To all the members of the Church, the people of life and for life, I make this most urgent appeal, that together we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope, and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love.
~John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae
Come celebrate the gift of life! From its earliest stages to its final moments, human life shows us the wondrous love of our Creator God. We are all called to respect, cherish and nurture this gift as we work together to bring God’s peace to our world. We hope that you will use this website to explore the gift of life and to learn more about how you can celebrate with women and men who are embracing the challenge and gift of pregnancy. Please join the Diocese of Saskatoon in spreading the joy of the gift of life!
Have a look at this TED Talk
Abortion victimizes both mother and child: Law has to protect both
By Mary Deutscher
This "Building a Culture of Life" column was published in The Prairie Messenger, June 3, 2015 - Used with permission.
In its May 20th edition, the Prairie Messenger published an article by Michael Coren that compelled me to expound my reasons for supporting laws against abortion. Canada has no law addressing abortion. We’ve lived in this situation for so long now, that I think many of us have become desensitized to it. Even if we personally don’t like abortion, we may find ourselves thinking that we’re not responsible for other peoples’ choices. There are plenty of things that are wrong morally but not illegal, such as lying or cheating on a spouse. Maybe abortion just falls into this category? I wouldn’t want one personally, we might think, but I don’t want to control other people.
Before I can address whether or not the law should be employed against abortion, I need to set up a few premises. First, abortion is harmful for women. It’s not harmful just in the way that lying is harmful; it is harmful in the way that female genital mutilation is harmful. It is a completely unnecessary procedure that damages a woman physically, emotionally and spiritually. I would not wish it on anyone. Second, I am against abortion not only because it ends a human life, but also because I don’t want to live in a world in which we solve our problems by encouraging or forcing a mother to submit to the killing of her child.
So where does the law fit into all of this? There are several reasons why we might create a law, but I think the primary exercise of the law is to protect the weak and vulnerable. In the case of abortion, I see two vulnerable people: the pre-born child and the mother. Normally when the abortion debate is framed, it is seen as child vs. mother. I refuse to accept this. Rather, I see it as mother & child vs. societal ills.
Abortion is a symptom of the greatest evils facing our world. Most abortions are the result of a culture that does not value women or their capacity for bringing life into the world. We live in a world full of poverty, violence, broken relationships and greed. It should come as no surprise that this culture would see abortion as a solution to its own failures.
For example, over the past few months the world was shaken by the appalling story of a 10-year old rape victim in Paraguay. The girl entered a hospital on April 21st when she was around 5 months pregnant, the result of sexual abuse by her stepfather. The girl’s situation exposed an epidemic of sexual abuse that victimizes an abhorrent number of Paraguayan girls.
However, despite the obvious injustices facing women in Paraguay, the international discussion of this case has remained obstinately focused on whether or not the 10-year-old should receive an abortion. This neglects the root causes of her pregnancy, falsely imagining that abortion can somehow resolve the brutal trauma she has experienced.
An abortion may erase the evidence of the violence inflicted upon this girl, but it cannot erase the violence itself. This 10-year-old knows there is a child inside her. Does she want an abortion? Will she feel better knowing that the child has been destroyed? How will an abortion help her to cope with the trauma she has experienced? What are the experiences of other rape victims who have carried their children to term? How will an abortion affect her long-term health?
Instead of trying to answer these questions, most news outlets have jumped to the conclusion that an abortion is the best thing for the Paraguayan girl and that laws against abortion further subjugate women. But this missed the point that abortion itself victimizes women.
Consider for a moment what would have happened if this girl had been raped in Canada. Once it became evident that the young girl was pregnant, it would have been legal for her stepfather to take her to a hospital to receive an abortion. One would hope that healthcare professionals would stop to ask questions, trying to discover how a 10-year old had become pregnant, but legally they would be under no compulsion to do so. This girl could have received an abortion, and been taken back home to continue her life of abuse.
I fear that by allowing unquestioned access to abortion, all we are really doing is covering up the symptoms of a much deeper disease. Abortion allows our society to absolve itself from dealing with gender inequality, poverty, violence, and the breakdown of families. For over a generation we have been using abortion to sweep these problems under the rug, but the rug is starting to bulge. We are in need of laws against abortion to get our culture back on the right track.
