LETTER: Banner’s message needs to be heard

Respect Human Life rejects harm and the labelling of vulnerable individuals as less valuable than others.

The controversial banner in question.

Re: “Banner is discriminatory and offensive,” Letters, Nov. 27

To acknowledge the scientific fact that human life begins at conception is no different or judgemental than a banner that advises, “While pregnant, take vitamins, eat healthy, and avoid alcohol and drugs.”

Respect Human Life rejects harm and the labelling of vulnerable individuals as less valuable than others, encompassing the elderly, the handicapped, and not just the unborn.

How can anyone not support respecting human life? It does not seem plausible that our banner could cause the traumatic stress disorder symptoms that this letter has projected on all post-abortion women. These women clearly need counselling, as they must have a pre-existing condition, triggered by any words or images associated with pregnancy.

Moreover, pro-life organizations never condemn women who have abortions; we only condemn the act of abortion. With abortion, there are two victims, the child and the mother. Pro-life members, who have had past abortions, formed the organization Silent No More and Rachel’s Vineyard, organizations that help women suffering from and regretting their abortions. The ABC (abortion/breast cancer) awareness program was initiated by the pro-life movement. Crisis pregnancy centres, financial aid, counselling, and advocacy for single mothers,and abstinence and sexually transmitted disease education are all supported and often initiated by pro-life organizations. All are non-profit.

The banner, sponsored by community members, is associated with Remembrance Day to invoke memories of the Holocaust, and the misery and injustice that results when a sector of society, such as the Jews or currently,the unborn, is deprived of their human rights. Clearly, we also need to recall the dangers of the Nazi regime’s enforced compliance and suppression of information.

We are called to make judgements about all kinds of issues. With today’s busy lifestyles, it is difficult to educate ourselves about issues. Dictators and profiteers will suppress and alter information, belittling anyone who challenges the status quo as a community divider, offender or fanatic. In a democratic society, it is fundamental that information and public awareness of issues always be available, no matter how controversial.

As for the organizations that wrote this letter, neither public health nor Options for Health have heard of theReproductive Health Coalition of the Kootenays and there is no website. Even more questionable is the FullSpectrum Doula Collective website, which is encouraging women as young as 18 to participate in a study that encourages “alternative abortion methods, using medication or physical extraction methods obtained outside of a medical clinic or hospital.”

They offer a $50 gift certificate for participants, and encourage them to use a fake name. Some poor girl who might now attempt an alternative abortion method will have no redress, having used a fake name, when she suffers injuries from experimenting with dubious medications or devices. Is this care for women? Is this evenlegal in Canada?

Over 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada every year. Clearly there is a need for the message “Respect human life.”

Nelson Right-To-Life Society