Another abortion clinic investigation

…into the Croydon Day Surgery clinic (now known as Maroondah surgery of Marie Stopes International Australia).

A 42-YEAR-OLD woman died days after attending a controversial abortion clinic in Croydon last week. [...]

It is the fourth investigation involving the clinic in six years.

Anaesthetist James Latham Peters allegedly infected more than 50 women with hepatitis C at the same clinic in 2008 and 2009. Peters, who was bailed on a $200,000 surety, will return to court in May for the remainder of the committal hearing.

The surgery’s owner, Dr Mark Schulberg, was in 2009 found guilty of unprofessional conduct for failing to gain legal consent to perform a late-term abortion on an intellectually disabled woman.

And earlier this year it was revealed that a 40-year-old woman was left fighting for her life in the Box Hill Hospital after Dr Schulberg performed a late-term abortion surgery on her.

Ron Paul: he’s got my vote

Well, I can’t actually vote in the Republican nomination. But if I were able to, I’d vote Ron Paul. Check out his latest ad. He’s been pro-life from the get-go, and he’s an obstetrician by training, so this is not a political ploy designed to cater to a pro-life base.

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Abortion on Parliament Hill

A call from MP Stephen Woodworth to re-examine limits on abortion in Parliament, as reported in the Globe.

An Ontario Conservative MP says Parliament must take another look at whether unborn babies deserve to be treated as human beings, a move that could ultimately challenge the ability to terminate pregnancies with abortion. Stephen Woodworth, the member for Kitchener Centre, said in a news release Wednesday that a majority of Canadians wrongly believe the law protects the fundamental human rights of children before birth in the later stages of gestation. “In fact, the opposite is true,” Mr. Woodworth says in his release. “Canadian law provides no human rights protection whatsoever for children before the moment of complete birth.”

Way to go Mr. Woodworth. Rare is the politician who speaks his mind on these matters, and who speaks plain English, too. (“I believe in a woman’s right to choose” is one big euphemism from beginning to end and is indicative of a politicians who has never given any thought to the issue.)

What soft coercion looks like

I believe that many women are coerced into abortion, but not by gun-wielding thugs. It might go something more like this:

In Terry, McGovern implies that when he and his wife learned that their 15-year-old girl was unexpectedly pregnant, they agreed with their family doctor’s decision that she should travel to Florida for an abortion. He describes the impact of the abortion this way: ‘An important part of Terry was devastated by the abortion. Her innocence, her fun-loving nature, and her self-confidence were all deeply shaken, first by an unpleasant sexual experience and then by a pregnancy that she feared and yet did not want to terminate. She later told me of these feelings and then added: ‘I thought that my special relationship with you was over.’ I never knowingly conveyed such an attitude toward Terry. I never expressed anger, nor did I ever hint at any concern about possible political consequences. But Terry felt shamed and reduced by this episode. In retrospect I wish I had gone out of my way to reassure her that for me she remained a ‘special person’ whom I both loved and admired despite her teenage mistakes.”

McGovern’s dueling statements on abortion do not reflect well on his intellectual integrity. Publicly, he believes that pregnant women alone should decide whether or not to abort. Privately, he did not grant this power to his own daughter, who did not wish to abort.

This McGovern quote is taken from his book Terry: My Daughter’s Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism. From Wikipedia we learn that Terry struggled with alcoholism for three decades, dying tragically at age 45. This traces the alcoholism back to age 15, the age at which she had the abortion. Tragic.

A baby the size of a pop can

This story does highlight many things: that small people in utero are nonetheless people, for starters. And yes, it’s been said a thousand times, but I might as well say it again (why not?)–this baby could easily have been aborted on another floor of the hospital even as extraordinary measures were taken to save her life here.

Thing is, I’m not in favour of the extraordinary measures… not because I think the possibility of disease or illness would make her “quality of life” less worth living, but because in this case, the doctors saving her life in this manner may mean they are playing God. I am personally against in vitro fertilization, for similar reasons. I’d like to be able to flesh out my discomfort with this more fully, so if you agree or disagree with the extraordinary measures taken to save this baby born at 24 weeks, I’m all ears.

