Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Petition against pregnancy centre ads - really?

It is hard not to roll one's eyes when you read this petition.

In response to bus ads for the Open Door Centre, a women's resource centre that aims to help women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy, a Halifax woman has launched a petition to ask Metro Transit to remove these ads.  Her reason? 

They pose as “pregnancy crisis centres" in their bus ads but omit that they are anti-choice and do not provide scientifically accurate information about abortions. Frequently they are financially backed by religious groups that do not approve of abortions. They advertise on the bus, targeting minors, people who are low income, and students who are new to Canada who may not know the ins and outs of the Canadian healthcare system yet.

True, the ads for the Open Door Centre do not say "we do not refer for abortion", however anyone who calls or visits will realise that immediately. What the Centre does provide is a safe place to talk over one's options with someone who is empathetic and informed both about abortion and pregnancy.

Now, I know from personal stories, that girls who visit the Halifax Sexual Health Centre do not get accurate information about their pregnancy. Rather, the first option presented is abortion and these girls are encouraged to procure an abortion, so that they can "get on with their lives". 

They are not told about the risks of abortion: the higher incidence of premature deliveries with subsequent pregnancies (which brings about increased risk of cerebral palsy to name one disability), the risk of infertility due to scarring caused by the abortion; the increased risk of breast cancer (latest studies from India indicate a 5 1/2 times the risk of breast cancer due to an induced abortion). 

So who is being transparent here?  That is the claim of one Allison Sparling and her co-petitioners, that the Open Door Centre is not transparent with young women who seek their services.

This petition is simply the reaction of a group of pro-choice activists who cannot even bear the mention of pro-life efforts that serve both the woman and the child. For them, pregnancy is a problem, something that they just don't want to deal with. Reproductive rights have nothing to do with reproduction, but have everything to do with uncommitted sexual activity with no consequences.

Sadly, they will find out that there are always consequences to actions. They may not get pregnant, but these lifestyles bring their own sad results. Infertility, sexually transmitted disease, not to mention all the broken relationships that lie in the wake of these choices.

Women like Allison may not like the work of centres like the Open Door Centre, but I really don't see why they get their knickers all twisted up trying to prevent anyone else from accessing such help. If they are really "pro-choice", why is it that they don't ever seem to support the choice to be pregnant?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Indian studies reveal abortion-breast cancer link

Twelve recent studies carried out on the Indian subcontinent reveal that women who have had an abortion are at 5 1/2 times the risk for developing breast cancer.  What is to be noted about these studies are that they have been done on a population with a different history than most other populations. Indian women tend to marry younger, they often do not use hormonal contraception, they tend to have several children, and they are most likely to breastfeed their babies. Therefore many of the other risk factors for breast cancer are absent in these studies.

As Stephen Mosher says, the pro-abortion proponents need to stop avoiding this evidence. They need to inform women of the risks involved with abortion, if they truly care about the women they claim to be advocating for.

The abortion movement continues to whistle past the graveyard—where the bodies of women who have died from abortion-induced breast cancer are buried. It continues to try and discredit the mounting evidence of an ABC link by claiming, “Weak associations can turn up by chance and are therefore random and meaningless.”
It’s fairly obvious to me that the deniers are more concerned about promoting their own dogmatic beliefs than they are about saving women’s lives. The radical feminists believe that women need to be liberated from childbearing. The radical abortion movement believes that Planned Parenthood needs to make money. And the radical environmentalists believe the planet needs to be relieved of its burden of humanity.
 They are irresponsibly advancing their own deadly agendas at the expense of science and women’s lives. What’s scientific and liberating about that?

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits. Reprinted with permission from

With the upcoming Run for the Cure on October 5, 2014 perhaps we need to be informing those who run that they are overlooking a major cause for the breast cancer they are trying so hard to eradicate.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Defending her abortion

A video of a young woman who claims she is not ashamed of having had an abortion.

After talking about all the things her daughter would have done, had she been allowed to live, she then says:

“But I would have supported her right to choose, to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would have died for that right, like she died for mine. I am sorry, you came at the wrong time. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed.”

The following is an astute comment on :

Those are wrenching words. It’s one thing to lay your life down for someone else, it’s an insidious other to lay someone else’s life down for your own.

Well said.  It reminds me of Father Frank Pavone's words: 

"Abortion says this is your body given up for me, while Christ says this is my body given up for you."


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pro-adoption bus signs go up

The latest campaign from Signs for Life was launched the other day. The Terry sign, as it is called, is now up in all 255 buses throughout Halifax/Dartmouth.

Terry's story is a remarkable one, and she is proud to tell anyone who wishes to hear it.

My name is Terry and when I was 21 years old, I got pregnant. I grew up in a large Catholic family so I don't have to tell you this was not an ideal situation!
But I do want to tell you this -  I have been where you are ......


