Upcoming Event: Intro to Natural Family Planning

As pro-life people, we know that life is valuable from the very beginning. However, some might not be aware that hormonal birth control may sometimes cause a very early abortion. Birth control pills and other hormone-based contraceptives are called ‘abortifacients’ because of this.

These types of contraceptives are thought to work in several ways. They can prevent the release of an egg (ovulation), but they may also thin the lining of the uterus, making it impossible for a newly conceived child to implant in the womb. When hormonal birth control acts in this second way, it isn’t ‘preventing pregnancy’ at all; a human embryo is lost because the pill has made it impossible for that embryo to implant in the womb.

image of young couple holding hands

Thankfully, there are positive alternatives for couples who need to avoid a pregnancy. ‘Natural Family Planning’, also known as fertility awareness, has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is an entirely natural method with no side effects that encourages women to be aware of the naturally fertile and infertile times throughout their cycle. There are several NFP methods, all of which are based on tracking physical signs of fertility, sometimes including a woman’s body temperature.

NFP is sometimes confused with the so-called ‘rhythm method’, which involves calendar tracking. But in fact, NFP is a science-based method that is tailored to each woman’s unique situation. Its effectiveness is just as high as other common contraceptive methods, and sometimes higher.

“More and more, women are looking for natural ways to really understand their fertility, rather than suppressing it.”

What is the cause of NFP’s rise in popularity in recent years? More and more, women are looking for natural ways to really understand their fertility, rather than suppressing it. NFP is also a non-invasive method, with no impact on the environment. Unlike certain types of artificial birth control, it in no way harms a developing child.

For those who belong to the Catholic faith, since NFP is a way of spacing pregnancies using the natural changes in a women’s fertility, it is an accord with Catholic doctrines of being open to life and the unitive aspect of married life. However, Christians of many denominations, as well as secular people, are embracing the method as well.

Did you know NFP can also be used by those who are trying to achieve a pregnancy?

Did you know NFP can also be used by those who are trying to achieve a pregnancy? Awareness of one’s cycle can give women insights on the best times to conceive, or even make them aware of potential hormonal imbalances or medical issues.

On Saturday, September 16th, Guelph & Area Right to Life will be hosting an information session on Natural Family Planning.  It will be a great opportunity for single people or couples at various stages of life to learn more about the methods.  Join us at the Parish Hall of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, from 10am to noon!  Admission will be by donation.

A teacher couple from Serena, a Canadian organization that teaches the sympto-thermal method of NFP, will be presenting the session. Information on other methods of NFP (including the Creighton and Billings methods) will be available as well. Through Serena, NFP is taught by experienced teacher-couples who mentor and support couples that are learning NFP. This training and follow-up is provided free of charge.

Summer Jobs at Guelph & Area Right to Life

Each year, the Guelph & Area Right to Life office welcomes high school, university, and college students to join our team for the summer.

If you are a pro-life student who would like to make a difference by engaging the community through education, advocacy, and outreach, this opportunity is for you!

Summer students from Guelph & Area Right to Life and Alliance for Life Ontario in 2014

Staff and summer students from Guelph & Area Right to Life and Alliance for Life Ontario in 2014

Summer students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of pro-life issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.  As part of our outreach and education programs, you may assist with developing educational materials for youth, researching pro-life issues, and/or being part of our crisis pregnancy outreach program.

All students are welcome to apply, but skills in graphic design, research, and writing are especially appreciated.

We invite students to apply now by e-mailing a resume and cover letter to facts@guelphforlife.com.  The deadline to apply is April 18th.

Please note that applicants must be between 15 and 30 years of age, have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year, and intend to return to school as a full-time student in the next academic year.

A Modern Christmas Story: Guelph Gives Life

On Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 Guelph & Area Right to Life was one of many charities and non-profit organizations in Guelph who set up displays in the Old Quebec Street Mall. Guelph Gives had provided this wonderful forum so that we could showcase our work and projects and what an assortment of tremendous organizations were present.

Guelph & Area Right to Life's booth at the Giving Fair on December 2nd.

Guelph & Area Right to Life’s booth at the Giving Fair on December 2nd.

