November 22, 2011 (UnmaskingChoice.ca) – There has been much in the blogosphere about my recent abortion debate against Jovan Morales at the University of Ottawa.  Yes, it is true, many well-known abortion advocates were asked to debate me and they either declined or refused to respond to the invitation.  Yes, there were rude and disruptive abortion-supporting people in the crowd.

But upon reflection of the whole experience what strikes me most about the debate is what my opponent Jovan said in his opening statement:

“Having safe abortions…helps saves lives.  Abortion does save lives. It not only saves lives in the physical sense, but it saves people from having to abandon their lives.  Most of you here would be able to possibly think of a couple of people from your high school class that had a child.  They didn’t make it to university… It does end your life process.  It changes it.  It’s not a bad thing, but it does change your life in a direction you might not want to take.”

Besides the major assumption in his rhetoric that the pre-born aren’t human persons (if they were, then far from saving lives, abortion ends them), his remarks are designed to feed into the “me first, here-and-now” mentality of our society.


Have we lost our priorities so much that attaining a university degree would be purchased at the expense of ending a new human life?  Are we so short-term focused that we look at how a decision will impact us today, instead of its ripple-effect tomorrow?

Join a Facebook page to end abortion here

Certainly an unplanned pregnancy can be very challenging, but while abortion seems like the solution now, what of its impact years down the road?  For someone who makes that choice, at the end of her life, would she really be focused on the number of letters after her name, or on her longing for the child who should have bore her name?

I understand why Mother Teresa noted that the impoverished she served were spiritually rich, and that many in North America, while materially rich, were spiritually poor.

People are too eager to run from that which is difficult, instead of run to that which is right.

And this is why we’ve developed a concept called beINSPIRED.  As we have increasingly encountered people who are determined to make short-term-focused, me-first decisions, we ask them to consider who inspires them.  It may seem off-topic, but it brings up an important point:

It seems that those who inspire us face hardships, obstacles, difficulties, and challenges.  What separates those who inspire from those who do not, is how they respond to their hardship.  The former turn obstacles into opportunities, they focus on what they can do, not what they cannot, they put the other first, and are willing to sacrifice something—even their lives, perhaps—for another, or for some great, and just cause.  They are willing to do the hard thing because it’s the right thing.

As I have now asked individuals all over the world who inspires them, and why, I have been touched by the reaction: While I typically get a different answer for “Who?” I often get a similar response for “Why?”  Abortion-supporter or pro-lifer, there seems to be a common theme that our spirits are lifted, and we are challenged to rise to greater virtue, by the example of individuals who put others before themselves, who do the right thing no matter how difficult it is.

Perhaps we all should heed the words of Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl who wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning,

eing human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is.”

My debate opponent noted that labour is difficult emotionally and painful physically.  Well yes, yes, it is.  But when the alternative to that difficult process is dismembering, decapitating, and disemboweling the body of a baby, can’t we be willing to take that hard road because it’s the right road?  The fruit of this kind of selflessness, the mystery of this kind of love, is that it enriches our lives, and we find our joy and meaning in life when we serve the other.  Ask any hero, and they will tell you that.  Death breeds death, but life breeds life.

Reprinted with permission from Unmaskingchoice.ca