We don't hear enough stories of the positive side of giving up a baby for adoption. We hear from many couples who have adopted a child and their lives are enriched by that. But we don't often hear from the brave women who gave up their babies, an act of incredible self-sacrifice.

If there are any more Terrys out there, please come forward and share your stories with us.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A brave woman - Mariam Ibraheem


"It is my right to be able to practise the religion I choose."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Confused about Pope Francis

I am waiting to see who is going to write about this first.

I sincerely hope that Father Longenecker writes about it, and Father Zuhlsdorf. I am not even sure that Michael Voris will tackle this, as despite his readiness to criticize much that is going on in the Catholic Church,Voris seems reticent to actually criticize the Holy Father himself.

But I just find it incredibly confusing.

As I find much of the Holy Father's actions confusing.

I have hesitated to write about Pope Francis before, and this is not a criticism per se. But it is really reaching a point where I can't just remain silent any more.

I have endeavoured to restrain making judgements on our Pope. In fact, a friend of mine said if I said one thing about him that was negative, she would never speak to me again!  Probably an idle threat, but I took it seriously at the time.

However, two things stand out in my mind that seem to be real problems with Pope Francis. First, he has a South American view of the world and economics and politics. That may bring to the forefront the ideas of social justice, which are certainly important. But name one South American country that is a success.  Precisely. Not a single country south of the equator has managed to have an economy or a political situation that is worth emulating. Therefore I conclude that Pope Francis' world view is somewhat coloured by his own experience, and I don't trust that experience. Enough said about that.

Second, Pope Francis breaks with tradition a lot, he speaks off the cuff with journalists (which leads to lots of misinterpretation by the media), he does things his own way and is somewhat unpredictable.
None of those things are bad in themselves; however the conclusion that I have come to is that he is a spontaneous individual, perhaps even impetuous.

Of course, marrying 20 couples at St. Peter's yesterday, was not impetuous but required lots of planning. But the idea was his and he probably got the event orchestrated while many of the clergy around him were probably more than a little concerned about the impact of such a ceremony.

Does Pope Francis consider the consequences of his actions? Does he really think that the interpretations and misinterpretations that follow such actions are not that important?  Does he not realise that many of us will be left trying to explain such actions to our non-Catholic friends, even to our Catholic friends.

Being an impetuous person myself, I have come to realise that sometimes actions should be carefully weighed before undertaking them.  I only wish that Pope Francis would listen to some good advice, whereas he seems to be following his own inclinations most of the time.

I won't say more, I will wait to read what people whom I trust have to say about this.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pro-Life Groups on Campus

A pro-life group at the University of Victoria BC was met with vandalism when they set up their table at the university's Clubs Day event. Those pro-choicers who objected to the presence of the pro-life group, stole their materials including expensive fetal models and dumped cat feces on the display.

It goes without saying that this is incredibly juvenile behaviour. Those who disagree with something should have the courage to engage in a conversation. The fact that these people resorted to using "cat poop" to make their statement shows that they really don't have a statement. They just have to shut down the pro-life voices.

This is because if they let those voices be heard, they may just have to face the terrible reality of what they or their friends have done, i.e. killed their own babies. This is the real reason for such action: they can't face the horrific truth of what they have done or condoned. The only way they can handle this reality is to block it out: out of sight, out of mind.

Here, in Halifax, the local crisis pregnancy centre has managed to have a table at both St. Mary's University and at Mount St. Vincent University on their open clubs days. And Heather, the director of The Open Door Centre, has either spoken to or given literature to over 450 students. However, Dalhousie University rescinded the Centre's permission to set up a table at that university today.

My guess would be pressure from South House, the new centre for women and for LGBT issues. The director there is quite hostile to anything pro-life and I can see her and her co-horts pressuring the student union to block The Open Door Centre from having a presence on campus.

Again, what are they afraid of? The Centre does not do any in-your-face pro-life advocacy. It simply speaks to individual students about their options should they find themselves facing a surprise pregnancy. Don't pro-choicers see the irony of not allowing that choice to the women they claim to be working for? 

The very acknowledgement that someone might consider carrying her baby to term is threatening to pro-choice advocates. It means recognizing that there is a life there, that abortion really does end that life. This is why even such a gentle presence as The Open Door Centre can't be allowed on the Dal campus.

It is simply too terrifying to have to face the fact that someone might have done something too awful to think about. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Does Conscience Trump Moral Authority?

For so many Catholics, the question of why don't bishops speak up on certain issues and why don't they correct those Catholics in public office when they stray from Catholic teaching, is a constant irritant. Some of us are left puzzled by our bishops' actions, such as the recent action of Cardinal Dolan with regards to the St. Patrick's Day parade (

In other cases, we wonder why our shepherds don't refuse Communion to pro-abortion politicians when this is specifically called for in canon law. The list goes on and the conclusion is that our pastors and bishops are weak and afraid to say things that are politically incorrect.

