By Hilary White
STRATFORD, Ontario, September 29, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The abortion debate in Canada is moribund because people just are not listening, says a Catholic teacher in Stratford Ontario. “Our society isn’t able to be reflective and take time,” says Patti Rothwell, the art teacher who helped to bring the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to St. Michael Catholic Secondary school.
Rothwell told the London Free Press that the school did not “enter lightly” into the decision to host the event. “Today’s culture and people’s busy lives and the distractions that they have, it doesn’t work. They’re not listening. Our society isn’t able to be reflective and take time,” she said.
Santosh D’Souza, spokesman for University of Toronto Students for Life told LifeSiteNews.com that the project was the brainchild of Patti Rothwell, organized with help from his group and the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR).
Although GAP displays are increasingly popular with pro-life college student groups around North America, D’Souza said that this is the first time the GAP has been displayed at a high school.
The GAP consists of large photographic signs juxtaposing pictures of aborted babies with other images such as the lynching of blacks and the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The point of the GAP is to jar the complacency of observers and confront them with the inadequacies of the “choice” rhetoric of the abortion movement.
The St. Michael school display seems to have had just that effect on some who objected to its use. The London Free Press quoted Rebecca Coulter, a UWO education professor, who said, “It is a bit surprising to me that (they) would allow this organization into a publicly funded school. These kind of shock tactics play on the emotions of teenagers . . . that’s some of what’s going on here. I don’t think it really has a place in the school.”
D’Souza, however, said that the students responded to the displays with calm and asked intelligent questions. “They knew right away. They said the pictures are true, and because they’re true, they should be shown.”
The display was the highlight of a “pro-life events” week at the school and D’Souza commended the careful year long preparation the school gave students, bringing in pro-life speakers such as CCBR’s Stephanie Gray.
Rothwell told the London Free Press, “We’re really wanting people to look at the massive elimination of unwanted human beings. We can’t hide the truth anymore.”
D’Souza, who spoke with students, said that there was almost no opposition to the display and the students received the information calmly and asked intelligent questions. “Even some teachers came down and spoke to us. Some of them were shocked to discover that there are absolutely no legal restrictions on abortion in Canada.”
“The students who came and spoke to us were shocked, but not at the images which they understood. They were shocked that there were no restrictions on abortion in Canada and they wanted to know what was done with the foetus after abortion. They wanted to know how they could help stop it,” D’Souza said.
See also Unmasking Choice website