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



"The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion" - a recommended article

The idea that contraception lowers abortion rates seems like a nice idea for Liberal leaders...but it doesn't seem to map out that way in reality. According to the recent New York Times article "The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion" by Ross Douthat, liberal states do not do better than conservative states in preventing teenage pregnancy. On the contrary, abortion rates are frequently higher in liberal states than conservatives states (the author cites that in New-York, two in five pregnancies end in abortion). 

Is it worthwhile to rethink social policy? Most people agree that they would like to see abortion rates go, what is the best approach? I recommend this article- though it isn't big on statistics, it is published in a popular left-winged newspaper and nonetheless makes the case that maybe conservatives who advocate a return to family values, marriage, and chastity are not as "crazy" as many think. Finally, if lack of access to contraceptives is not the main reason for the number of children aborted every year, shouldn't we be thinking whether the current model of sex and pregnancy is to blame (not to mention the flawed view of the human dignity of the unborn child)? 

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QLC President Georges Buscemi debates merits of Ethics and Religious Culture Course

...On the National Affairs show on CTV. You can watch the video here.

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Christopher West upcoming talk: "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32)

How do we live a life of freedom, self-giving, and love? How is it possible to grow from self-centeredness to self-sacrifice? For any of you interested in discovering the answers to these questions, I recommend Christopher West's upcoming presentation. Christopher West will be coming to Montréal from May 18th to May 21st, 2012 (open to all young people age 18-35).

I attended a Christopher West talk last year and found it particularly compelling and insightful. In defending life from conception to natural death, we need to have a solid understanding of what it means to be free and to make choices.

God has given us all the great gift of freedom, but as stated in 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV), "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial."

I hope this speech by Christopher West will enlighten all young people seeking to discover the path to freedom and love. Don't forget to register before March 1st! 

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Dismantling the « 98% of Catholic women use contraception » (bogus) statistic

To all those of you who honestly believed (or were shocked) by the Guttmacher Institute’s finding that « 98% of Catholic women use contraception », rest assured, this research does not fall into the category of reliable scientific research. Let’s take a look at several of the problems with their inclusion and exclusion criteria…

The survey was limited to women who are: 

(a) between 15 and 44. The White House and the Guttmacher Institute both assert that 98% of “Catholic women” “have used” contraception. But the data are restricted to the subset of women aged between 15 and 44. It tells us nothing about the views of women between 45 and 100. Is the White House implying that they do not count?

(b) sexually active. Why aren’t women who are not sexually active included? Presumably a proportion of Catholic women are single by choice and are observing the Church’s teaching. Don’t they count?

(c) not pregnant or post-partum. According to the report, “14% of married women are pregnant, postpartum or trying to get pregnant”. We aren’t informed what proportion of women are married, but it probably shaves a few percentage points off the 98%.

(d) seeking to avoid becoming pregnant. This is where the survey figures disappear beyond the looking-glass. It was restricted to sexually-active women, married and unmarried, who were seeking to avoid becoming pregnant. Thus all unmarried Catholic women who were not sexually active (there must be some of them) and all married Catholic women who wanted to become pregnant (ditto) were excluded. 

Using such restricted, biased inclusion criteria means the results of this study are not representative of the whole population of Catholic women. Please don’t be fooled…any study can be skewed by poor research practice. Thanks for sharing! 

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Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!

Within the constructs of our secular society, there are those very rare days when we feel inclined to celebrate a saint of the Catholic Church (Saint Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day). Sadly, these important events have turned into a commercialized, “let’s-get-drunk and have a party” occasions…the lives of the saints are forgotten, ignored, or worse, not known.

Don’t you find it odd that all of us look forward (at least a little bit) to Saint Valentine’s Day, and yet so few of us actually know the story of Saint Valentine’s life? What is it we are celebrating, and why? 

Historical records show that there may have been three different men known as Valentine, however it is likely that two of these were really the same man (St. Valentine). St. Valentine is known as the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages. Below is his story:

Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes.

It is also believed that while he was imprisoned, Saint Valentine performed a miraculous healing and restored the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter. Though the details of Valentine’s life remain incomplete, I find that we can draw great wisdom from his life in relation to the Pro-Life cause. First of all, it is important to remember that Valentine was imprisoned, beaten, and executed in the name of his faith. As a worker in the pro-life field, one can be a victim of great animosity and hostility. I hope we can draw strength from Saint Valentine and all the other saints who laid down their lives for the Lord, keeping in mind the precept, “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14).

Secondly, on this feast of Saint Valentine, let us not forget the he is the patron saint of love and married couples. Bringing an end to abortion requires that society develop an awareness and great respect for the Sacrament of Marriage. Without the institution of family, society will collapse. There is a proper order that is preserved through marriage, and in it we find development, joy, peace, and prosperity. On this day let us all make a prayer to Saint Valentine, that married couples may continuously find strength in Christ, that those discerning marriage be led along the right path, and that those who have suffered divorce, broken relationships, or marital abuse may find the courage to rise up again and believe in the power of Christ’s redemptive love. Enjoy the feast of Saint Valentine’s, and please share his beautiful story!