But an interesting analysis of this problem is offered by Father Mark Pilon in yesterday's The Catholic Thing. He tackles the question of following one's conscience as opposed to following church teaching and it certainly explains a lot about the ambivalence one finds in the bishops towards speaking out publicly when faced with a moral problem.

I suppose the bishops could be suffering from political correctness. Or they have a misunderstanding of the relationship between church and state. But it is likely that most bishops have effectively adopted a subjective notion of conscience, that conscience in the end trumps the moral authority of the Church. This is what seems to be behind their failure to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion. They assume that they can never judge the responsibility of these politicians for their actions. Canon Law doesn’t require any such final moral judgment to deny Holy Communion, but only when there’s been a judgment that certain Catholics are guilty of an objectively scandalous and public action contrary to the moral law in a serious matter.
But I think the problem goes even deeper than this obvious misreading of Canon Law. Many bishops, following the lead of numerous theologians rather than the bishops leading them, think that a person can have a morally good and upright conscience even when it is objectively in error – and where they are well aware that the Church’s teaching authority has consistently judged a particular moral action to be gravely evil. In other words, one’s subjective formation and judgment of conscience will always trump moral authority in determining moral responsibility when there is a conflict between the two.

This approach to moral conscience has been the theoretical basis for the “pastoral solution” to the massive rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception for the past fifty years. Ultimately, of course, such a position will totally subjectivize the moral law, as Protestant Churches have learned. And that’s why we are where we are today when it comes to the responsibilities of the Joe Bidens and Nancy Pelosis. They seem to be continuing blindly on their path to Hell, while bishops continue to keep their silence and refuse publicly to admonish their flock. Can this really be pastoral charity?

Perhaps we need to remember the advice of the catechism about developing an informed conscience. This means a conscience that is informed according to the teachings of the Church, not a conscience that is a reflection of one's own moral leaning.

Fr. Mark A. Pilon, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Santa Croce University in Rome. He is a former Chair of Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary Seminary, a former contributing editor of Triumph magazine, and a retired and visiting professor at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. He writes regularly at 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Reach of Materialism

One of the issues that is always simmering in my head is the reticence of young couples to have children, particularly to have more than just the average two children per family.

In talking about this with my son-in-law, he told me of a young woman who has "given in" to her boyfriend's wish to buy a house before they get engaged. A year ago, it was their goal to get engaged and married by this year. But the plans have been shelved and she has agreed to move in with her boyfriend in a new house, get engaged, and then save up enough money for the wedding they wish to have.

Of course, this means a huge compromise for this young woman. She never intended to "live with" her boyfriend; she wanted to realise her dreams of engagement, marriage, and living together in that order.

So what changed?  Did the boyfriend put pressure on her to move in together?  Did she fear that she might lose him if she didn't?  Is fear the real problem here?

As usual, when I talk with my husband about such things, he always presents a different take on it. I said that living together necessitates contraception and that is the problem. Giving in to the sexual lifestyle of everyone else is what is driving this couple. But my husband shook his head. "No", he said, "It is materialism. They want stuff and it is easier to get that stuff when you aren't married and there is no chance of a child messing that up".

Two generations ago, young couples courted and married, without the thought that they must buy a house first. Some will say, it was easier to buy a house back then and a house was within the range of the average couple. But it is still within the range of the average couple. The problem is that the house they dream of has changed.

No longer is a three-bedroom bungalow the house that they move into. If they do buy such a house, it is called a "starter home". Yet, when I grew up, most families on my street lived for years in the same three-bedroom bungalow regardless of how many kids came upon the scene.

Most of us have much more than our parents ever had. And still it is not enough. The drive to have more and more stuff does push couples into a lifestyle where a double income is considered absolutely necessary. Rare is the couple who believes that they can make do on one modest salary.

But isn't that what previous generations did? For example, across the street from our house, is a small three-bedroom house. The first two bedrooms are small by modern standards, possibly 10 by 12 feet. The third bedroom can only hold a pull-out couch and a television set. Yet, the lady who lived in that house until recently, was the mother of two children. As well as a family of two adults and two children, they also had her mother and father living with them, as well as her sister who was single. Her mother and father died in that house, as did her sister. When I met Mary Clare, she was living alone in that same house at the age of 89. She was buried from that house that held three generations. She told me stories of how her children would peek out from their bedroom on Saturday night to listen to the adults singing around the piano downstairs. It sounded pretty happy.

When she died, her son sold the house to a young couple who have since raised the house to build a full size basement. They live there with their dog. There will be no children.

So what is really driving the move towards smaller and smaller families, or families that consist of just a couple with no kids? I sense that my husband is right: it is materialism, plain and simple. We just want more and more for ourselves, before we can consider sharing it with anyone else. The trouble is that, the more we get, the less inclined we are to share it with anyone. Least of all children who place such constrictions upon our ability to get more stuff.