Year In Review | 2018

2018 has come and gone, and a new year is almost upon us! It has been a great year, and Shuswap Pro-Life Society is so thankful for all the support of our members.

   Let's take a look back at all that we were able to accomplish with your help this year!

On May 3rd of this year, we hosted a Paster's Luncheon with Cameron Cote - the Western Director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform at the living Water's Church.
   Cameron also spoke at Five Corner's Church, to a large audience, about the Christian's responsibility in creating a culture of life. We were honoured to be able to have him as a speaker.

 At the Salmon Arm Fall Fair - September 7th to 9th, Shuswap Pro-Life had a booth. We were able to present information on abortion, euthanasia, and the worth of life. Free balloons, stickers, and pins were available as well.

   During the fair, we also had a lovely float in the parade, for the first time. There were many pro-life posters, and children riding on the floor, we also printed some pro-life teeshirts for this occasion.

 On September 16th we hosted a documentary called 'Fatal Flaws' at the Salmar Classic Theatre. It featured testimonies and information about Euthanasia. We had a decent turn up, and a doctor was also there to answer questions afterwards.

   On September 30th we had our annual life chain. There was a good turnout, despite it being a rainy and cold day. Thank you to everyone who joined us to give witness to the sacredness of life.

  On October 13th, we had the Hike For Life. It was a sunny and warm day, and we had hikers from 2 months old to 80 years old. Money was raised and shared with the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and our own education projects. 


   This year we also put up a new Billboard - which reads "Canada has no abortion laws"

    Our last event of the year was our Annual General Meeting, November 13th, which feature Alissa Golob from 'Right Now'. Her presentation highlighted the importance of knowing the political process & its involvement 
    Alissa also spoke to over 80 high school students at King's Christian School. Her talk centred on the humanity of the pre-born child, on abortion procedures, and the law. Students questionnaire responses said that their pro-life beliefs were reinforced. 

   Thank you all for your support, without you, none of this would have been possible. We wish you a very Happy New Year, and look forward to all that 2019 brings!


The Life of a Child with Down Syndrome

Today's society prides itself on embracing differences and being tolerant of others. 

We look back at the strong racism that was prevalent in society with disgust, wondering how others could look down on someone and think of them as less, just because of our differences. 

We wonder how anyone could have believed the lies of Nazi Germany, in thinking there could be a "perfect" human, and those with any sort of disability or weakness should be put to death for being "useless". But at the same time, our society is feeding us the same lies. 

    Society and individuals would be better off if children with disabilities are aborted. 

  Even though it isn't often said right out, it is believed by many. However, this statement is completely untrue.

  Children with Down syndrome are being aborted too frequently, that there is talk of this syndrome being completely eradicated. Not because of some medical procedure, or fewer cases, but because these babies are being murdered. In many countries over 90% of them are aborted. And some people actually believe this is for the good of the child.

    Why would someone believe that it is a good thing to murder someone because of how their brain works, or because they aren't "normal"? Well, down syndrome children are constantly being put into a box. They can't learn, they can't talk, they can't go to school, they can't get a job, they can't be happy. But they can! They can do all these things, and there are many cases where they have jobs, go to college or university, and even get married.

   A study was done on the Self-Perceptions from people with Down Syndrome. It found that 99% were happy with their lives, and 97% liked who they are.

"In our qualitative analysis, people with DS encouraged parents to love their babies with DS, mentioning that their own lives were good. They further encouraged healthcare professionals to value them, emphasizing that they share similar hopes and dreams as people without DS."

   We are the ones who have problems with Down Syndrome, not those with the syndrome. We have goals, ideals, and a guideline for success. We think that success looks like a high-paying job, being married by a certain age, and having a certain standard of beauty. But isn't it time to realize that happiness & compassion are more important than all those things?

  To find out more about the day to day life of a child with Down Syndrome, and their family, we have interviewed the mother of a child with the syndrome.


What is your favourite thing about your son?

My son is loving, happy and appreciative.  He has a wonderful ability to forgive and forget, to let bygones be bygones and move forward.

How does your son impact those around him, and bring joy to others?

My son brings out the best in others, that is compassion, smiles. People are relaxed around him and friendly towards him. He is very human in his feelings and relationships.  While he loves to play-wrestle with his brothers he is kind and careful of others especially those smaller and weaker than himself. 

What is your son's favourite pastime?

He enjoys and spends time playing with cars, 'reading', listening to music, radio, and audio stories. He also likes riding his bike and scooter, playing basketball with Special Olympics and other sports especially swimming.

