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



40 Days for Life: Day 10 - 121 Saved Babies

Yesterday I learned that we had breached the three figure threshold (101) and today the count stands at 121 saved babies.

Thank you every body. Your prayers are making the difference.

Here in Montreal, we are not aware of any turn arounds. Yet, we stand strong at the corner of St. Joseph and St. Laurent Blvds, advocating for a culture of life.

Via our banner, prayers, and outreach, we are hoping to bring God's message of love to many who have lost the joy of living.

Even in yesterday's snowstorm, our message was getting out. A few among us engaged the pedestrians of the Main, many of whom were vehemently opposed to our presence in such a public venue. We can only pray that God touches their hearts, permitting them to turn and walk with Him in the fulness of life.

Union de prière!

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Barren Day 2 (40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil)

Day 2 at the "40 Days for Life" prayer vigil was pretty barren.

The number of participants was half that of the previous day - 11 compared to 22. The weather progressily got worse as the day went on; a snow squall hit the park at around 3 p.m. And even the pro-choice crowd remained away. Pretty stark day.

Yet, anyone familiar with deserts knows well that it is teaming with life. The "barren" afternoon - no one had register from noon until 7 p.m., indeed was not devoid of life.

First there were the moments of solitude. I was blessed. Prayer and reverie brought me to the foot of the Cross or in the garden of Gethsemane. Hymns buoyed my spirit.

Also, an elderly woman passing by, went out of her way to give me words of encouragement.

Then the first in a series of non-scheduled prayers showed up. At 2 p.m. Barbara arrived and together we chatted and prayed and before we knew it, it was already 4 p.m.; time for her to leave. An hour passed before a second prayer warrior showed up - Yves, and at 6 p.m. a third, jerome replacing Yves.

We fellowshiped and it was 6:55 p.m.; five minutes to go. After a final prayer of gratitude, we closed up shop, gathering the site's belongings. Day was done.

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40 Days for Life : the first day at the vigil

I'm writing this from an internet cafe on Parc Avenue - I have a two hour break... until noon.

Great day yesterday. Gruelling yet full of grace.

I spent eleven hours at the site yesterday and received many blessings, much positive stuff. Foremost was the trinkling of folks to the site to pray. Some came for five to ten minutes while others stayed for an hour or two. And this went on for the entire day - from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most came alone - Jean, Gabriel, James, Emilia,..., but others came in groups - a young couple from Verdun with their parents who are visiting from Brazil.

Also, had a couple to registrations. One man has offered to covered two two-hour slots per week and another couple will take an hour block on March 3rd. Slowly that schedule is filling.

Our nieghbours (the counter-protesters) showed up at 4 p.m. and stayed a couple of hours. The same lot we are familiar with. Jovial. Free bagels may have been an incentive from many. I felt hostility by one of the thirty or forty that showed up during this time. They have invested in a new banner, stitching similar to our own. I wonder how they bought it...

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The Abortion Ice-Age in Canada: a Thaw is Coming

Dear Pro-Lifer, you are anything like me, you are probably rejoicing with each passing day. Not only are we enjoying more daylight but also a stronger sun. Winter's end is near. (Click here for the February Newsletter !)

Could it also be, in the light of recent events, that the end of Canada's abortion winter is near? Is the era of free and unrestricted abortion is ending?

We at the Quebec Life Coalition think so and you can helpmake this happen. More about this in a moment.  

Abortion's Winter Thaw

First, the abortion thaw is underway. During the first week of February, the Honourable Stephen Woodworth, the Member of Parliament for Kitchener Center, Ontario, took a big step at thawing the abortion winter which has blanketed our land since 1968.

It was back in 1968 that Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau introduced legislation that permitted the performance of abortions in hospitals provided a three-doctor panel judged the medical merit of the procedure for the particular woman.

This legislation was challenged in 1988. Dr. Morgentaler argued that to restrict the procedure to hospitals alone was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Canada agreed, the Trudeau legislation was quashed, and ever since no federal law governing the procedure has existed.

Since this decision, the Conservatives have tried to write legislation but to no avail. And so at any time during her pregnancy and for any reason, a woman can have an abortion.

Will the step taken by Conservative member from Ontario be able to achieve legislative distinction?

And so on Monday, February 6, Mr. Woodworth took a step in this direction. His press release begins:

Today MP Stephen Woodworth filed a Motion with the Clerk of the House of Commons to ask Parliament to form a special Committee to study Canada's 400 year old definition of human being and report back to the House on the medical evidence it finds and on options to deal with this archaic law.

The 400 year old definition states that a child is a human being only at the moment of complete birth.

Yet, medical science, observes Mr. Woodworth, has progressed since this seventeenth century legislation on which Canadian law is based. A revision is due.

And not only a revision but also an evaluation of its implications, guided by the following questions:

  1. What medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?
  2. Is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Subsection 223(1) that a child is only a human being at the moment of complete birth?
  3. What are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 223(1) on the fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth?
  4. What are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1)?  

Income Tax Defund Plan

Also, we at the Quebec Life Coalition have found a way to contribute to this thaw, with a little help from you.

