Nelson Right To Life would like to address the Star’s editorial (“Banner policy flawed” November 16) claiming that the “Respect Human Life Week” banner, displayed over Baker Street around Remembrance Day, is judgemental and divisive to our community.
Our banner, sponsored by community members, is meant to invoke memories of the Holocaust, and the misery and injustice that results when a sector of society is deprived of their human rights. This life-affirming message rejects violence and the labelling of some individuals, such as the elderly, the handicapped and the unborn, as less valuable than others. 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, troublemaker or fanatic. In a democratic society, it is fundamental that information and public awareness of issues always be available, no matter how controversial.
It is ironic that Nelson Right To Life is accused of being judgemental. To claim that human life suddenly magically begins upon contact with air outside of a woman’s body is making a judgment call — an extremely bizarre one that is contradicted by pregnancy. Nelson Right To Life acknowledges the scientific fact that human life begins at conception, and human life must always be protected and valued — a very loving, judgement-free approach.
The editorial also makes incorrect assumptions/judgements when it claims we are judging women who have had abortions by telling them the truth about human creation. Are you going to silence the health care workers who advise pregnant women to take vitamins, eat healthy, and avoid alcohol and drugs?
Pro-life organizations never condemn women who have abortions; we only condemn the act of abortion. With abortion, there are two victims, the mother and child. Pro-life members, who have had past abortions, formed the organization Silent No More. Rachel’s Vineyard, an organization that helps women suffering from their abortions, was started by a pro-life organization. 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 life cycle abstinence and sexually transmitted disease education are all supported and often initiated by pro-life organizations.
The editorial, riddled with errors, clearly proves the need for public awareness and education by Nelson Right To Life. Our banner says, “Respect Human Life from conception (not birth as stated) to natural death.”
Statistics Canada has not kept abortion statistics since 2007. The Canadian Institute for Health Information gathers incomplete hospital abortion statistics. Clinics are not required to report. Although last documentation indicates one baby is aborted for every five conceived, doctors agree abortion numbers are much higher. Our world is being impacted: schools closing, workforce lacking, retirement age increasing, economic strife, and more men than women leading to increase in sexual crime. By contrast, for disease statistics, an incidence rate in excess of one case per 100 people is considered a sizable epidemic.
Everyone pays a fee (not community resources) to put up a banner on Baker Street. We, however, are all forced to pay for abortions with our tax dollars. Our banner has been displayed for the past 12 years (not six years).
Finally to claim that one supports freedom of speech in one breath and then add, “but not in public places” is ridiculous, hypocritical and particularly appalling coming from a newspaper editorial.
Rick Rodman, president
Peter Nachbaur, vice president
Mathilde Klassen, past-president
Dawn Rodman, secretary
for the Nelson Right To Life Society