If you were going to talk to the expecting parents of a child with down syndrome who were considering abortion, what would you tell them? Why would you say they should keep the baby? 

Every child is a gift.  Sometimes it is harder to see this until later.

What were some misconceptions you had about the syndrome, that you learned over the years to be incorrect? 

 I thought that it would be difficult for him to understand things.  While he is slow to learn with patience he understands many things.  I was concerned for his future but now we look forward to seeing him mature and become independent and self-determining.  There is a lot of help available from community resources.


Assisted Suicide: A Local Issue

When we read about events that degrade the value of life, such as euthanasia and abortion, we often think of them as something far away. These issues often aren't personal, close to home, and don't seem to affect us. But maybe they reach closer than we expect, into our very own neighbourhoods.

   The death of Sally Scales caused a stir among Salmon Arm residents. She was among the first to be euthanized in the area. However, it isn't such an uncommon occurrence in BC anymore. "Medical Assistance in Dying" is becoming a more favourable option, as it is being portrayed as a positive thing. 
   After attending a meeting this past winter in which this subject was discussed by Dr Warren Bell, we decided to interview someone in the area who is familiar with Euthanasia. They work in the health-care field and are able to give us a better glimpse into the effects of this practice.

Would you agree that Medical Assistance in Dying is being portrayed as almost a preferable alternative to natural death among the elderly/ill, and this is influencing their decisions? Have you witnessed a feeling of being a burden, useless, or pressure from family members having an impact on the decision of those who choose MAiD? 

"Yes, there are many elderly people choosing MAiD as an option with fear seeming to be the driving factor. Families do have a lot to do with their decisions. I am seeing more and more people chose MAid as an alternative because they choose to "not be a burden" to anyone. It is extremely sad and hurts my heart when people say things like that, because having dedicated my life to caring for others, I cannot see a more rewarding way to spend my life than to know and honour these people. I have personally seen families have screaming matches over the family member being 'selfish for choosing this method', but it appears that these people in care had decided long before the family did."

Have you ever seen elderly choosing Medical Assistance in Dying when not having a critical illness or severe pain, but just because they wanted to end their life and felt they were old enough to die? 

  "Someone cannot just choose MAid, they have to have a proven illness that will eventually take their life. most of the people I have seen were cancer patients. I read an article in the Observer about Sally Scales, and her story was that she had not wanted to be alone anymore, which was strange because her son submitted the article, so she must have had loved ones around her." 

Is it common for medication and painkillers to be unable to relieve pain?

   "It is uncommon for normal medications such as Morphine or Hydromorph (Hydromorphone) to be ineffective for people experiencing pain in hospital or facilities. I think it's a load of hogwash when people say otherwise. Someone close to me, who was at the end of their life, experienced pain in the hospital and they gave them Hydromorph and they were fine after that."

Dr Bell also mentioned that people Dementia and Alzheimers are allowed to get MAiD. Are patients with these conditions unable to live happily and at least somewhat comfortable lives? 

   "If someone with Alzheimer's were to choose MAiD it would have to be in the early stages, as the law in Canada only allows for choices to be made under clear mind. You cannot have other people make the decision for you. So, essentially, you are robbing yourself of what could be years of life ahead of yourself."

    According to most doctors, and care-aid workers, those who have Dementia and Alzheimers can enjoy life. When Teepa Snow was asked this question, she said“Absolutely. They can and do enjoy life. That enjoyment, when it happens, is moment by moment — pretty much the same way we enjoy life.” (1)

How has the change in laws about MaiD impacted your career and affected you as a care-aid? Do you feel that you don’t have a choice or voice in the /MAiD situation, and have to complete jobs or be involved in things that make you uncomfortable?

   "As far as having a say in the MAiD process or my concerns, I have been told, "We work for the government when the government passes a law it becomes something we are mandated to follow. You and I may not agree with this process at all; however, I just ask that you do your job to the best of your ability and remind your co-workers to do the same.

    That was stated to me on the first day, and I was asked to do care of the person before they died. I was not allowed to say no, and was reminded that if I liked my job and wanted to keep it, I would not cause a stir about a law that was now mandated. I have not attempted to speak with those in authority about the issue since.

    On a personal level, I struggle with working at a facility that would house an act such as MAiD. My struggle is a lot about guilt and responsibility. I may not be the one 'pulling the trigger', but it feels just as bad knowing that someone else is doing it when I am in the same building. There is nothing to do but pray that the person dies a natural death and it has happened a number of times!