Included herewith, you will find a form to be filled and included with your provincial income tax statement. It is addressed to the minister of Finance requesting that your tax monies targeted for provincially funded abortions be refunded to you.

  • As we believe that the purpose of healthcare is helping individuals in our society with their sicknesses; and
  • Whereas pregnancy is not an illness; then
  • We conclude that abortions do not fall under the coverage of the ministry of Health.

So, we encourage you to fill in the form below and to submit it along with your tax return.

Along with the initiative of Mr. Woodworth, you will be contributing to ending abortion's winter reign.

Many thanks for your continued support,


Brian Jenkins

Coordinator for English and Multicultural Community Outreach

Quebec Life Coalition

As a special offer and to commemorate the "40 Days for Life" prayer vigil – from Wednesday, February 22, to Sunday, April 1, 2012, both new donors and regulars who respond to this month's appeal will receive a complimentary "40 Days for Life" t-shirt.


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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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Link between Mental Health Problems and Abortion

Here's an excellent video!

For those of you math-inclined, it's great. For those of you math-challenged, I think that the presenter, Dr. David Reardon, director of the Elliot Institute, is a pretty good pedagogue.

In it, the good doctor explains the findings of Dr. Priscilla Coleman who last fall presented a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry showing that women who had abortions were 81 percent more likely to experience mental health problems afterward compared to women who gave birth.

Also, in the last five minutes of this fifteen minute video, Dr. Reardon then critiques the American Psychological Association's criticism of the Coleman study.

In sum, I particularly appreciated Dr. Reardon's clarity at explaining loaded terms and statements.


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A Sidewalk Counseling Experience...

As the New Year began, I chose to act on a resolution I had been thinking about for some time now - sidewalk counseling.

In reading Shaun McDonnell's first hand account of his experience with this form of ministry, I could easily identify with what he wrote. From being "soft spoken" in my Christian beliefs; wishing to follow the Lord to wherever He led; the feeling the inertia when going to the clinic; "scared, nervous, and part of me was looking for ways to get out this commitment."

My experiences from this past January, you will say, were good reasons for some of these feelings.

On the one hand, there were the agressive acts from the personnel within the abortion facility. First, a middle-aged woman came out onto the second floor balcony, shouting at me to leave for I had no right to be there. Then, a younger woman, the receptionist (?), stormed out not once but twice, shouting at me to stay away. Finally, a third woman, identifying herself as the facility manager, rushed out and standing no more than six feet away threatened me with calling the police.

With the latter, I had a brief conversation. I explained that the local precinct had given guidelines to follow - not obstruct the sidewalk, not obstruct the entrance, and to give only material with a religious message. My message seemed incomprehensible for she ignored what I had to said, repeating her threat.

Not once but twice members of the SPMV - the local municipal police force, came by.  The first time, the patrol officers interrupted my vigiling to question me and the second time they parked across the street, observing, questioning me only as I was leaving the site.

In both instances, I was surprised by their pro-choice bias. Without citing any violation to municipal rules, they tried to convince me of the emotional harm my presence was doing to the patrons of the facility, not to mention the staff. Also, one officer went so far as to suggest that abortion saved lives! I gathered from this that the fate of the unborn did not add up in his calculus nor the after-effects of abortion on the health of the woman was equally omitted from their considerations.

In discussion with these officers, I recalled what my mentor in the Bronx had frequently said: when in the field, one always heeds the officers' call. Mary is one of Msgr. Reilly Helpers of God's Precious Infants, a ministry that fosters peaceful, loving prayer vigils outside abortion facilities. She had always insisted that we comply with the instructions of the beat cop even if he was misinformed. Yet, afterwards she would arrange a meeting the precinct captain to clarify our aim and methods. As a result, the patrol officers would leave us alone.

Here in Montreal I'll follow this course of action.

Grace is at Work

Also, as in the McDonnell article, grace was evident in a couple of instances. Once, I was able to share with a young woman leaving the clinic about the love Mary, the mother of God, had with her child Jesus.

Second, I listened and comforted another woman who had left the clinic. In her early twenties, she came out the front door and walked down its steps and stopped, standing no more than six feet away. I turned to her and asked if she knew anyone who was pregnant. In an air of discouragement, she told that she was. We spoke briefly; I suggest a phone number she could call for support. She then headed off down the street.

Many women need support. They do not wish to carry through with their abortion, yet do not know where to find the support they need. Being at these clinics permit us to extend a helping hand to them and to loving members of Christ's body.

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Odds and Ends: Encouraging figures and more...

