Our First ‘Light Chain’ Event Was A Success!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first-ever Light Chain!  If you passed by Guelph’s City Hall on January 28th, it would have been hard to miss it: nearly fifty pro-life supporters joined together to display the number 3,703,195 in six-foot-tall lettering, lit up against the night sky.

LightChain1-crop-med

That number represents the total number of abortions in Canada since 1969.  The goal of the event was to shed some light on the impact abortion has had in our country.  So many people are not aware of how many abortions occur each year in Canada, or the fact that abortion is legal throughout the entire pregnancy.  Currently, Canada has no law on abortion – no protection for human beings at their earliest stages.

The Light Chain was a great step in our efforts to educate the community about life issues.  Pro-life supporters were holding signs with positive messages, including pregnancy help information and “Protect Life From Conception – No Exceptions”.  However, the number itself prompted the most discussion.   One man asked ‘What does the number stand for?’  When a volunteer explained its significance, he responded, ‘That is a very big number.  That really is a big number’.

The idea for the event came from Alliance for Life Ontario, who encouraged all pro-life groups in the province to hold a Light Chain on January 28th.  That particular date is significant because it is the anniversary of the 1988 Supreme Court decision that resulted in Canada’s abortion law being struck down.  Many Right to Life groups held events to mark the day, and Light Chains were held in Welland and Hamilton.

We look forward to hosting this great event again next year!

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One Simple Item Changed My Mind About Abortion

By Hanna Caruso, Program Manager of Guelph & Area Right to Life

I have not always been pro-life.  When I was younger, I hadn’t given the issue of abortion much thought.  Though it didn’t seem like a good thing, it seemed accepted by society, and I imagined there might be cases where it was necessary.

Abortion was an issue that did not impact me, and so I never thought to find out how often it happened in Canada, or how far along in a pregnancy abortion was legal.

Photo of precious feet pin

Precious Feet Pins are the exact size and shape of a 10-week unborn baby’s feet.

“That all began to change one day when I saw a Precious Feet pin.”

That all began to change one day when I saw a Precious Feet pin.  You may have seen these pins – tiny, gold-plated, life-sized representations of an unborn child’s feet at just ten weeks after conception.  A friend of mine was wearing one on her purse, and I asked her what it was.  She explained the meaning of the pin, and her answer surprised me and changed my thinking entirely.

What turned me from apathy to action was that an unborn child at ten weeks was clearly human.  Having unconsciously absorbed the common misconception that a pregnancy consisted of ‘just a clump of cells’ at that point, I was shocked.

This one event caused me to continue asking questions.  I found out that abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy in Canada, and that there are 100,000 abortions every year in our country.  It was impossible to maintain inaction in the face of that information.  That one pin ended up leading me to become an advocate for unborn children.

Isn’t it amazing how a single individual having the boldness to take one small action – such as wearing a pin – can make such a difference?

Precious Feet pins are an amazing educational tool.  Whenever I visit high schools to do pro-life presentations, I always bring a supply of these pins.  If each student has the boldness to wear that pin on their backpack or purse, I know the ripple effect will change lives and save lives.

The beauty of these pins is that they allow us to look into the womb, at unborn life that we cannot yet see.  It shows us that whether we recognize it or not, abortion impacts us all, because it is a human issue.  When we see that unborn children are fully human, we naturally recognize that they should be protected.

giving tuesday logo

For Giving Tuesday on November 29th, we are asking you to give towards pro-life education by helping us buy these pins!  A donation of $30 would provide the pins to an entire classroom.  A donation of $120 would help to provide pins to 100 people at a Right to Life resource table during a local festival or fair.  We are also putting donations toward the purchase of small prenatal models (11-14 weeks size) for use in schools and in the wider community.  Both of these items are a little over $1.00 each, and they make such a difference.

You can donate online through our CanadaHelps page.  Donate today!

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!

Life Week at the University of Guelph

It’s a busy week for the pro-life students at the University of Guelph.  Life Choice, the campus pro-life club, will be hosting several events to bring the pro-life message to the University community.

They’ll be focusing on current life issues both on the local and international level, from the recent opposition to pro-life bus ads in Guelph, to gendercide in India and China.

G&A Right to Life’s own Jakki Jeffs will be speaking on campus this Friday at 1:30pm (Mackinnon building, room 231).  She’ll be discussing the issues surrounding our pro-life bus ads.  All are welcome to attend!

This Thursday, Life Choice will be showing It’s a Girl, a stunning documentary that exposes the practice of gendercide.  Shot on location in India and China, it explores sex-selective abortion and infanticide, the role of China’s one-child policy, and the factors that have led to an estimated 200 million girls being ‘missing’ today.  The screening is at 7pm in Mackinnon 227.

it's a girl

For more information on these events, send an e-mail to uoglifechoice@gmail.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.

Mary Wagner: Reaching Out

At the heart of the pro-life movement is a desire to reach out to those in need.  Unborn children need a voice to speak up for their right to be born.  Women facing an unexpected pregnancy need support, understanding and encouragement as they accept their role as a new mother.  Whether we stand in front of the abortion facility displaying life-affirming messages, fundraise for a crisis pregnancy center, or debate abortion with students on a university campus, we are reaching out.  It is always our hope that the pro-life message, given with love, will touch a person’s heart and increase their understanding of the value of human life.

Reaching out: this is something that Mary Wagner has done again and again.  She will be spending this Christmas behind bars, in the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton.  She has been arrested numerous times, most recently on August 15th, 2012.  She entered a Toronto abortion facility and attempted to peacefully speak to the women there, and was arrested on the charge of “mischief” (interference with lawful employment / operation of a business).  Mary remains in prison because she will not accept the bail conditions that would force her to stay away from the abortion facility.

Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner

Mary’s legal counsel believes that her actions may fall within a section of the Criminal Code of Canada that allows a person to prevent assault on another human being.  Mary was counseling women to choose life for their children, so the question is whether that section of the Criminal Code “covers all human beings or just those who are already born,” stated her lawyer.

With kindness, and bearing roses, Mary bravely reached out to abortion-minded women, asking them to change their minds and choose life.  Her actions have truly saved lives.  We too are given opportunities to reach out, to speak up, and to share the truth that life has value.  Some of us, like Mary, courageously seek conversation with mothers in the very moments before their children’s lives are slated to be taken away.  In the interactions we have each day, we can – with courage – also speak up for life.  Like Mary, we can change hearts through kindness and truth.

While we prepare ourselves to reach out to those around us, we can also reach out to Mary.  You are encouraged to send her a Christmas card, letting her know that she is loved and supported.  Take the time to read an open letter from Mary, found here.

Cards can be mailed to:

Mary Wagner
Vanier Centre for Women
P.O Box 1040
655 Martin St.
Milton, ON
L9T 5E6

Note:

When sending Mary a card, do not include any stickers (return address, pro-life stickers), or any laminated items. Do not include any questions about the daily activity of the detention centre.  Put your address directly on the card or letter, as the envelope may not be given to her.