   Another concern I wanted to address was about something stated regarding insurance papers. I had life insurance papers with a previous job, which stated that suicide within the first 2 years would make the insurance null and void. It was such an odd thing to have in the insurance papers, but now I finally get it! It makes me more than a little sick to my stomach to hear Dr Bell state that they change some information to say things like, "Died peacefully,  from cancer-related causes, or some other disease."

    The final thoughts of this health care individual are thought-provoking.

"Without suffering there can be no compassion ~ I heard this quote, and it has changed my life and the way I look at things because life is not always easy and the quest for the "easy way out" just shocks me."

   Medical Assistance in Dying is not a glamorous, beautiful, or peaceful process. It is something that cannot be reversed. When making decisions about something so serious, we must think, look at the effects, and always remember that life is worth living. 

   Although many people reassure us Canadians that there is no "slippery slope", and the laws will not become more drastic, there is already a call for change. Philip Nitschke made a speech in Toronto this March, calling for the legalization of "personal euthanasia". He believes, as do some others, that the guidelines for MAiD are too strict, and should be opened for those who do not directly fit into them. (2)

   His influence, as that of everyone who promotes a person's "choice" of death, has already impacted the actions of others. 

   Adam Maier-Clayton, a 27-year-old Canadian, with depression, anxiety, and another psychiatric condition called somatic symptom disorder committed suicide after losing a battle to be allowed euthanasia. Nitschke advised him and informed him of a drug which he could take to commit suicide. Adam followed his advice and ended his life in April 2017. (3)
  His death has been one of the major pushes to bring about a review of the laws in Canada - in which the inclusion of minors, mentally ill, and those with Alzheimer's & dementia within MAiD guidelines - will be discussed. This review will be completed in December of this year. 

   The idea of minors and those will mental illness being able to receive euthanasia is not something to be scoffed at or mocked. There is a real possibility that this will be allowed, and we will slide further down the slippery slope of lowering the value of life.



Choosing Life

Miko Ando isn't just an amazing figure skater, who was the first woman to land a quadruple jump in a competition. She isn't only a two-time World champion, or one of the participators of the Olympic torch relay for Japan.

  She is also a mother.

 In 2012, Miko found out that she was pregnant. She had been preparing for her third Olympics, working hard, and competing. It was a complete surprise to her when she found out that she was five months pregnant.
  Pressure came from the media and her career to abort the baby. It would be 'easier', and she could continue straight onto the olympics. However, Miko did not cower from difficulties.

 "...I hated to make a decision to say goodbye (to the baby). I have chosen the baby’s life over skating.”
  Miko took a break from skating, and had her child, a little girl who she named Himawari which means Sunflower. 
 Since then, she has become a skating coach, a lifelong dream of hers, and a TV personality.

   Although many women in society are pressured to abort, and told that having a child will ruin their career, Miko Ando shows that this is not the case. Having a child can be difficult, but it is always worth it. A child does not ruin your life, nor your career. As Miko can testify, your life continues, and your child will bring you joy and happiness.


Human Trafficking & Abortions

 Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal businesses in the world. When we think of slavery and trafficking we think back to the transatlantic slave trade, but slavery is still very prevalent in today's society.

There are over 45,800,000 slaves worldwide today, 50% of whom are less than 16 years of age, 80% of whom are women, and 99% percent of whom are never rescued. 

     There are over 400,000 minors involved in involved in trafficking in the United States alone. With hundreds of thousand of women and children being trapped into this devastating trade so prevalent in North America, we ask ourselves how this is possible, and how it is so undetected and hidden.

    In the study, "The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities," written by Laura J. Lederer and Christopher A. Wentzel, the experiences of sixty-six victims of sex trafficking are told.

    Fifty five percent of these women, reported having an abortion, and over thirty percent reported have multiple abortions. 
    These women went to multiple private doctors, to abortion clinics, and hospitals, but were never asked about their situations. They were provided with contraceptives, abortion pills, and abortions, yet never questioned.

  Many of those who should have helped them, changed records to make it seem like the girls were in no danger, so that they did not have to go through the "hassle" of reporting trafficking. There are long lists of stories of girls and women who told the abortion provider their situation, but were ignored and left in their horrific situations.

  You may have also heard or seen the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood as covering up sex trafficking. The videos show them telling the 'pimp' that there are ways to have girls who are 14 and under have abortions without getting caught as being trafficked. She goes on to mention that there will be no problems, even if they are illegally trafficked into the country.