The following figures and anecdotes, I find, are pretty encouraging:

  • Paris March for Life: On Sunday, January 22, 17 000 showed up, including three bishops, for the eighth French March for Life. The laity were encouraged by 32 French bishops to attend. L'abbé Loddé, formerly of Quebec City, was in attendance and was interviewed by the press.
  • On Saturday, January 21, over 40 000 attended the seventh West Coast March for Life in San Francisco.
  • On Monday, in D.C. several hundred thousand people gathered for the annual March for life. A powerful video is presented below.
  • Next, in Hungary over 100 000 gathered this past week in support of the Prime Minister who is under pressure from his European counterparts for Hungary's adoption of a pro-life constitution. Poland and the Ukraine are the lone European governments supporting the government of Viktor Orban. Your prayers are needed as this nation is particularly vulnerable right now as it negotiates debt relief with the European Union. 
  • Finally, on a lighter side, in today's Journal de Montréal, editorialist J. Jacques Samson, commenting on the lamentable state of the Quebec's health care system is calling for a return to hospitals run by religious communities. Tongue in cheek, he states that under the nuns Quebec enjoyed responsible admiistrators, physicians commensurately paid with their peers in the other provinces as well as their participation in the management of the institutions, including the finances.
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Side Walk Counselling Coming to Montreal ?

Blessed New Year greetings to you!

We at the Quebec Life Coalition are blessed in both respects – wellness and eagerness. We are well because of the support you have shown us over the years and particularly in 2011. Thank you. We achieved our Christmas fundraising goal of $5000, thanks to your support. Also, your prayers buoyed us along.

We are also quite eager as we look towards 2012. Not only do we have our staple activities but new ones to boot. The accompanying newsletter will brief you about the former. As for the latter, 2012 will be remembered as the year we begin our sidewalk counselling program.

Sidewalk counselling

For those of you unfamiliar with this practice, allow me to introduce it briefly. Sidewalk counseling refers to being present outside an abortion facility – on the sidewalk, in order to plead with the woman thinking of aborting her child to reconsider.

There are two components. First, there is the greeter. This person stands near the entrance of the clinic, attentive of the pedestrian traffic, trying to spot a girl heading to the clinic for an appointment. On doing so, approaches her to suggest alternatives to having an abortion.

The second component is the prayer. These typically stand a little off from the doorway of the mill, spending their time in quiet or soft prayer. These offer spiritual support for the greeter.

As many of us know, the role of the prayer mustn't me undervalued, as the following example will show. When I sidewalk counselled in the Bronx, I would arrive at around 6:45 a.m. outside the abortion mill because it would open its doors at 7 a.m. One particular morning, I followed my routine until 8:30 a.m. when my colleague Julie arrived to relieve me.

When I saw Julie next, she greeted me with a radiant smile. She explained that after I had left, a girl came out of the abortion facility telling her that she had decided to keep her child on basis of having seen me praying my rosary. You see while awaiting her turn, she had come out for a smoke. I was standing some ten yards away, oblivious to her presence. At that time, she spied me in quiet contemplative prayer. This sight was enough for her to reconsider and have a change in heart. So prayer cannot be undervalued.

Toll-Free Help-Line

This new ministry of sidewalk counselling dovetails well with another one of our new programs - the free phone line. Recall that this past October 2011, we introduced yet another manner in which we have come to the help of women in crisis pregnancy. Women seeking help are not only a phone call away from the assistance they are seeking but also get to speak with a live person. This number (1-855-871-4442) is a first in Quebec available only in French. (Birthright and others are available in English and have been for a while.)

So, these distraught women no longer need to scramble around to find help. From anywhere in the province, a single number connects them with a human operator who can answer their queries and allay any anxieties.

Examples of questions already fielded in the past few months include:

  • Where to find lodging;
  • Where to get financial support;
  • Where to find local support; and
  • Prayer petition.

Finally, sometimes the caller simply needs to speak to a sympathetic person.

So, as we hit the sidewalks of Montreal, this toll-free number dovetails well as the sidewalk greeter can pass this number on to the women who may need it.

Two new features

So, sidewalk counselling and a toll-free phone line, together we can help women crisis pregnancy before that they through with a decision that they will regret for the rest of their lives.

Many thanks for your continued support,

Brian Jenkins
Coordinator for English and Multicultural Community Outreach
Quebec Life Coalition 

Yes, I want to contribute to the work QLC will be doing for Life in 2011 ! Here's my New Year's donation, so that QLC can maintain and expand its activities in Montreal and in Quebec at large. To make an online donation:

Other ways to give >>

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40 Days for Life Meeting

I'm writing to invite you all to the "40 Days for Life" planning meeting, this Thursday, January 19, 2011, at 6 p.m. The agenda will be as follows:

  • Opening prayer
  • Go around - sharing one's vision for the current 40 Days for Life campaign Invitation to prayerfully consider serving in one of the team roles
    • Prayer coordinator;
    • Vigil Coordinator;
    • Outreach Coordinator;
    • Communications Coordinator;
    • Events Coordinator.
  • Share my personal commitment to the campaign
  • Ask for the commitment of other potential team members - schedule
  • Assign team roles
  • Determine campaign objectives
  • Define the three campaign components;
  • Pray together and dedicate your efforts to the Lord

We will also draw an initial vigil schedule. The vigil begins in six weeks, on Ash Wednesday - February 22, 2012, and ends on Sunday, April 1. This meeting will be at the rear of the St. Emile church situated at the corner of Sherbrooke street East and Davidson. The address is 3330 Rivier Street. Parking is available either on the street or in a lot. Hope you can make it!

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