Stories from campus
“I spoke to a young man who said he used to be pro-life back in the days when he was ‘young and dumb.’ Now he thought it was the parents’ choice whether they should have an abortion. I asked him why he changed his mind, and he answered it was because everyone around him had become very open to abortion.
I asked him if the preborn were human beings, would it be wrong to kill them? He said it would be wrong – but they weren’t human beings. As we spoke, I got him to agree that abortion is wrong after 14 weeks, and as we spoke further, he finally agreed that abortion was always a human rights abuse and that the preborn child is a human being. He left saying ‘These are tough questions. Nobody has ever asked me these before.’
— Alexandra, U Waterloo, Jan 28, 2019
The girl I was talking to brought up sexual assault as a reason to justify abortion. I told her sexual assaults are horrific crimes, and victims should get more support. I then asked her if she thought it would be fair to give the death penalty to an innocent child for the crime of a guilty rapist. She said: “I never thought of it that way.”
— Flo, U Ottawa
I spoke to a young man named Leo asking him about his opinion on sex selective abortion. He told me it was absolutely disgusting and he couldn’t believe it happens in Canada. I then asked him if he thought there was any reason for an abortion and he said generally no but a woman who has been raped should be allowed the choice. We talked about how rape is an awful evil thing and how women who have been assaulted need support. We also talked about how abortion can’t make a rape go away. And then I asked him “If the pre-born are human, would an abortion be ok?” He told me no it wouldn’t be. So I asked him “Are the preborn human?” He started to say something about a heartbeat and then stopped and said “I’m a science student, I need to be intellectually honest with myself. Life begins at conception, abortion is always wrong, even in cases of rape.”
— Maggie, Waterloo, Sept 25, 2018
He started out as pro-life except in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger. By the end of the conversation, he admitted that my pro-life arguments made sense and he didn’t know how to refute them.
— Lily, SFU
“While doing the Bloody Sexism Project in Waterloo I asked a young man what he thought about sex selective abortion. He told me he has never thought about abortion before.
So I asked him if he ever thought about human rights and he said he had.
So I asked him, if believes in human rights, who gets human rights? If a male human and a female human reproduce what species will their offspring be? If something is growing by cellular reproduction isn’t it alive? Finally I asked him if it logically followed that abortion is a human rights violation.
He paused and said ‘Abortion is always wrong’.”
— Maggie, Waterloo, Sept 25
I asked a girl what she thought about sex-selective abortion. She responded: “That happened super long ago, but not now”. After explaining this still happens in Canada and informing her of the absence of law on abortion in our country, she was really surprised. Again, I asked her what she thought about it. She immediately said it was bad. She said there should at least be some regulation/limit, like after 1 month. After telling her the heart starts beating at 21 days, she suggested that should be the limit. I then explained that before 21 days is a unique human that has never existed before. I asked if she agreed in human rights, which she did. “Then shouldn’t human rights apply to all human beings?”, I asked. She agreed and concluded abortion should not be legal. She then gave me her contact info and hopes to come to the discussion group.
— Florence, U Ottawa
While doing the Bloody Sexism Project, a girl I was talking to about abortion, said it was probably okay in cases of rape. I agreed that that is an incredibly hard situation. A girl who goes through an experience like that needs all the love and care we can give her, and the rapist should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Then I asked her: “do you think, though, that we should give the death penalty to the innocent child?”
She looked at me for a moment. “No,” she said. “No…That’s wrong.”
— Alexandra, McMaster
She came in saying she was generally pro-choice, but was really willing to listen and think about the pro-life stance. She was very open-minded and will hopefully think about the issue more. She left on a good note.
— Dina, U of Regina
I asked Erica her thoughts on sex-selective abortion, and she agreed that it was wrong but that there were circumstances during which abortion would be okay. (Rape, financial instability, still in school) I asked her what differentiated a one-year-old from an 8-month-old and she said that the foetus wasn’t alive if it wasn’t born. I brought up pre-mature births and asked if it was still okay for a baby to be aborted at that stage. She slowly became more against the idea of abortion.
— Matteya, U of Ottawa
Max did not think sex-selective abortion was okay, but unsure about other abortions. He thought it was largely dependent on the situation. I was able to show him how the developing child was still a human being, and still had value. Though he didn’t change his mind, he left with things to think about.
— Peter, U Ottawa
I was doing the Bloody Sexism Project in Waterloo and was talking to a young man who said he couldn’t have an opinion on abortion, not even sex selective abortion. It was a woman’s issue and he had no right to an opinion on it. I asked him if I as a white woman could have an opinion on slavery to which he replied, “Of course, it is wrong!” So I asked him if that meant if something was wrong it was okay to be against it even if you aren’t directly affected by it. He said yes. So I asked him “Doesn’t that mean that if abortion is a human rights abuse you are allowed to be against it even as a man?” And he stood for a moment and thought and said “Oh my goodness abortion is a human rights abuse. This is never okay!”
— Maggie, Waterloo