What does “personhood” mean?

C.S. Lewis wrote that the more we use a word outside of its true meaning, the less meaning that word will eventually have. Take for example the word “gentleman”, which used to mean someone who was independently wealthy and did not need to work. The term was used so often outside this definition, that now we simply address people as “ladies and gentlemen” without it having any real meaning at all.

We’re at risk of this happening to the word “person”. I assume that most people probably use the term to refer to all human beings (who can also be referred to as “natural persons”). However, the words “person” and “personhood” are starting to provide we “natural persons” with strange peers.

…the category of “person” may be taken to include such non-human entities as animalscorporationsartificial intelligences, or extraterrestrial life

Are corporations people? And if these invisible and artificial creations are “persons”, does saying someone is not a person really truly mean anything at all?

Bumpy beginnings

Once again, a pro-life student group is having a rough start to being granted club status.

Dec. 19, 2011. Fredericton, New Brunswick:  Pro-life students at the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Fredericton campus were shocked last week to learn from their student newspaper, TheBrunswickan, that their club would not be recognized by the Student Union due to a “lack of information”.

“The whole situation has been incredibly frustrating,” says Amanda Magee, the President of UNB Students for Life.  “We have given the Student Union information.  We have offered to be present to answer questions.”

UNB Students for Life applied for club status in October, not anticipating any issues given that a pro-life club is active at the UNB Saint John campus and had also existed at the Fredericton campus only a few years previous.  When their contact on council, Andrew Martel, requested additional information from the club, they replied, ensuring that the information would be received before the next Council meeting on November 20th.  Despite this, Andrew Martel stated at the meeting, according to the Nov. 20th minutes, that he did not receive any information from the club.

“We’ve had to rely on the student newspaper and the minutes of the meetings to piece things together,” adds Magee.  “And the Dec. 4th minutes still aren’t available so we’re not entirely sure what happened.”

Read the entire press release here.

The Salvation Army in the news

If anyone has any further information on this, I’d be much obliged. The Salvation Army has put out a statement that condones abortion if the baby has an abnormality that means he/she might not live very long, and also in cases of rape and incest.

I am particularly concerned about this business of termination in cases of disability. This is a double whammy since I heard on the news today that Salvation Army workers in Ottawa will consider going on strike as early as tomorrow. I naively believed people working at the Salvation Army did so from a sense of calling to help those in need, but apparently not.

Stepping off the loop for a sec

The holidays are busy, and as my children get older Christmas seems to be morphing into an infinite loop of mall, grocery store, party, mall (repeat as necessary). It’s overwhelming, and it can be easy during these busy days to forget the things that are at the forefront of our minds during the other eleven months of the year. For me, this means not letting my volunteerism slide just because I have something to bake or buy before C-Day.

There are lots of charitable things to do in December, and among those is ensuring that our most marginalized and vulnerable populations don’t feel forgotten, this includes our growing senior population.

Right now in Calgary, 29 per cent of senior citizens live alone, and are subsequently at high risk for depression, injury, malnutrition, and fraudulent activity – which is to list only a few of the most common and unjust circumstances they face every day.

I recently started a volunteer group called PAIR which aims to unite marginalized groups, and the current ongoing event aims to bring mothers with young children together with seniors. We meet for about an hour every month. If you’re in Nova Scotia, you can learn more about the group and events here.

“A contaminated moral environment”

Vaclav Havel, RIP.

Taken from a speech broadcast on radio and television on January 1, 1990:

…But all this is still not the main problem. The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore each other, to care only about ourselves. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility, or forgiveness lost their depth and dimensions and for many of us they represented only psychological peculiarities, or they resembled gone-astray greetings from ancient times, a little ridiculous in the era of computers and spaceships…

When I talk about contaminated moral atmosphere, I am not talking just about the gentlemen who eat organic vegetables and do not look out of the plane windows. I am talking about all of us. We had all become used to the totalitarian system and accepted it as an unchangeable fact and thus helped to perpetuate it. In other words, we are all, though naturally to differing extents, responsible for the operation of the totalitarian machinery; none of us is just its victim: we are also its co-creators. …”