Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Apologetics Tips

At one of our recent meetings we discussed many different road blocks you meet in a conversation about abortion and how to work through them. The following is a list of things you might hear while discussing abortion and some responses that might be useful. Keep in mind that you should always find common ground before challenging someone on their beliefs about abortion. Why? People are not pro-choice because they want to kill babies – they’re usually pro-choice because they are compassionate towards women. We need to show them that their compassion for the mother is beautiful and good, and then encourage them to extend that compassion to the fetus being carried by the mother! 

1)   Statement: It’s just a clump of cells.
Response: I am too! I’m just a bigger clump of cells than a fetus.

2)   Statement: Abortion should be allowed if the mother was raped.
Response: I believe the rapist should be punished for his crime with a severe sentence...but should the child be given the death sentence for the actions of his/her father?

3)   Statement: The fetus is part of the mother.
Response: Scientifically the fetus is not actually a part of the mother, but a separate entity from the mother. Certainly the mother is carrying the fetus inside her body, but the fetus is not part of her. For example, the mother could be carrying a male fetus in her womb (which is determined from the moment of conception). The child is male and she is female – they cannot be the same individual. This is also clear if you look at the other components of a woman’s body. Her organs service her body: her lungs allow her to breathe…her kidneys filter her blood. The baby is not just another organ in her body but instead a separate human organism in her womb that is not present to service her body.

4)   Statement: I cannot have an opinion about abortion because I am a man.
Response: If I had my two year old beside me and I was going to kill her, would you stop me? (Of course) Why? (Because it’s wrong to kill her) Why is it wrong? (Because you’re killing a human being) Why would you protect a two year old and not the child in my womb? You are a human being and therefore you have every right to protect all other human beings from being killed, including those still unborn.

5)   Statement: If the pregnancy could kill the mother, she should be able to have an abortion.
Response: I believe any woman with health concerns in pregnancy should have access to necessary treatment. For example, I believe a woman with cancer should be able to receive chemotherapy or radiation to treat her cancer even though this will likely kill the child in her womb. Cancer therapy aims to treat the woman’s medical condition; abortion aims to kill a human being. These are fundamentally different options even though the fetus may die when the woman receives the appropriate therapy for her health condition. A therapeutic abortion is never necessary for women with health conditions.  

6)   Statement: It’s not a person.
Response: Do you believe in human rights? Do you believe in human rights for all human beings? Human life begins at the moment of conception, therefore the unborn should receive the same human right to life that we have. Also, women were not considered persons until 1929…the law has been wrong before and the status of personhood has been denied to millions around the world in the past.

7)   Statement: It’s not even human…it’s a ‘potential human’.
Response: Science tells us that human life begins at the moment of conception when a new individual is formed with a unique set of DNA with forty six chromosomes distinct from its parents. (Check out the science in any reputable biology or embryology textbook or at: https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html)

8)   Statement: It’s a parasite.
Response: If something has human parents, is it human offspring?

9)   Statement: It doesn’t look like us.
Response: We must judge appearance based on a human’s level of development. You do not judge a newborn by the standard appearance of a two year old, so why would you judge a fetus by the standard appearance of a newborn? The fetus looks like what it’s supposed to look like for its level of development.



         I have one other tip to offer you today for conversations about abortion: be as loving as you can be! Many people have been personally wounded by abortions and are not ready to speak about abortion from a solely scientific or logical perspective. Let them know that you are pro-life, pro-dignity, and pro-respect for them as well as every other human being.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apologetics Night

       The following is a review of our apologetics meeting on September 24th. Most of the information comes directly from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (see #7 for link).

          1)      To engage in pro-life apologetics means to defend the pro-life position effectively
            in conversation.
2)      The choice to have an abortion or not to have an abortion should not be based on subjective opinions; it should be based on the objective truth that human life begins at fertilization.
3)      We are all pro-choice and anti-choice depending on the choices that are presented to us. For example, we are anti-choice as a nation towards stealing because the choice to steal is recognized as an objectively bad choice. We are pro-choice as a nation towards different colours of clothing because wearing a red shirt is not objectively better or worse than a blue shirt.
4)      A discussion is not a lecture. You need to be genuinely interested in what this person believes about abortion. Both verbal and non-verbal communication are important for this…just watch this video and you’ll understand:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JmA2ClUvUY
5)      One way to engage someone in dialogue is to use the following three steps:
a.       Find common ground
b.      Tell a story (‘trot out a toddler’)
c.       Ask a question
6)    Many people are unaware that human life begins at conception. The following three questions can help them come to this conclusion for themselves:
             a.     If something is growing, is it living?
             b.     If something has human parents, is it human offspring?
             c.     Humans have human rights, don't they?
7)      SLED is a good tool to use when explaining the differences between the fetus and us, and why these differences don’t give us grounds to abort:
a.       Size
b.      Level of Development
c.       Environment
d.      Dependency
8)      An EXCELLENT resource to learn more apologetics (WARNING: graphic images on this website): http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/classroom

