SPOTLIGHT: Sanctity of life
Christian Advocacy Society
Supporting Lives, Strengthening Families, Transforming Communities
Where is your mission field? It could be somewhere on the other side of the world or it could be the community in which you live. Pregnancy options centres are a local urban mission.
A crisis pregnancy touches many lives – the unborn child, the mother, the father, and extended family. Thus the impact of unplanned pregnancy and how it is dealt with is far-reaching.
In Canada, each year more than 100,000 women do not carry their children to term. Their choices are often more in response to pressure and a lack of support, rather than a well-informed, empowered decision. A standard ‘medical response’ is a short talk about adoption and parenting and the provision of an abortion clinic number.
Pregnancy options centres are a unique place where women and men receive compassionate, non-judgmental support, accurate education about their options, and the practical help they may need to make a life-affirming decision regarding their unplanned pregnancy.
A pregnancy options centre is not about an ideology but rather it is about compassionate help and truly making a difference in someone’s life – unconditional love, Christianity in action. Women and men challenged by an unplanned pregnancy now have the support and information many of them are looking for – including prenatal and parenting support, baby supplies, and more.
When a woman comes to a centre she knows that the staff and volunteers care not only about her baby but also about her. We know that both have a God-given destiny. The centre becomes a safe place to share her story and explore her options.
As a physician, I was grateful to know I could refer my undecided patients to such a place. I continue to see young women and men supported, loved, and cared for as they walk through some very difficult life circumstances.
The mission field is here and we are in it. We have an incredible opportunity to save and transform lives. Please consider supporting your local pregnancy options centre.
Dr. Laura Lewis is a wife, mother of two boys, and a family physician of over twenty years. Recently, Dr. Lewis accepted the position of executive director of the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, the national best practice association for 70-member pregnancy options centres nationwide.
Life, Marriage & Natural Family
As the “culture of death” is expanding in Canada, what is our response going to be when electing lawmakers at different levels of government?
Is it not time for us to make a candidate’s and their party’s position on Life, Marriage and the Natural Family a deciding factor when voting?
All political parties represented in parliament now are unwilling to legislate on the protection of innocent human life from conception to natural death, and they all have abandoned the Natural definition of Marriage as between one women and one man. We need Christian voices in parliament speaking and legislating boldly and unashamedly for Truth and Justice for All, in conformance with Natural Law as designed by our Creator.
Maybe the time has come to support and build up a party that is founded on the Christian Heritage of our country Canada.
Rick Mercer coming to Abbotsford
CBC television’s Rick Mercer is coming to Abbotsford this June for an event that will benefit the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre (FVCDC) and Matthew’s House. Rant and Raise with Rick Mercer will be an opportunity to hear this popular television personality share his experiences from all across Canada.
In a joint statement, Karen McLean, executive director of FVCDC and Karyn Santiago, chief executive officer of Communitas Supportive Care Society, which operates Matthew’s House, spoke with enthusiasm about the event.
“It is a privilege for us to be able to bring such an exciting event to our shared community and to support families in this unique way,” they said.
Along with Rick’s presentation, guests will enjoy a Wine and Appetizer reception. Raffle tickets for five exciting prizes will be sold for $20 each that evening. Contemporary artist Linda Klippenstein will create an art piece onsite that will be sold by silent auction. VIP ticket holders and high level sponsors will have the opportunity to take part in a Meet & Greet with Rick after the show. Tickets are $99 with a limited number of VIP tickets available for $129.
Rant and Raise with Rick Mercer happens June 22nd, 2017 at the Tradex in Abbotsford. For more information about the event, about raffle ticket sales and to purchase event tickets, visit the FVCDC website, fvcdc.org or the Matthew’s House website, mattshouse.ca.
Skeleton in the Closet
by Doreen Young
A past abortion experience can be like a skeleton in the closet popping up when you least expect it. Do you find you tense up when you hear the word “abortion”? Or perhaps you find that it really bothers you when the news or radio speaks about the subject? Maybe you find yourself feeling sad or even numb at certain times of the year?
“I always felt like I ‘checked out’ in the summer months. I never knew why until I went for peer counselling to deal with abortions. I finally connected that my two abortions that I had, during July and August all those years ago, is why I always felt numb in the summer.” – abortion recovery client
No one sets out to have an abortion. People find themselves in an unexpected situation with an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion promises to be an easy solution to become un-pregnant and back to the way life was before conception. Abortion can terminate a pregnancy but it can never take away the knowledge that one was pregnant. That knowledge and the whole abortion experience can feel like a shameful secret that needs to be shoved way back in the closet.
A past abortion experience does not need to be a skeleton in your closet anymore. Post Abortion Community Services (PACS) provides free and confidential peer counselling services for women and men who want to process their past abortion experience.
“For years I saw the ad for after abortion support in the church bulletin. I even called PACS and went in to see them, but it took two years before I would go to their recovery retreat. I was nervous about who I would see at the retreat for fear of exposing my secret. However, God met me at the retreat and His healing continued as I attended a post abortion support group at PACS.” – abortion recovery client
The next Lower Mainland PACS recovery retreat is May 26-28. For details, please call 604-525-0999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Change is possible. There is healing.
Doreen Yung is Program Director with Post Abortion Community Services (pacscanada.org), an outreach of the Christian Advocacy Society of Greater Vancouver (christiandvocacy.ca).
I survived an abortion
by Jared White
Some time ago we were blessed with a visit from Gianna Jessen. Gianna has a unique and powerful story to tell because she is a living survivor of an induced abortion. Yes, it does happen. Gianna’s mother was sevenmonths pregnant when she was counselled to get a late term abortion. Miraculously, Gianna survived but the attempted abortion left her with cerebral palsy. Gianna is an amazing woman who speaks her mind and wears her faith on her sleeve. But perhaps what is most special about her is that she so effectively, by her very life, dispels the myth that abortion is all about women’s rights. As Gianna so aptly puts it, “If abortion is all about women’s rights…then what were my rights as I struggled to survive?”
This question is especially pertinent when it comes to pregnancy terminations occurring beyond the point of viability which, according to the Canadian Medical Association, is when a woman is 22 weeks pregnant. As shocking as it may sound, such procedures are perfectly legal and acceptable here in Canada. Statistics are incomplete, but it is estimated that 1,900 abortions occur in Canada every year past the point of fetal viability.
The reasons why women choose to have abortions late into their pregnancies are many and varied and no one stereotype can accurately depict a woman’s plight in this regard. Nevertheless, one thing remains constant: the pressure to abort can be so strong that women feel they cannot stand against it. In my own experience, women often do not want to have an abortion but they are told by their doctors that abortion is the most responsible choice. Sometimes, they are told that having an abortion is the safest choice because of the complications that could occur during child birth. Other times the pressure to abort comes because the child is diagnosed with a disability or a fatal abnormality. The pressure to terminate can be overwhelming. If Gianna’s story teaches us anything, it is that every child matters and every child deserves a chance. It’s time we as a society stood up for the Gianna Jessens of the world and their mothers who often don’t want to terminate their pregnancies in the first place.
If you or someone you know is experiencing pressure to terminate the pregnancy, or if you are suffering from a past abortion, please text “HOPE” to 393939. I cannot say the road will be easy, and no organization can solve all your problems but I will say you can do it and you are not alone.