Many people balk at an abortion law because they imagine the law would treat women who seek abortions as perpetrators. However, the abortion laws that I support see mothers as victims. The perpetrators are the people who would give a woman an abortion without trying to help her find a better life for herself and her child. A rapist who brings a girl to the hospital for an abortion needs to be exposed. A doctor who takes a woman’s money for an abortion but fails to connect her with the proper social supports to care for her child needs to be sanctioned. A society that forces a woman to choose between her future and the future of her child needs a revolution.
Canada’s current legal vacuum abandons mothers when they are most in need of the defense of the law. Women deserve better.
Saskatoon Pregnancy Options Centre
The Saskatoon Pregnancy Options Centre is committed to providing generous support, education and acceptance to women and their families who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy, by striving to meet their emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Contact Marilyn Jackson at (306) 665-7550 or email: spoc [at] sasktel.net or visit the website at: www.saskatoonpregnancy.com
Pro-Life & Alliance for Life Saskatoon, Inc.
Contacts: Nicole Pyle, St. Joseph’s Rectory, 535 – 8th Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7H 0P9 Ph: 683-0829, or Hugh Brennan, Ph: 975-0551
(If no one is available, please leave a message.) The office is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Alliance for Life Saskatoon is a local pro-life educational resource centre, focusing on abortion and euthanasia. We provide videos, books, pamphlets and other resources free of charge to anyone in the community wishing to educate themselves or others on these issues.
Campaign Life Coalition Saskatchewan, Inc.
Contact: Denise Hounjet-Roth, Box 8262, Saskatoon, SK S7K 6C5 Phone: 249-2764
Campaign Life is a political action pro-life organization working at all levels of government to secure full legal protection for all innocent human life, including the handicapped, the aged, and the unborn child.
Carlton Trail Pro-Life
Contact: Marage Knaus (President), Box 446, Lanigan, SK S0K 2M0 365-4700
Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association
Contact: Nicole Pyle Ph: 683-0829
The aim of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association is to promote respect for all human life from the moment of conception to natural death, through education and political lobbying. Alliance for Life Saskatoon, Inc. and Saskatchewan Youth for Life are the local affiliates of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association.
Saskatoon Pro-Life, Inc.
Contact: Marcel D'Eon (President), 2517 York Avenue South, Saskatoon, SK S7J 1J6 343-9252.
Serena Living in Harmony with Your Fertility
Contact: Annette Bentler, c/o Box 7375 Saskatoon, SK S7K 4J3
Ph: 934-8223 or 1-800-667-1637 website: www.serena.ca
e-mail: sask [at] serena.ca
Serena provides accurate information and complete instruction in Fertility Awareness and Natural Family Planning. They Sympto-thermal test as taught by Serena is extremely effective as a method of pregnancy prevention, yet free of side-effects commonly associated with contraceptive methods. Fertility Awareness is equally effective when used by couples wishing to onceive or by those experiencing difficulty conceiving, as a means to pinpoint the optimal fertile time for conception.
For more information, contact the Serena office at 934-8223 or if out of the Saskatooon telephone area, phone 1-800-667-1637.
NFP Saskatchewan - Natural Family Planning
The Natural Family Planning Association (Saskatchewan) is an non-profit organization whose purpose is to teach the Billings Ovulation Method of natural family planning.
The Billings Ovulation Method was developed by Drs. John and Evelyn Billings, and is used by millions of women around the world. It is based on awareness of the woman`s natural signs of fertility and infertility, unmodified by any chemical, mechanical, or other artificial means.The Billings Ovulation Method has been validated by eminent international scientists and verified as extremely effective by the World Health Organization.
The Method takes advantage of the biological fact that women are infertile more often than fertile throughout their reproductive years. When a woman learns the Billings Ovulation Method, she learns to recognize the fertile and infertile phases within her menstrual cycle. This knowledge can be used to become pregnant, avoid pregnancy, and to safeguard reproductive health.Scientific studies indicate that with proper instruction and motivation, the Billings Ovulation Method in actual practice is 99.64% effective.
For more information contact: NFP Saskatchewan, Box 3807, Humboldt, SK. S0K 2A0, (306) 682-7771, nfpsask [at] sasktel.net or see: www.nfpsask.ca