigils outside one of the more infamous abortion mills in the country right here in Montreal, daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. As for the second topic, euthanasia is occupying more of our attention over the next little while. Currently British Columbia courts are listening to arguments regarding the constitutionality of Canada's laws opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide. A woman with degenerative muscle syndrome – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease, is challenging the laws preventing her to end her life.

We at the Quebec Life Coalition are watching the unfolding of this story closely as well as the relating articles and events stemming from this court proceeding.

Your contributions, either on-going or occasional basis, will permit us to keep abreast of these as well as a few new fronts such as:

 

  • The defund abortion movement in neighbouring Ontario;
  • The Quebec government's undermining of parental authority, first by forbidding of religious education in state-funded day-cares and now in family-run day-cares ;
  • Challenges to P.E.I.`s ban on performing abortions on their island.

 

Again all of our work – including this monthly newsletter and our new pregnancy toll-free help line, would not be possible without a core group of individuals out there supporting us spiritually and financially.

Wishing one and all a blessed Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian A. Jenkins

English and Ethnic Community Outreach Coordinator

Quebec Life Coalition

 

p.s. We are in the second week of our Christmas fundraising campaign -- Thanks for donating; no amount is too great or too small !

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Book Review: Same-Sex Attraction - A Parent's Guide

Same-Sex Attraction: A Parent's Guide. Eds. John F. Harvey and Gerard V. Bradley. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, 2003.

While perusing the holdings in the book stall after mass one Sunday, I came across this particular title. Scanning its table of contents, I discovered that it is an anthology of essays from top scholars, one of whom I am particularly fond of - Fr. Benedict Ashely, op. I decided then to purchase it and I'm glad I did.

Twelve writers have contributed to the fourteen articles appearing therein - one contributor having written two articles and the other coming from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The essays are grouped into four themes - science, morality, law, and pastoral considerations. The articles are fully footnoted.

I haven't read the entire book but will share some early impressions after having read the introduction and section dealing with pastoral considerations. Complementary information may be found here and a review here.

The introduction is written by a co-editor, Fr. Harvey, director of Courage, a Catholic homosexual-recovery agency. In addition to summarizing the essays, he mentions the motivation behind the book. The editors "weighed the need for a book which parents of persons with same-sex attraction (SSA) could read to understand the nature of the homosexual condition and the immorality of homogental acts."

The first essay in the patoral section is written by Helen Hull Hitchcock and is entitled "The Teaching of the Church." Ms. Hitchcock surveys the history of the Protestant and Catholic churches to see how these are informing supporting parents of persons with SSA. The picture she describes is that parents are not given a clear and consistant message from church leaders as a whole. For example, in the Catholic tradition the magisterium has been consistent but not other religious, citing cases of sisters, priests, and even bishops at variance with the Vatican.

In the next essay, written by Alan P. Medinger and entitled "Calling Oneself Gay or Lesbian Clouds One's Self-Perception," I was particularly struck by the distinction between "Identity" and "Life Style." The author, who describes his own movement away from a gay identity and its limitations, encourages parents to adopt a three-fold stance with these persons. Namely, 

  1. See the child as a whole person instead of the "the homosexual" person;
  2. Love them and not accept their homosexual identity; and
  3. Supporting the child spiritually.

The third and final essay in this section is entitled "Questions and Answers for Parents of Persons with Same-Sex Attractions" and is written by Fr. Harvey. In a Q&A format he provides topics that have frequently come up in his dealings with parents of children with SSA, from the general - "What is homosexuality?", to more common one - "Are we parents to blame for our son or daughter's homosexuality?" There are 20 or so questions. He concludes by providing a bibliography and noting the availability of support groups such as EnCourage.

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Parental Rights Video

I just finished watching the accompanying video and recommend it for your viewing.

Though the setting is the United States, we in Quebec can identify with the video's theme of the ever-encroaching presence of the state in our daily affairs, particularly as these bear with the raising our children. In our province, we have witnessed both the diluting of our Faith traditions from the public schools and the implementing of permissive sex education programs and policies therein.

The video presents three cases in which parental rights towards their children have been undermined - health care, education, and faith formation.

Further, the video explains how these come about - very gradually and implemented via domestic and foreign legislation.

The video ends by urging all americans to get involved to pass a constitutional change via a petition campaign, known as the Parental Rights Amendment. Information available here.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZT79k_aBLkI

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Unmasking "Choice"

The following video is produced by the Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Along with it, the CCBER includes this description: "In this video the mask of choice is ripped off to reveal the reality of abortion in all of its gruesome horror."

Warning: It contains a lot of pretty graphic clips.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/s-m785Tgd28

 

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Abortion Justification #3 - Conception Following a Rape

This is the third in a series examing the logical fallacies pro-choicers make when justifying their position. The previous two were:

  1. Abortion frees a child from having to live in an abusive environment; and
  2. "I'm opposed to abortion, but respect the woman's righ to choose."

A third justification is:

  1. It is unfair to have a woman carry to term a child conceived as the result of a rape or incest.

This subject is the topic of a current news story. The latter profiles two rape victims - one advocating for the woman's right to choose while the second is pro-life. Yet there is an important difference in the two for the latter, unlike the first, conceived a child as a result of the rape.

Also, since the story appeared this past Friday, November 18, a string of thought-out comments on both sides of the issue have been posted. For example, Kris, an alias we learn, argues that she aborted following her rape because of the lack of support system available to her. Further she argues that it is unfair that to hold women to keep the child for the full term. 

Her comments are met by several writers who posit strong counter-arguments. "Beckwith24" and "Veritas" move the dialog away from the wishes of the mom to the violence done on the unborn. "DanielJ" brings up the topic of adoption, which meshes well with the lead story as this is what the second rape victim did and is glad for having done so.