Our display was mostly about babies and how they grow in the womb and so we had many wonderful conversations. One young man was astounded at the image of a tiny 7-week-old child in the womb and asked us if the image was real. He sadly told us that his wife was 7 weeks pregnant and was due to have an abortion on December 9th in Kitchener.

He wore the tragedy of his situation like a mantle and explained that his personal circumstance was not helping, as he had lost his job and his young wife was already looking after two small children and holding down a job. It was not their choice to abort their tiniest child, but circumstances, and they saw no other way out.

We agreed to meet and talk it over, and when we were back in the office we sent out a distress call for prayer and practical support for this little family. In about 48 hours we were swamped with immediate financial assistance and monthly commitments to assist throughout 2015. Our office was filled with diapers for the two little ones and astounding offers of help came through the phone. Presents promised for Christmas, love and support sent to this little family.

Just a few of the many donations received at our office for the family in need.

Just a few of the many donations received at our office for the family in need.

High school students, university students, youth groups all donating what they had to help these young parents to bring their baby into the world. Gift cards for food and necessities, offers of babysitting and car rides, offers to adopt the baby or just care for him until Mum felt strong enough to cope, bus passes paid for throughout 2015. Even I have been moved by the sheer enormity of the willingness to assist this family and they are just overwhelmed. It is not going to be easy but they will be fine, because they are part of our family now and we look out for each other!

I have been graced to assist many young women and young families in my years of volunteering with Guelph & Area Right to Life – but I must admit that this outpouring of love and support by so many for this family has brought me to tears.

When I first met them together I was struck by the love they have for each other and their children, their striving to make a life together with all the hurdles they have and have yet to overcome and the challenges facing them. They sat so still in the midst of this turmoil, clinging to each other and gradually to a hope that their baby might yet be born and not aborted.

They will get through and we will be beside them all the way. I asked myself how different this story may have been if we had not been invited by Guelph Gives that Tuesday. This little family is one of many in Guelph who need assistance and I pray that somehow the others will also receive the help they need to get through.

This was the first year for Guelph Gives and financially and in many other ways it was a tremendous success. Well, I believe that this first event was much more than even this because it gave a tiny 7 week baby in the womb a chance at life and the baby’s parents the courage to bring that baby into the world. Guelph Gives Life!!!

Thank you so very much.

– Jakki Jeffs

President, Guelph & Area Right to Life

Note: We are still accepting donations for this family!  The outpouring of support from the community has helped them to choose life for their baby, but they will continue to need assistance through 2015.  If you would like to assist, you can donate online (indicating that the donation is for the “Guelph Gives Family”) or contact our office for more information.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!

Building the Garden of Grace on Giving Tuesday

Is Guelph the most generous city in Canada?  We’ll find out in just a few days.

This year, our community will be taking part in an initiative called GuelphGives to mark ‘Giving Tuesday’.

What is Giving Tuesday?  From the GuelphGives website:

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday—days great for the economy and for getting a good deal—well now we having GivingTuesday…a day that is great for the community!

Guelph Gives LogoOn Giving Tuesday, which lands on December 2nd, everyone will be encouraged to support local charities by donating or volunteering.  If you stop by the Quebec Street Mall that day, have a look at the Giving Fair taking place from 10am-6pm.  You’ll see tables representing the participating charities, including Guelph & Area Right to Life.

Guelph Gives will be a catalyst to bring the community together in support of all the good work that happens right here in Guelph.

On December 2nd, we will be asking for your support with a very special project: The Garden of Grace.

The Garden of Grace will be a place of prayer and healing for women who have lost their children during or shortly after pregnancy – including those lost through abortion or miscarriage.  The landscaped garden will feature two beautiful statues: an angel mourning over an empty crib, and Jesus kneeling with a baby in his arms.  It will be located on the grounds of the Church of Our Lady Immaculate.  This garden will be the first of its kind, and a much-needed place of remembrance for so many women and families.

Angel leaning over an empty cradle

This is one of two beautiful statues that will be part of the Garden of Grace.

We will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in support of this project on December 2nd.  Since the Garden of Grace will truly be built by the community, for the community, what better way to start it off than with GuelphGives!

