Isn't it interesting that so many pro-choicers feel threatened by images of aborted babies, when aborting babies it is the very 'right' they so fervently advocate? When people stand up for a cause, they should not be ashamed to show what it is they are fighting for. However, the opposite is true for abortion...if you show one image of an aborted child to a pro-choicer, they will likely be angry, hostile, or enraged.
I admit I feel somewhat ambivalent about the use of abortion imagery. Pro-Life groups such as the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) are known for their use of photos of bloody, aborted fetuses on highways, sidewalks, and next to abortion clinics. Recently they have been sending postcards with images of aborted babies to residents in Canada (to see the content of the postcards please click here).
I have thought about this a lot and reason that if the pro-lifer is shocked, saddened, and disgusted by images of aborted fetuses, the pro-choicer might be even more so. Why? Because in the pro-choice mentality, the fetus is considered as something less-than human, just a "clump of cells," with no shape or form, no human features. Abortion is not presented as an act of killing (which it definetely, undoubtedly is)...rather, it is advertised as a clean, simple procedure. When you have been lied to, the shock of seeing the truth hurts even more.
So now comes the big question: Should graphic images of aborted fetuses be used to spread awareness about the horrors of abortion? On the one hand, people may find that these images are disrespectful towards the child who was killed. There is also concern that these pictures create strong feelings of guilt, shock or sadness in post-abortive men and women. Finally, what happens if a child finds the postcard in the mailbox? Will that child be scarred for life?
The CCBR has taken into consideration all these concerns, but nonetheless believes that the pros of using abortion imagery outway the cons. Though I found myself disagreeing with them at first, I realize (after further research) that their postcards are actually incredibly well-made and are meant to get people thinking about abortion as a criminal wrong rather than a protected right. Though people may be insulted or have their feelings hurt initially, respecting the life of unborn children takes priority when it comes to the abortion debate.
The truth is that we are all, knowingly or unknowingly, accomplices in this war against unborn children. Just like the abolitionists of slavery risked their lives and took a stance against the injustice of their day, we too must stand out and speak up. This pro-activism is absolutely necessary in defending life because we live in a climate of moral relativism...many people have never seen an image of an aborted fetus, yet adamantly defend unlimited access to abortion. So, after some re-thinking on this issue, I think it is right to say that the CCBR should be commended for their efforts in revealing the truth about abortion to the public through these images. War against the unborn is raging- are we going to sit idle and let these crimes against humanity continue, or are we going to "unmask" the choice of abortion?
Please note that I would be interested in hearing other people's ideas on this issue. Finally, let us remember that in converting people to the way of Life, prayer is of irreplaceable value. As Jesus said, “This kind (of unclean spirit) can come out only through prayer.” - Mark 9: 29 NRSV.
Last night the 40 Days for Life Vigil in Montréal began with a kick-off event in Park Lahaie. A group of about 15 people attended, and we alternated between prayer meditations in French and English. We were lucky to have fairly mild weather; after singing ‘Amazing Grace’ in the unity of Christ, we walked over to the nearby Convent where we shared some good food and conversation.
During this event, our president, Georges Buscemi, was interviewed by Barry Morgan on CJAD. A few of the callers posed questions on whether there are exceptions to our position on abortion, what to do in cases of rape, and whether the emotional content of a woman’s pregnancy should be a factor in deciding to keep the child or abort it. To listen to Georges Buscemi’s interview on the Pro-Life position, please click here.
And finally…many thanks to the people that came out last night! We hope to see more of you in the near-future at Park Lahaie (30 St. Joseph Blvd), anytime between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., 7 days a week.
The current "40 Days for Life" campaign is the largest in the movement's history. Over 300 grass-root groups have stepped forward to host a site where praying for the end of abortion is occurring and this in seven different countries. Information regarding the history of the movement may be found here.
Here in Canada, we are also seeing the greatest numbers of vigil locations occurring in any one campaign since these began back in 2007. From Victoria, B.C., through the prairies, into central Canada, and out east in the Maritime provinces, fifteen organizations have committed themselves to the cause of the unborn through 40 days of praying and fasting and constant vigil.
In Edmonton, Alberta, the prayer vigil caught the attention of the Western Catholic Reporter. In an October 10 story, and found here, the article notes the ecumenical tone to the vigil as both protestant and Catholic groups are participating.
Further, the reporter notes that what had been a once a year vigil - in the spring time, has for the first time become a twice a year event. Karen Richert, office director for Edmonton Pro-Life, says in regard to this change: "...we had a lot of people say to us that the weather is so much more favourable in the fall, so that's why we're doing both now.
Finally, we read how the vigilers are disproving the myth that we are there to judge and condemn the women who wish to procure an abortion. “People just want somebody to talk to, and they want to know that they are not hated for what they’ve done, so that sign of hope and witness is always so important,” said Richert.
I trust this blog finds you all well.
Well, reactions continue to be written regarding yesterday's incident at Notre Dame de Montréal Basilica. (See links at end of blog.)
Crossroads Canada pilgrims were making their final Montreal visit before heading out to Ste. Anne de Beaupré, outside Quebec City that same day. The twelve pro-life pilgrims had arrived Friday afternoon from Cornwall and had spent the weekend praying and witnessing to Montrealers about their cross-Canada walk that began in Vancouver this past May. Friday they were received at the St. Joseph's Oratory with a sunset picnic. Saturday, after a 10 a.m. mass at the Oratory and before a picnic in Lahaie park, they prayed for a solid two hours in front of the Morgentaler abortuary. Finally, Saturday evening and Sunday they meet various parish groups both in Montreal and on south shore Longueuil sharing their experience.
On Monday the young adults and their hosts gathered for a mid-day Mass at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. Afterwards the group processed through the busy streets of Montreal with stops at St. Patrick Basilica and Bonsecours Chapel prior to arriving at Notre Dame. The walk proceeded fairly well, with the occasional heckler mouthing off. Fortunately there were also a few affirming honks and waves.
The pilgrims were warmly welcomed at Notre Dame. Quebec Life Coalition president Georges Buscemi greeted them with a special gift - T-shirts for each participant emblazoned with the pro-life message in French. This will be fitting attire for their trek through La Belle Province. After a photo shoot of the group with their new wear,
the lot of us proceeded to the basilica for prayer, oblivious to what awaited us.
In a nutshell, we were denied entry. (Personnel are posted at the entrance to greet and direct both visitors & pilgrims - the former, after payment, are admitted into the church while the latter into the small frontal chapel, free of charge. The latter is a glass enclosure in the nave set aside from the church for small Eucharistic celebrations, containing space for about 30 people, an altar and a tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament.) We were told that our PRO-VIE t-shirts were inappropriate. A half-hour later and after some private negotiating between the pilgrims' leader - Michael Hayden, and the presiding clerical official, we eventually gained access into the chapel.
Once inside, the experience was spiritually powerful. It is difficult to recount. We were alone in the chapel. To a person, we knelt in silent meditation for some time. Afterwards, we recited the rosary and then listened to one of our group share how she had been divinely touched during the prayer with a message for all of us. Namely, that our trial at entering the chapel this day was akin to the reception He had received in the synogogue in his home town. Upon exiting, I felt invigorated.
In conclusion, I understand that the basilica has been the site of disruptions in the past. Persons with political messages had entered the church and disrupted proceedings. And so, norms have been set up to prevent future repeats. Yet, I think a revision is needed to the guidelines, permitting a distinction between a political message and a pastoral one.