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The hush on post-abortion distress: unveiling the grief

After reading a letter submitted by a woman who had an abortion on, I could not help but think to myself, how many other women have a similar story to share? How many other women have come through the deep end and struggle to live in peace after a decision that tore their lives (and that of their child)?

I wish the platform for post-abortive issues were more open to public conversation. I feel that interaction with women who themselves made the ‘choice’ of aborting would help prevent struggling women from making the same devastating decision. Unfortunately, as it stands, the crime of abortion is only spoken of using so-called “politically-correct” (and morally fraudulent!) jargon: “freedom of choice”, “women’s rights” (and what about children’s rights?), “my body, my choice”...but how many women, men, and families have suffered from the killing of their unborn child?

Notice I say men and women- because yes, men are also hurt by the horrors of abortion, for when they conceive a new being with a woman, they willingly partake in God’s act of life- and when they neglect the existence of that tiny being and fail to support the woman they have physically committed to, they also suffer the guilt, frustration, and sadness that follows. 

A recent meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women having abortions experience an 81% increased risk of mental health problems. If anyone is wondering why Post-Abortion Syndrome is not spoken of or acknowledged by the medical community, one must also wonder what political motivations exist to hide the truth on the physical and psychological impacts of abortion.

A final point of interest: If the whole abortion industry really has in mind the best interest of women, why don’t they perform a regular post-abortive check-up to ensure that women are really free of mental and physical agony post-abortion? As far as emotional reactions are concerned, the The Montreal Morgentaler facility website simply states that if psychological persists after one week or so, you may need a referral for “post-abortion counselling”- so really, do they honestly believe that women resume life normally after aborting their child?

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Interesting Videos and Audio Recordings

Dear pro-lifer,

Here are a few audio-visual recordings that I have found interesting; I hope you do likewise.

First, from south of the border, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, gave a talk this past Wednesday, February 1, 2012, in Washington, D.C. on defense of life.

I found particularly interesting his juxta-positioning and treatment of two important issues: a woman's right over her body and the right to life of a human fetus.

Also, a memorable quote is the following:

The Right to Life is a fundamental one that trumps virtually any other right that I can imagine -- Because without it, none of the other rights matter. There can be no Liberty without Life. There can be no Constitution without Life. There can be no nation without Life. And there can't be other lives without Life.

His talk lasts about twenty-five minutes and presents his delightful humour throughout. A transcript of his talk appears immediately below the last video.

My second offering, another video, originates from Calgary' AB. This past Saturday, February 4, while participating and coordinating a life Chain, a pro-lifer was threatened with arrest by the municipal police officer.

As the video and accompanying article indicate, the posters displayed images that were too graphic for the officer.

I find it particularly instructive as more of us are bringing our peaceful pro-life message into the streets and may encounter similar dealings with law enforcement officers. Hence, the behaviour shown by the Calgary pro-lifers is a model for all of us wishing to respect our rights and remain peaceful.

Finally, my last offering, an audio recording, concerns peaceful pro-lifer Linda Gibbons. This grandmother has spent 9 of the past 17 years in jail defending the unborn child in and around Toronto. Her crime has been to counsel women who are entering abortion clinics to end the life of her unborn child.

The Priests for Life Canada, as part of its monthly "The Pro-Life Hour," interviewed Linda's lawyer, Daniel Santoro. This sixty-minute interview is neatly ordered into different compartments such as a description of Linda, a history of the creation of buffer zones around abortion facilities, and the legal proceedings that concerns Linda, including the case at Canada's highest court – i.e., the Supreme Court of Canada.


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Planned Parenthood: tearing children away from their parents

Imagine being a 14-year old girl in a crisis situation: pregnant and yearning for some help. You take a little trip to the website of the world's largest abortion provider - Planned Parenthood - in search of some assistance.

Upon landing on the site, you turn to the Abortion section. With fear and anxiety running through your mind, the following words catch your attention: "¨Parental Consent and Notification Laws." Under this section, Planned Parenthood insists on making it clear that if you are under 18, you can avoid involving your parents in the abortion decision in three ways: 1) by asking a judge to excuse you, 2) by finding a legal guardian to be notified in place of your parent, or 3) by proving that you are independent of the care of your parents.

My question to you: does this information protect or harm the minor who finds herself pregnant and alone? Suppose I am a 14-year old girl who is pregnant and in shock...does my "freedom" to have an abortion without consulting my parents allow me to make the best, most informed decision?