  The undercover agents also spoke to a practitioner and clinical supervisor who confirmed that everything would be kept confidential, and that there were ways for underage sex workers to have abortions without it being reported.

  This is a common practice. Abortion clinics often cover up, overlook, and fail to report human trafficking and abuse.

   Not only does PP support atrocities such as the murder of innocent children, and the health and mental problems that their mother subsequently face, they also cover up and aid in human trafficking.

   February 22nd is Shine A Light On Slavery Day - although we should seek to fight for light and freedom every single day of the year, join us in making a special effort on this day to raise awareness and do something to help end these atrocities.

There are some wonderful organizations who are helping to end slavery, and bring hope and comfort to those trafficked. Feel free to check out their websites to learn more, and see how you can help.

 If you or someone you know is being trafficked, call the police. 


Diary Of An Unborn Baby

OCTOBER 5-- Today my life began. My parents do not know it yet, I am as small as a seed of an apple, but it is I already. And I am to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled though, even the fact that I shall love flowers.

OCTOBER 19-- Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet truly bread. My mother is. And I am.

OCTOBER 23-- My mouth is just beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later talking. I know what my first word will be: MAMA.

OCTOBER 25-- My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! And after many years it will tire. It will stop, and then I shall die.

NOVEMBER 2-- I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time yet before those little legs will raise me to my mother's arms, before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my father.

NOVEMBER 12-- Tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small they are! I'll be able to stroke my mother's hair with them.

NOVEMBER 20-- It wasn't until today that the doctor told mom that I am living here under her heart. Oh, how happy she must be! Are you happy, mom?

NOVEMBER 25-- My mom and dad are probably thinking about a name for me. But they don't even know that I am a little girl. I want to be called Kathy. I am getting so big already.

DECEMBER 10-- My hair is growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny. I wonder what kind of hair mom has.

DECEMBER 13-- I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be full of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything is to see my mom. How do you look, mom?

DECEMBER 24-- I wonder if mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into the world a little sick. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats so evenly: tup-tup, tup-tup. You'll have a healthy little daughter, mom!

DECEMBER 28-- Today my mother killed me.

Author Unknown

 Thank you to - where this poem was originally posted.


Adopting An Addicted Baby

What would you do, if you found a pregnant woman shooting up opioids?

  Would you adopt a baby who's mother took drugs while pregnant, and who is going to be addicted when she/he is born?

   Police officer Ryan Holets found himself in this position on September 23rd. Ryan Holets lives in New Mexico with his wife and four children.

   He was out on a theft call, and leaving a convenience store, when he saw a couple shooting up opioids. It was broad daylight, and the woman, Chrystal was very pregnant. He spoke to her, and found out that she was nearly eight months pregnant.

“Why do you have to be doing that stuff, it’s going to ruin your baby,” Holets asked Chrystal. 

She broke down in tears after hearing this, because she never wanted to abort her child. Ever since her teenage years, she's battled with addiction, and for the past two years she's been homeless. She spends up to $50 a day on heroin. 

   As Officer Holets spoke to the Chrystal, she expressed her desire for the baby to be adopted. Immediately he knew that he needed to adopt the child. 

   It was an easy decision for him, but not an easy situation. He knew the baby would be addicted to the drugs when it was born. He himself had a ten month old child at the time. But he knew this was what he was called to do. 

"God brought us all together. I really don't have any other way to explain it."           Officer Holet
 Chrystal was very happy when he told her that he would like to adopt her child. She knew that not many people would want to adopt a child who had been born to a drug addict mother. 

  Holets drove to tell his wife, and she immediately agreed to adopting the child, although she was shocked. They had wanted to adopt for a while, not quite so quickly, but they knew it was the right time. After taking the addicted couple out for dinner, the Holets and Chrystal agreed to the adoption. 

  The Holets paid for lawyer, and adoption fees. They also are working to get the couple into rehab.

  Chrystal had the child, a little baby girl, and the Holet family named her Hope. She is now six weeks old, and still recovering from her drug addiction. But the Holet family has no regrets, and love their little girl.

This Monday, Officer Ryan Holt and his wife were honoured for adopting the child, at a special city hall ceremony. He's been called a hero, but he brushes off those labels. He says the child is a blessing,  

   Every 25 minutes a child is born, addicted to opioids. They often have developmental disorders, along with sleep disorders and other problems. But what they most need is a loving family to look after them.