Queen's Alive Group

At the end of January, the pro-life clubs at the University of Toronto and Queen’s University each hosted a guest speaker that came with a reputation for sparking some controversy. Jose Ruba from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) presented his “Echoes of the Holocaust” presentation at U of T on Jan. 27. The following day, Michael Coren, broadcaster, author, and columnist, addressed students at Queen’s with a talk entitled, “Abortion: Canada’s National Shame.”

Although previous presentations by Ruba were shouted and sung down (at St. Mary’s in Halifax and McGill in Montreal), his talk was met with open ears and minds in Toronto. The lecture hall held over 60 attendees, who listened as Ruba outlined why a comparison of the Holocaust and other genocides with abortion is warranted. Though past human rights violations have their differences from abortion, he said, there are similarities that we must take note of that also apply to abortion today. The similarities between the horror of the Holocaust and abortion are outlined as the following: a group of human beings are dehumanized, state-sanctioned killings follow and millions of people are killed because they are a burden and/or those in power want something from them.

Today, the unborn child is often times dismissed as nothing important and certainly not worthy of rights. Canada only attributes rights to those who are born; therefore, the killing of innocent children in the womb is state-sanctioned. According to the Canadian Supreme Court in 1997, “Canada does not recognize the unborn child as a legal person …” Over 100,000 abortions are committed every year in Canada and 42 million worldwide. Most abortions take place because of pressures on the woman and the child is seen as a burden. Now not only are we killing the unborn, but they also have something people want: stem cells for research.

U of T Student for Life’s president, Clarissa Luluquisin, told The Interim, “We are very happy with how the event turned out – I believe it sparked some new interest in this issue and we are looking forward to continuing the dialogue.”

Coren’s presentation drew the attention of a number of protesters who held signs along the side of the full lecture hall. He addressed them right away, asking if he would be able to give his talk and they assured him that he could. They took advantage of the question period and engaged in the discussion afterward.

Coren offered a variety of reasons why abortion is wrong, but highlighted the fact that the most fundamental human right is the right to life and without it, one no other rights matter. Life begins at conception and must be protected from that time, he said. He spoke about the fact that the majority of abortions are committed against female and/or visible minority babies. Along those lines, he pointed out that Africa is underpopulated and the “reason they are starving in Africa is because of Western greed.”

Coren desired that there be more education and discussion on these issues. The post-speech discussion gave that opportunity, as questions came up about back-alley abortions, poverty, rape and bodily integrity. A full video of the presentation can be viewed at the Queen’s Alive online blog: www.queensalive.blogspot.com.

Emilie Bruno, president of Queen’s Alive, recounted, “We were very impressed with the response of our campus. Campus security and the student constables ensured civility was the norm for this event. Thank you to Queen’s University of being a haven for free discussion.”