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Weekend You'll Remember

Last year I attended the National Campus Life Network Symposium, which was not only extremely informative, but also very fun. It was the best use of a weekend I can remember. The days were filled with speakers, workshops and opportunities to network with other participants. I was thoroughly impressed by how much I learned. I have attended many retreats and conferences in the past, and can honestly say that few have been as rewarding as the NCLN Symposium.

NCLN Symposium 2013/2014 Attendees from left to right:
Kasia Lach, Mark Dumbrique,
Christine Helferty, Daniel Cumming, Evan Cassidy
We were taught how to defend the pro-life position, and effectively communicate it to others. I learned about the rights individuals and clubs have on campus. I also learned about things I did not expect, such as human psychology and the history of the pro-life movement. We learned about different pro-life groups, the work that they do, and the different opportunities that are available to share the pro-life message. It was at the symposium where I first heard about a trip to Florida for the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) that I ended up attending last February.

It was not all presentations either. Ever played a game of giant Dutch Blitz? Throughout the weekend there were social opportunities where you could meet other pro-lifers from across the country.  To this day, I have kept in touch with friends I met there.

            I would highly recommend the NCLN symposium to anyone looking to learn more.  It is a great way to become better equipped to defend the pro-life position, meet some amazing people, enjoy good food and have fun while you are at it. What better way to spend a weekend?

By: Evan Cassidy, Attendee of the NCLN Symposium 2013/2014


Friday, May 16, 2014

End the Protest

May 8th marked the annual March for Life. Canadians across the country marched through many cities including Victoria, Edmonton, St. John’s, and of course, outside the steps of Parliament Hill to be voices for those who have not been given the opportunity to speak. Queen’s Alive members and alumni were among the thousands in Ottawa. I was one of the privileged members to be witnessing on the hill too. The day had perfect weather for the march – no mud, no rain, just sun. In fact, it seemed much like a big family reunion. Many people from across Canada travel to Ottawa and look forward to the march as an opportunity to see pro-lifers they have met over the years. Looking around, it wasn’t difficult to see that most people were enjoying the opportunity to reconnect. I found myself similarly enjoying the smiles of pro-life advocates I have met in the past such as CCBR (Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform) worker Stephanie Grey and NCLN (National Campus Life Network) staff members Rebecca Richmond and Kathleen Dunn as the day came to a close. But I was soon reminded that this shouldn’t be how it is.

Why do we have the March for Life? Why are we all meeting on Parliament Hill and stopping traffic and upsetting public transit systems? I was reminded at the NCLN banquet on Thursday evening that the only reason we are all joined together on the hill is because women are being traumatized and babies are being killed in this nation that we call ‘free’. How many more children will our country sacrifice to abortion? How many more men and women will we subject to lost fatherhood and motherhood? The protest exists because the injustice exists. I have often told people that the March for Life is one of my favourite events of the year. It is – and I hope I never have to attend it again as a protest, but rather as a celebration of our country’s decision to eradicate the injustice.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014-2015 Executive Council



Welcome to our new Queen's Alive Executive!
From left to right:
Maggie McMahon - Treasurer
Ashley Vandermeer - Events Coordinator
Christine Helferty - President
Jonathan Conte - Vice-President
Alessia Dolcetti - Secretary

Friday, April 26, 2013

Executive Update

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Stephen Gellner has stepped down from the role of Treasurer and Stephanie Dresch has been selected to take his place.

Welcome, Stephanie, onto the Queen's Alive Executive!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Executive 2013-2014

Congratulations to our new Executive Club for 2013-2014:
President -Catherine Helferty
Vice President -Ashley Vandermeer
Secretary -Christine Helferty
Treasurer -Stephen Gellner
It is going to be a wonderful year for Queen's Alive!

From left to right: Christine, Catherine, Stephen, and Ashley