An important reference book for persons working with pregnant and post-abortive women has recently been launched.
Complications: Abortion's Impact on Women was released this past Thursday, November 7, 2013, by the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research.
The well written book comes with introduction, abstract, glossery of terms and index. Also, there are over forty pages of references listed.
Billed as the world's most comrehensive investigation of abortion and women's health, the book's 21 chapters are organized into four sections: The Big Picture,The Medical Impact,The Psychological, and Social Impact, and Women's Voices. Details regarding each chapter may be found here.
A welcomed story for persons suffering the trauma of having had an abortion and their helpers appeared Wednesday on Lifesitenews' listing of stories.
"U.S. Bishops Approve First National Hire Dedicated for Post-Abortion Recovery" ran the headline. Funded by a fraternal organization, the american bishops approved this past Tuesday at its annual General Assembly to support a ministry providing "prayer, support, and healing for those suffering from abortion."
The article notes that an significant increase in the demand at the diocesan level for such a ministry.
Offering links to relevant scientific studies, the story notes the harmful effects of abortion.
Numerous studies show that abortion can lead to a wide variety of negative emotional, spiritual and physical effects, including heightened risk of alcoholism, thoughts or commissions of suicide, breast cancer, and even death in future pregnancies.
The Journal de Montreal, this past Monday and Tuesday, ran several articles concerning late-term abortions. Journalist Heloise Archambault covered the topic from several angles.
Yet, two important ones were left out. First there was no reference to fetal pain. South of the border we are witnessing, both federally and state-wise, legislation aimed at preventing late-term abortions because scientific studies are showing that the unborn child is capable of feeling pain as early as 20-weeks. Click here for further details.
(Click here to view an article entitled "12 Reasons Why We Need a Law Ending Painful Late Abortions.")
Second, one article in the Montreal daily's cluster treated at length the stress and the violence to which late-term abortionists are subject to. Yet the article did not report that major anti-abortion groups - Priests for Life and Campaign Life Coalition, condemn any and all uses of violence.
On this point, having participated and led several "40 Days for Life" prayer vigils for the end of abortion here in Montreal, I have witnessed both verbal and physical abuse by persons intolerant of our public display.
Dear friends of life,
I trust you have had time to catch your breath!
I have and so am writing to thank you for your support during this past 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion!
From everybody here at the Quebec Life Coalition, a very sincere thank you for participating in this prayer vigil.
You experienced a lot. First, the weather was capricious. For the first four weeks, all was balmy, idyllic in many respects. Yet week five presented an entirely different face - steady rain and strong winds. In particular, the Thursday was a combination of the two while the Friday, no rain but VERY strong winds. Thanks to the herculean efforts and cunning of many, our banner was kept from soaring away and its message prevailed – “Pray for the End of Abortion.”
Also your psychological mettle was tested in a couple of ways. First, on the eve of the vigil we were surprised to find the vigil location entirely inaccessible - a six-foot high fence stretched around its perimeter. The municipality had decided to begin park renovations that very day! Yet Divine Providence provided a new location, one which I think afforded new graces.
The second test came about from this new location. Not only were we closer to the pedestrian and other traffic (facilitating exchanges) but also to the clientele of the abortion mill. Many of you shared with me your malaise about seeing the girls enter and leave the mill, particularly the latter. Some of these young women showed obvious after effects as they walked away.
A case in point was Jessica, a young woman in her early twenties and 17-weeks pregnant, keen on carrying through with her abortion.
Was God’s hand working to save mother and child? Through various circumstances, I thought so as she met with us not once but four times prior to her abortion! We had ample opportunity to share the pro-life message as well as offer support – legal, material ... Yet, she was unswayed by our efforts to convince her to carry her unborn child for the full term.
Even the day of the abortion, accompanied by her mother, she came by our site and then accompanied two of us to a coffee shop. Our last minute plea of support fell on deaf ears.
She even dropped by after her procedure. At this time, I was struck by the change I saw in her temperament. Her initial simple disposition was usurped by an impatient, unsettled one. Please keep her in your prayers as she deals with her post-abortion turmoil.
This event contrasts quite distinctly with a similar scenario that occurred the previous fall. At this time, Floriane left the abortion mill and crossed the street to seek our help. It was a blessing befriending her and the child’s father. Our actions were rewarded this past March 18 as she gave birth to little Lucas, seen here with one of our prayer volunteers.
Those of you who've walked and prayed along Saint Joseph Blvd., and those of you who participated in your own ways elsewhere, have gained some powerful experiences over the past seven weeks. Hours of praying, fasting, counselling, and discussing with persons opposed to the pro-life message have all contributed to an faith enriching experience.
So, thank you for without you, there would be no 40 Days for Life.
Brian A. Jenkins
Quebec Life Coalition
Here’s a letter that a young woman left at a 40 Days for Life vigil site – simply addressed to “the sign people.”