There are cases where a pregnant girl is abused or neglected by her parents - in this situation, the presence of another caring guardian or school counselor should be enforced with even greater emphasis. However, Planned Parenthood's website is not helping minors to find the assistance they is giving them bad advice and a false sense of security by encouraging the pregnant child to come to the abortion clinic in secret, without an adult. After this, she will have to bear the painful decision she made for the rest of her life.

I remember myself at age 14. I was a lot more impulsive. I made decisions based on my emotions- if I felt happy in the morning, I went out for a walk. If I felt sad and lonely, I'd eat chocolate and watch T.V. Were it not for the help of my parents, I'd probably still be engaging in those unhealthy habits...I wouldn't be who I am today because no one would have been there to nag me about the consequences of my actions and teach me how to respond with courage to life's difficulties.

Whether we like it or not, our parents shape our decisions. Without them, a child simply does not have the guidance necessary to make the best choice. So why does Planned Parenthood insist on conveying to minors that they do not need to involve their parents in the abortion decision? It looks like this baby-killing enterprise does not really want what is best for their underage clients - rather it seeks to push any parental input as far out of the decision as is Planned Parenthood really trying to "advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices"? I think not.

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“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”

Today, as I hear Stephen Woodworth's call to reassess section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada, I draw strength from the popular saying “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” According to section 223 of the Code, (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not (a) it has breathed; (b) it has an independent circulation; or (c) the navel string is severed.

Do not be ashamed if you were unaware of this absurd definition of human existence- it is likely a discovery for many of us, and thanks to Stephen Woodworth, some light will be shed on this important, urgent issue.

Now, for all the pro-choicers out there, your first reaction at Woodworth's proposal may be scorn and could he bring up abortion again? Doesn't he get it? The abortion debate is closed, and we won it!

Although it is my firm belief that abortion is a most heinous crime that steals lives everyday, that is not Woodworth's point. Irrespective of faith, politics, or culture, the question at stake here is one that everyone must grapple with: What constitutes a human being? To the pro-choice side, Woodworth may look like a pro-life stinker, but he is nonetheless right in contesting our current definition of when a "child" becomes human.

Let us refer back to section 223. If a child only becomes human when it has completely left its mother's body, then it would be legally permissible to choke a child to death upon the first breath it takes when exiting the womb as long as his lower body is still stuck in his mother's abdomen. Agreed? Of course not! This definition is absurd because it doesn't line up with our most basic intuitions.

But let's get to the root of the issue: are the unborn human or not? Imagine a world where babies were born minutes after being know that this tiny organism will grow into a beautiful baby as long as you place it into a warm cave full of nutrients and protection. Would anyone dare to argue that this tiny being would fail to become a child and then an adult? The problem with the current legal definition of a human being is that it is deceitful; it evades responsibility from protecting human life. In short, this bad legislation just soothes the consciences of pro-choicers by masking the truth. If the unborn child were properly referred to as human, then abortionists would have to refer to themselves as murderers- and a country like Canada would have to admit to the legalization of the destruction of human life. 

It is not the first time in history that we undermine the value of human life. During the era of American Slavery, African American people were not given their full rights; they were treated as property to be sold and bought. In those times, slavery was not viewed as the injustice it is. So why are we making the same mistake again? Why are we treating human beings (the unborn) like property to be marginalized and sold in the service of our own ends? The answer is simply that we have the ability to kill unborn children...but it is not because we have the capacity to do something that we are allowed to do it. 

To say that the unborn child is not human till he leaves the mother's womb is a lie. It is a pervasive lie that has diseased the minds of many. I urge you to listen attentively to Woodworth's proposition; though he may seem to have his own political agenda, he is opening a debate that should concern us all.

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Quebec Life Coalition warmly welcomes MP Stephen Woodworth's call to update the Criminal Code

We at Quebec Life Coalition warmly welcome the steps taken by the Honourable Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, Mr. Stephen Woodworth, to introduce into parliament a private member’s bill to re-examine the status of the unborn child as defined in section 223 of the Canadian Criminal Code.

We agree with his press release of December 21, 2011, in which he mentions that the Criminal Code definition of “human” is based on a 400-year old statute. This clearly inadequately reflects 21st medical science regarding fetal development and laws based thereon need to be rewritten.

We also agree with Honorable Stephen Woodworth’s statements made in a February 6, 2012, press conference in which he stated that parliament needs to consider the principles which govern the human rights of the child in the womb in light of 21st century science.

Moreover, medical science is corroborating the harm that abortion is having on our society. First, a growing number of studies are showing how women are being maimed physically, emotionally and psychologically after having undergone an abortion. Second, science is also revealing how the infant in later stages of development suffers too in the moments prior to its death at the hands of the abortionist.

Hence, we welcome the proposal from the Honourable member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre that the House re-examine the status of the unborn in the light of contemporary medicine and ethics.

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