The topic of adoption figures centrally in a study done by the Elliot Institute. In one of their publications - "Victims and Victors," it reports upon 192 woman who conceived following a rape or incest, 69% carried the child to term and 80% of these are happy for having done so.

Of those who aborted, nearly 80% reported that it was not the right solution and only increase the trauma they were experiencing.

Read more about the Elliot Institute's reseach here.

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The Origin of Life - 2 Videos

I found the following two videos instructive. The first is an imaginative look at pre-natal development while the second, on the same subject, comes from a mathematician doing the same via mathematical models and imaging technologies, whatever that is.

Enjoy

 

1. L'Odyssée de la Vie (The FXStudio)

http://www.youtube.com/embed/qm8vrt2ebnk

 

2. From Conception to Birth (TedtalksDirector)

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/fKyljukBE70

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Euthanasia: Media Review

With the court proceedings on the legality of euthanasia in Canada currently under way in British Columbia, I found the following three news stories insightful, in addition to the one appearing on our own site (see November 14), to contextualize the issues of euthanasia and assisted-suicide.

The first two are commentaries, appearing in yesterday's Journal de Montréal. First, Richard Martineau is critical of the recent study released by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) advocating for the decriminalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. According to Martineau, the RSC study lacks "encadrage" - i.e., properly defining the circumstances permitting end-of-life decisions. Abuses are inevitable, he writes, drawing examples from the United States and Switzerland.

Yet what worries Mr. Martineau the most is euthanising persons for economic rather than humanitarian reasons.

Second, Jean-Luc Mongrain, in "La vie à quel prix?", raises both philosophical and theological questions concerning end-of-life issues. So, unlike his peer who favours euthanasia, Mr. Mongrain is indeterminate.

The third article covers the release on Wednesday of a bi-partisan Parlimentary ad hoc committee report advocating for an improved emphasis on palliative care. In addition to delving into the report, Peter Baklinski at LifeSiteNews weaves together the events in British Columbia, the study of the RSC, and a couple of interviews, including quotes from Jean Vanier, in his article.

I hope these three stories prove helpful to better understand current events and the issues involved.

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Abortion Justification #2: The Trudeau Stance

In a previous blog - October 5, 2011, I treated the pro-abortion argument that abortion is preferable to growing up in an abusive environment. I countered with one does not know the future and therefore to extrapolate the fate of the pre-born is unfounded. A very bad move.

Today, owning in part to Liberal member of Parliament Justin Trudeau, I wish to address another flawed pro-abortion stance, namely, "I'm opposed to abortion personally but respect the woman's right to choose."

This logic is ascribed to the federal MP for Papineau (Montreal) who recently spoke at a Catholic high school in Pembrooke, ON. The local MP criticised the high school for presenting a pro-abortion politician to the impressionable teenagers. A summary of this story may be found here.

I think that there are two ways to address this stance - a weak way and a stronger way.

THE WEAK WAY

The Wisconsin Right to LIfe argues by presenting comparisons as the following shows:

  • I am personally opposed to child abuse, but I can't interfere with a parent's choice to beat their child.
  • I am personally opposed to killing, but it's a person's right to kill another.
  • I am personally opposed to stealing, but I can't force someone else not to steal.
  • I am personally opposed to rape, but I can't walk in the rapist's shoes.

These arguments reduce to approximately the following form:

  • I am personally opposed to (a given action), but I can't force another to be likewise.

So, a lot hinges on what the particular action is.

For example, if I substitute the blank with "supporting the Toronto Maple Leafs," one sees a weakness with the argument.  So, what the given action is bears on the value of the argument form.

Rather, I like Mr. Robert Byers's comments to the Trudeau article.

Why is Trudeau opposed , personally, to abortion.??? The Catholic stance is that abortion kills a human being and thus they are opposed. He should say whether he believes abortion kills a human being or not! If he does and still supports then why is he not supporting murder.! Pro-lifers should hold these people to a intellectual standard in articulation. Words matter.

THE STRONG WAY

To say that "I'm opposed to abortion personally but respect the woman's right to choose" does not show the full picture. This stance fails to account for the presence of another human being - the tiny human being growing in the mother's womb.

In the calculus on whether to abort, the value assigned to the woman's choice goes unmitigated by any other factor, including the inestimable value of the life of the unborn. The unborn child simply does not count for anything.

So, the argument fails because it presents an incomplete picture.

- Oremus pro invicem

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Baby 7th Billion: A Welcomed Addition

Stephen Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, pens a positive message regarding the arrival of the seventh billion member of the human family, this past October 31, 2011.

It is a moment to rejoice, signaling the prosperity that has accompanied human development on our planet over the past millenia, prosperity in terms of declining infant mortality rates and increased life spans.

Yet, his message contains a grim warning. Underpopulation threatens some 80 countries worldwide, particularly developed nations.

Read his newsletter here and view an interview here.

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A-B-C: Abortion, Breast Cancer Link

This past Tuesday evening - October 25, television host Michael Coran interviewed breast surgical oncologist Dr. Angela Lanfranchi on his show The Arena. Listen to the interview here to learn about "the biological and epidemiological evidence for the link between abortion and breast cancer."

Two things the Georgetown medical grad said were quite swaying. First, of 64 scientific studies, 53 show a positive link between abortion and breast cancer and of these, 25 are statisticaly significant. 

Second, medical facts - i.e., undisputed data in the medical field, note that for each year that a woman delays a full-term pregnancy after either an induced or spontaneous abortion, her risk of getting breast cancer increases - 5% for pre-menopausal cancer and 3% for post-menopausal cancer.

Lastly, an european actuarial study concluded that the greatest predictor of breast cancer in a country is its abortion registry.

Again, view the interview here.

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