If this doesn’t show the importance of your peaceful witness outside the abortion centers . . . I don’t know what does!
To the Sign People
My friend had left me the use of her apartment as she was away … perfect because it was right where the clinic was!
The next day, I saw you people lining up with signs … I watched from the window every day and all day you were there! Different folks each time.
I had this idea in my head that abortion picketers were extremists … no “normal” person would do that sort of thing. Yet you did not look extreme … more ordinary.
Tuesday was my pre-procedure appointment. Used the wrong entrance and had to walk past you. So what, I thought. Who cares? They don’t know me or where I am going. As I walked past (hurriedly!), my legs felt like they weighed a ton. What was going on? Are these people intimidating me? Do I need to feel ashamed as I walk past? The receptionist told me to “ignore them” when I asked about you.
Every day I watched you. One day I thought for sure no one would be there. Weather forecast was calling for severe winds and rain. There in the afternoon, amid strong winds which were blowing the signs over the head and onto the grass, you stood. Three or four together. All day!
The next day I took a walk and followed you in the direction where everyone seemed to go. It was a church. After everyone left, I went inside and saw all the signs, flyer. Impressive set-up, I thought. They seem organized in their purpose!
On Friday was my scheduled appointment for my procedure. I was suddenly terrified of what was to be. My heart was almost beating out of my chest.
My boyfriend, who had promised to come the day before, did not show up to take me. Said he was tied up and that ultimately it was my choice to have it that day or wait til next week. My choice. But he’s not there to hold my hand! Lots of weighing pros and cons.
Anyhow, I want to let you know that I decided to keep my baby. The boyfriend is still a distance away but maybe he needs time to come around and see the big picture.
The reason I decided to leave you this note is to tell you that what you did was good. I felt I owed it to you for all the days you stood there in hope that others would take notice. I noticed – and in turn it gave me hope that others I know would also care to “stand for me.”
It’s a crazy world we live in … but some seem to know how to see the good in it. Thanks!
The 40 Days for Life in Montreal are going on RIGHT NOW !
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Tomorrow evening we at the Quebec Life Coalition will kick-off our tenth prayer vigil for the end of abortion and you are welcomed to join us.
The evening begins at 7 p.m. at Saint-Enfant-Jésus Church (5039, Saint Dominique Street) where prayers will be recited - first, a rosary and then a Eucharistic celebration.
The church is located along the eastern edge of Lahaie Park, where for the next forty days, we will meet and offer prayers of reparation for our culture which clings to its desire to abort the weakest members of our society - the unborn child.
Prayers will also be offered for the young couples who are struggling with the decison to keep or abort their child, as well as for those who have already made the tragic and irreversible decision.
Finally, we will not neglect to pray for the conversion of the abortionists and other facility workers who mistakenly perform this procedure.
Forty Days for Life first began in Texas back in 2004. Since 2007 it assumed its twice annual version and in 2009 it began here in Montreal, organised by the Quebec Life Coaliton's President Mr. Georges Buscemi.
This Fall, Montreal is one of 305 cities worldwide hosting a 40-day prayer vigil 15 of which are occuring on Canadian soil. Altogether ten separate countries are hosting this event.
Here in Montreal, this is our tenth vigil, all of which have been done across the street from the Morgentaler abortion mill.
Paramount to our vigil is the maintaining a prayerful presence. To this end a code of conduct is given below to help to this end.
Code of Conduct
- I will show compassion and reflect Christ’s love to all.
- I understand that acting in a violent or harmful manner immediately and completely disassociates me from this vigil.
- I will not obstruct the driveways or sidewalk while standing in the public right of way.
- I will not block the abortion facility's entrance nor the path of anyone, including passersby, on the sidewalk; I will remain on the north side of Saint-Joseph Blvd.
- I will not litter on the public right of way.
- I will closely attend to any children I bring to the prayer vigil.
- I will not threaten, physically contact, nor verbally abuse anyone.
- I will not vandalize private property.
- I will cooperate with local city authorities.
- I will not picket nor carry any signs, pictures, displays, nor wear clothing bearing any words or images, without the consent of the organizers.
- I will maintain a spirit of prayer and refrain from judgments, debates and quarrels.
- I will refrain from unnecessary discussion with the public and with the other prayers.
- I will maintain a physical distance from others at the site whose tactics would be considered contrary to these guidelines.
Although our purpose is to pray, we are not adverse to talk with persons not associated with the vigil who approach us to ask questions or make comments. The following may help in these exchanges:
How to Share the Pro-Life Message
What is the pro-life message?
At its most basic level, the pro-life message is this:
An unborn child is a human person
whose life has value and deserves to be protected by our society.
But we also have an important message to share about how abortion harms women – and men – and about how committed the pro-life movement is to helping women face untimely pregnancies and choose life for their babies.
Ultimately, our message is a message of hope. We believe that, working together, we can transform our society into a place in which no mother will ever resort to abortion, where every child, regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception, will be welcomed and loved.