How can you be a part of GuelphGives and making the Garden of Grace a reality?

Help to spread the word about GuelphGives by using the #guelphgives hashtag on twitter.

Visit the Giving Fair at the Quebec St Mall to sign up for volunteer opportunities, donate, and learn more about our project.

Most of all, give!  Whether you’re able to give of your time and talents, or donate, together we can make amazing things happen.

Our Garden of Grace crowdfunding campaign will be continuing in the weeks following Giving Tuesday, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on our progress.

See you next Tuesday!

 

 

Niki Ashton: What About Maternal Health?

Niki Ashton, an NDP Member of Parliament, recently introduced a bill affirming “a woman’s right to choose abortion”.  She extends her vision of ‘choice’ to the entire international community, asking Canada to focus international aid on contraception and abortion, all in the name of equality and human rights.

Here in Canada we are faced with the full spectrum of pills, patches, shots, and implants, on top of unrestricted access to abortion.  Estrogen-progestin birth control pills are a Class 1 carcinogen and increase the risk of breast, liver, and cervical cancer.  Serious, sometimes fatal, side-effects such as blood clots have led to class-action suits against the makers of Yaz/Yasmin birth control pills, NuvaRing, and the Mirena IUD.  Each of these can act as abortifacients.  ‘Reproductive freedom’ is not exactly free when you’re paying such a high price.

The Gates Foundation’s plan to spend a cool $5 billion foisting these same products on developing nations prompted a response from Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian woman with concerns about the impact of contraception:

“Where Europe and America have their well-oiled health care system, a woman in Africa with a contraception-induced blood clot does not have access to 911 or an ambulance or a paramedic. No, she dies.”

Complications from abortion can also require serious medical intervention.  Many developing countries lack the simple medical framework needed to help with childbirth, let alone complications such as infection and incomplete abortion.

We should pay attention to Ms. Ekeocha’s words: “Listen to the heart-felt cry of an African woman and mercifully channel your funds to pay for what we REALLY need.”

In Nigeria, as in many other developing countries, maternal mortality is high due to preventable complications of childbirth such as hemorrhage, sepsis, obstructed labor, and pre-eclampsia.  There is a great need for skilled birth attendants and basic medical care.  In Uganda, only half of rural women have access to a skilled birth attendant.  Yet USAID spends twice as much on ‘family planning’ as they do on maternal health in that country.

The Philippines has a maternal mortality rate ten times that of Canada’s.  In some areas, as few as 24% of births are supervised by a skilled birth attendant.  Contraception has not helped them: it is used at the same rate as Japan, which has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world, yet the Philippines’ maternal mortality remains high.  Still, in 2012, USAID spent over $16 million on ‘family planning and reproductive health’ for the Philippines, and just over $3 million on maternal and child health.

USAID Philippines spending

When we offer abortion and contraception instead of basic health care, we are making reproductive decisions on behalf of women.  We are telling them that we can’t help them improve their health care system, but we’ll pay for them to stop having children, or end the lives of their unborn children.  How pro-choice does the NDP look now?

This is not the first time reproductive decisions have been made on behalf of poor and marginalized groups.  Funding from the UNFPA and USAID goes into unmistakably coercive contraception, sterilization, and abortion programs in countries such as China, Kazakhstan, and India.  As recently as the 90s, Peru was home to a nightmarish UN- and US-funded population control project that led to thousands of forced sterilizations.  Indigenous Peruvian women were told that unless they agreed to the procedure, their children would be denied medical care or food assistance.

Pushing contraceptives and abortion on women who simply want simple medical care in childbirth is not the answer.

 

This article was written by Hanna Barlow, Program Manager of Guelph & Area Right to Life.  It appeared in the Summer 2014 edition of the Guelph & Area RTL newsletter.  To receive the quarterly newsletter, read more about how to become a member.

 



 

40 Days for Life Guelph: Who Do You Pray With?

Pray to End Abortion

We’ve already reached Day 10 of this year’s 40 Days for Life Campaign!  If you haven’t yet had the chance, we encourage you to visit the vigil calendar and sign up for a time of prayer in front of Guelph General Hospital.

