If 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:
What medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?
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?
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?
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,
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.
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.
Helpers of God's Precious Infants
We at QLC are planning to establish a sidewalk counseling ministry in Montreal. The sidewalk counselor is the last person who can reach out and offer an alternative to the woman planning an abortion and to save her child. The counselor waits peacefully and prayerfully on the sidewalk near the abortion facility, anticipating the arrival of the girls. A successful model of sidewalk counseling is that established by Msgr. Philip Reilly, Brooklyn, NY, and transplanted into numrous communities around the world. The following excerpt, taken from the Ottawa Helpers, describes the three-fold approach of vigilers, sidewalk counselors, and spiritual helpers. Hopefully one day, with your help and that of other benefactors, we will have our own sidewalk program ministry.
The Vigilers come to the abortion mill to pray for an hour or more, on any day that the babies are going to be killed. They carry on a most important spiritual battle, as they stand outside the mill. They pray in a spirit of reparation: for their own sins; the sin of abortion; and particularly for the deaths that will occur while they stand outside on that day. They pray for women going into the abortion mill: for the abortionist and his staff; for the neighboring community; for their legislators; for the religious leaders of the nation; and for all who, through indifference, do nothing to try to stop abortion.
The Vigilers provide spiritual and moral support for the Sidewalk Counselors. They are essential. Before a mother is able to physically abort her child, a 'spiritual abortion' must take place within her heart. By the time she arrives at the abortion mill, she will have already rejected her child. This 'spiritual abortion' must be overcome by spiritual means, before the mother can change her mind about the physical abortion. By their sacrifice and prayer, the Vigilers obtain the grace of God that is needed to reverse the 'spiritual abortion'; while at the same time the Sidewalk Counselors are working to prevent the physical abortion of the child.
The Sidewalk Counselors are the ones who approach the woman going in to have the abortion and ask her to reconsider her decision. It is surprising that the woman often has not been given much factual information about what happens in an abortion. The Sidewalk Counselors educate her about the baby's biological development in her womb, and help her to understand the exact manner in which the abortion will kill her child. They will also warn her of the physical harm the abortion may cause to her own body. The woman will be provided with literature telling of all the help available: financial, medical, and spiritual.
The Sidewalk Counselors will also talk to the father of the baby. If the woman decides to go up to see the abortionist anyway, she will be reminded that the Helpers of God's Precious Infants will pray for her and be outside waiting, if she, like others before her, changes her mind while she is upstairs and comes back out again.
There are some people who want to be present at the abortion mill but are physically unable to come. These Spiritual Helpers are present with the Helpers of God's Precious Infants in spirit. They contribute prayers and sacrifices made during the week, and offer it up for the work of The Helpers.
Some of the Spiritual Helpers are small children who are still in school. They make small sacrifices, such as giving up one night of television. They pray the Prayer Card of the Precious Infants for the work of those who go out to the places where the babies are being killed.
Other Spiritual Helpers are 'shut-ins' or terminally ill patients in hospitals, who offer their sufferings and the pains of their condition to God for the purposes and intentions of the Helpers. There are also religious communities, called to a life of contemplation and prayer, providing powerful spiritual backup.