10 Guidelines for sharing the pro-life message
1. Listen – and pay attention;
2. Take time to think – and pray;
3. Always be respectful;
4. Seek common ground;
5. Make it personal;
6. Give the benefit of the doubt, and never take offense;
7. Don’t interrupt others’ conversations;
8. Pick your battles and keep it simple;
9. Admit when you lack information; and
10. Always leave the door open.
Last night, I attended a special exhibit in Redpath Hall at McGill University and the place was packed.
The draw on this evening was the work of the French geneticist Jérome Lejeune (1926-1994).
Lejeune, the father of modern genetics, is known for his discovery of the genetic anomaly that is the root cause of Trisomy 21. Yet, the exhibit - which consists of a series of seven-foot high panels and presented by resourceful hostesses, presents not only his scientific accomplishments but also his humanitarian qualities.
The latter cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Upon discovering the genetic marker for trisomy, he became more than a physician to persons with this condition and their families. He also became a supporter of their very livelihood, as many of his peers wished to use his discoveries to practice eugenic beliefs, aborting the unborn who had tested positive with trisomy.
In an outspokenness speech about the ethical role of the scientist given in 1969, he was immediately shunned by his peers. At the end of his talk, he was greeted with dead silence, something unheard of in scientific circles. Further the silence and aloofness perdured for the rest of his life, as he was denied research grants and research students stayed away for a reference letter from Dr. Lejeune had little value.
His solace became his family and his patients.
The exhibit runs through Monday.
Dear Friends of Life,
September 2013 is shaping up to be a busy month.
Bill 52, the charter of values, and our 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion will keep us busy battling the forces that seek to tear our society asunder.
The legislative initiative, Bill 52 – “An Act respecting end-of-life care,” was tabled this past June 12, 2013, in the National Assembly. This bill will permit the euthanizing of Quebecers under the auspices of “end of life health care.”
Ten Reasons to Oppose Bill 52
Many professional bodies have stated their opposition to euthanasia. The World Medical Association, the American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association, as well as fifteen (15) states and international organizations, like the European Human Rights Commission, are all categorically against euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Why might that be?
Isabelle & Ward O’Connor of the palliative care group Albatros Mont- Laurier note ten reasons to oppose bill 52. These are the following:
- States should never have the right or the power to induce the death of their citizens: It is far too great and dangerous a power to concede to them;
- Provoking death dehumanizes care givers;
- Inducing death depersonalises patients, debasing them to the level of things, machines, or animals;
- Induced death fosters the mentality that “dignity depends on autonomy”;
- Manipulated, substituted, imposed, or presumed consent threatens the elderly, the sick, the physically or mentally handicapped and the otherwise weak and vulnerable;
- Induced death is the polar opposite of palliative care, and therefore at odds, and competing with, palliative care;
- Once the door is open to “medically assisted dying”, even ever so slightly, the categories of people who become candidates for euthanasia never cease to increase;
- Euthanasia is unnecessary, as the right to refuse treatment is now entrenched in legal precedent;
- It is preferable to invest in hope rather than in despair;
- Dangerous confusion still lingers on concerning what constitutes euthanasia and what does not.
As for the charter of values, which the provincial government seeks to formulate and implement, it aims at violating the right to wear religious symbols. Affecting persons working in the civil service, educational institutions, and health care settings, the legislation is misguided as it will undermine values that form the foundation of society – religious expression.
Finally, the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion is about to begin its tenth peaceful edition here in Montreal this September 25, 2013. The setting for this public gathering remains unchanged: the Morgentaler mill on Saint-Joseph Blvd, East. Join us in prayer and to express your opposition to how the lowliest of our society, the unborn child, is treated and how women are exploited by this so-called “right.”
On this latter matter, we need persons of strong faith willing to peacefully express themselves by their presence for one-hour blocks of time, in the spirit of Christ’s words to his apostles – “could you not watch one hour?” We can be reached by calling either (514) 344-2686 or (438) 930-8643.
Brian A. Jenkins
Complimentary Quebec Life Coalition Air Miles card
The Quebec Life Coalition proudly presents its Air Miles card, available free of charge.
Every time you use it, points will accumulate permitting us to save on travel expenditures.
These points may be redeemed for purchasing airline tickets – either for our own use or that of an invited guest.
A partial list of participating vendors appears below.
To receive your card, simply tick the square on the response stub and return it to us or call us at 1-855-996-2686 and we will gladly mail you one!
We are preparing for our tenth (twice per year) 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion. This year it is set to begin September 25. For 40 consecutive days we will pray peacefully across the street from the Morgentaler abortuary on Saint Joseph Blvd, East.
In today's emails, I received a letter from Steve Lopez (pictured below) of Spiritus Films on the topic of praying outside abortion mills. I reproduce it here below as a run up for our vigil.