Over the past year and a half, the pandemic has brought worry, suffering, and even death. In Canada, there have been over 28,000 deaths attributed to the virus. These numbers reflect the lives of unique, individual, and inherently valuable human beings. Because of this, our society rightfully shows concern for those who have died from COVID-19. However, we continue to fail to respect the value of life at all stages during this global pandemic, through the promotion of abortion and euthanasia.
Annually, an estimated 100,000 Canadian lives are lost to abortion. They too reflect the lives of unique, individual, and inherently valuable human beings. Shouldn’t we be concerned?
Last year, 1,412 people chose to die by euthanasia because of feelings of loneliness and isolation, likely heightened by the pandemic. Should we not be looking for ways to enhance their quality of life and them to see their value to society, rather than affirming their feelings of hopelessness and hastening their deaths?
In this post, we will explain how the pandemic has impacted abortion and euthanasia, as well as provide you with simple tasks you can do to help foster a culture of life during this difficult time.
Based on the most recent available statistics, in 2019 alone, there were 79,927 reported surgical abortions in Canada. There were also 14,626 abortion pill prescription claims in Ontario, totaling the abortion count to 94,553. Since the abortion pill prescription claims only account for those in Ontario, the total count is likely over 100,000.
These numbers show that abortion accounts for nearly three times the amount of deaths in Canada, if not more, in comparison to deaths from COVID-19 in 19 months (28,054 as of October 5, 2021).
Abortion via Telemedicine
The pandemic has changed the way women have abortions, with a greater number of them obtained through telemedicine-prescribed abortion pills. This poses a significant risk to the health of women a chemical abortion, as an ultrasound to determine the gestational age and location of the child is not needed.
Without an ultrasound, abortion providers are relying on women to provide information about their last menstrual period (LMP) in order to determine the age of the child. This poses a problem as it is reported that women frequently underestimate gestational age by a month or more. In cases where the gestational age is underestimated, the woman will be more likely to experience a failed abortion resulting in severe complications.
By using abortion pills at home, many women may never walk into an abortion facility to obtain an abortion. Not only does this fail to consider reproductive coercion and isolate women seeking abortion from friends and family who might be able to support them in choosing life, but it also impacts the ability for her to be offered pro-life pregnancy support through public in-person outreach.
Former abortion workers have reported that the “no-show” rate for abortion appointments can be as high as 75% when someone prays and offers pro-life support in front of an abortion facility. However, with a significant number of abortions happening in women’s homes, initiatives like 40 Days for Life and other pregnancy support outreach may struggle to reach out to women, since this outreach cannot be seen when women perform their abortions at home.
Euthanasia & Social Isolation
When it comes to euthanasia and the social isolation associated with minimizing the spread of disease, it is the elderly that are the most at risk. Based on the data from Health Canada, it was reported that 18.6% of people listed loneliness and isolation as a reason for obtaining an assisted death. Professionals in the field of geriatrics have expressed concern towards elderly residents living in isolation, as some have requested an assisted death, rather than live in isolation or lockdown.
Here is what Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition had to say about loneliness and the desire to die, “In my 21 years of experience speaking to people who wish to die or nearing death, I have learned that fear of future suffering (not usually current suffering), loneliness, loss of hope and a sense of abandonment are strongly driving the wish to die. The answer is a caring response, a genuine concern for the person, and an assurance that their life has value”.
How you can help
Rather than only trying to convince people that abortion and euthanasia are wrong, in order to effectively change the way our society thinks, we must lay the foundation that all human life has inherent value. Here are some tips to help you build this foundation:
1. Do something:
This might seem like a simple tip, but it is important. The only way we will be able to end abortion and euthanasia is if we all work together. It can be something as simple as donating $10 a month to a pro-life organization, participating in pro-life events like 40 Days for Life, or praying for greater respect for human life at all stages.
2. Start local:
In order to promote the value of life on a global scale, we must start with our own community. This might look like teaching your children about the sanctity of life, supporting friends who are expecting a child, or even calling a local retirement home to see if someone would appreciate a phone call. Reaching out to your local church leadership about ways you can support your church community is a great way to support the sanctity of life. This might look like organizing a meal train for a new mom or someone recovering from illness, visiting or calling elderly members of your church who live alone, or starting a pro-life prayer group.
If you are unable to offer your time, consider financially supporting the work of local pro-life organizations such as pregnancy resource centres, right to life groups, and euthanasia prevention groups, who work towards building a culture of life in your community.
3. Stay Informed:
Do you know what the law says about abortion and euthanasia? Do you know why some people opt for euthanasia while those suffering in similar ways choose to live? Do you know how to have grace-filled conversations about abortion and euthanasia with those in your community?
Having a comprehensive understanding of life issues is important when building a foundation on the value of human life. We recommend reading and watching pro-life resources about abortion and euthanasia, talking to those who are part of the pro-life movement, and doing your own research about life issues. For a comprehensive list of resources, we suggest contacting us to visit our lending library.