When you participate in the vigil, pray at home, or take part in a fast, you are united in your efforts with thousands of people worldwide.  This focused effort extends all across the world, from right here in Guelph to Cape Town, South Africa and Melbourne, Australia.

We could give you a list of ten reasons to get involved (or even forty, if you have time!), but you only need one: this is where we come together.

Across the world, in the peaceful silence of prayer and constant vigil, our message radiates even more powerfully because we are joined together.  In community with each other, we turn our hearts to God to ask for forgiveness and change.

40 Days for Life provides daily devotionals to unite us in purpose, whether we’re praying at the vigil or from home.  The prayers may be for women who are at risk of having an abortion, children at risk of being aborted, men and women who carry the pain of a past abortion experience, those who work in the abortion industry, the healing of our nation, and renewal in our churches.

Our prayers and public witness can make a difference in this community by encouraging people to recognize the value of all human life.  For more information on the 40 Days for Life campaign in Guelph, visit our website or contact us!  Phone: 519-836-6311.  E-mail: facts@guelphforlife.com

 

Thank You for Supporting Our Bus Ads

Thank you for taking part in the Statement of Support for Guelph & Area Right to Life’s Pro-life Bus Advertisements. As previously noted, the Statement was created in response to a petition opposing these ads and to exemplify significant backing for them. The Statement was not created as a request for action from city officials or Guelph Transit.

Please note the petition asking for the removal of G&ARTL’s ads has failed a) because of wording b) because of who it is directed to. The office of the Mayor, The City of Guelph nor Guelph Transit possess authority to remove or restrict advertisements. Mayor Karen Farbridge has specifically stated:

The City is taking no action to remove or prohibit these ads. We are aware that there is legal precedent to suggest the City – as a public institution – cannot decline an organization’s purchase of ad space because there is disagreement with a political position put forward in the ad. To do so would be in contravention of the right to freedom of expression in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Along with this statement, Mayor Farbridge has noted the receipt of much support for G&ARTL’s bus advertisements. Again, many thanks for your participation. Your response to the opposition of our fundamental freedoms is of great significance.

Support Pro-Life Bus Ads in Guelph

guelphbusads1Dear friend,

Your response is needed. This month (January, 2014) a petition was created to express opposition to Guelph & Area Right to Life’s bus ads. Over 2500 people have signed this petition. While this petition carries very little usefulness a) because of wording b) because of who it is directed to, the petition does make these bus ads appear unpopular. It has been sent to Mayor Karen Farbridge, the City of Guelph and Guelph Transit. As a result Guelph & Area Right to Life is asking you to express your support for Guelph & Area Right to Life’s bus advertisements in two easy steps.

1) Copy and paste the Statement of Support in an email to us at facts@guelphforlife.com

2) In your forward write
a) Your first and last name
b) Your organization (if applicable)
c) Your mailing address (you will not be added to a mailing list)

d) Your phone number

Your name and organization will be included in a list of social movements, human rights organizations and individuals who share the beliefs expressed on Guelph & Area Right to Life’s bus ads. This list will be sent to Guelph’s mayor, the City of Guelph and Guelph Transit.

 

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT

Guelph & Area Right to Life’s advertisements carried on Guelph Transit buses express important belief held by Canadian citizens; Canadians believe 1) scientific data exists to provide evidence showing a human who is not yet born is a human child and 2) there are alternatives to abortion.

Expression of this belief, and opposing beliefs, is protected under Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Everyone has the…freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”. While this belief is offensive to some, the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards states offense “…is not sufficient grounds for objecting to an advertisement…”.  Further, these ads do not breach or violate the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards.

The social movements, human rights organizations and individuals listed below welcome and support the initiative taken by Guelph & Area Right to Life to express their belief and opinion through advertisements carried on Guelph Transit.

Blogging for Life in Guelph & Area

Welcome to Guelph & Area Right to Life’s new blog!  We are a non-profit organization committed to educating about the life issues.  These include abortion, euthanasia & assisted suicide, stem cell research, sexuality, fetal development, and more.

Check back for regular updates on local and international pro-life news and events.  We’ll be covering the March for Life in Ottawa this week!