“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
















http://www.adventfilmgroup.com/Home.html

"Come what May"
I came across this production at my friend Chelsea Zimmerman's excellent blog Reflexions of a Paralytic . The film "Come What May" is the winner of the 2008 Redemptive Story Award. Go to the website noted above and watch the trailer. It looks very promising.

Mark Pickup
HumanLifeMatters

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fellow Christian, consider it an honor to take the heat


"I have often been the recipient of vicious homosexual vitriol, ... So be it. I still will not be silenced, nor will I capitulate to secular anti-Christians and stand by while western Christian civilization is dismantled (and it is being dismantled)." -- Taken from Mark Pickup's blog. Read more at http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Friday, December 12, 2008


Read "Why Away In A Manger" is my favorite carol". Go to http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Mark Pickup

Friday, December 5, 2008

Obama, Planned Parenthood and prejudice


Below you will see a video of Presidential candidate Barack Obama addresses an adoring crowd at a Planned Parenthood convention.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf0XIRZSTt8

Obama promised that the first thing he would do as President would be to pass the Freedom of Choice Act.

Did he, or the crowd, know about the racist anti-Black views of Planned Parenthood's Founder, Margaret Singer? View the video in the previous blog entry courtesy of the American Life League, entitled: "Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's racist Founder."

It's ironic that it was a previous prejudice that would have stopped President-elect Barack Obama from pursuing the highest office in America and his foundational human rights to "...Liberty and the pursuit of happiness": Yet he will not protect the youngest members of America's human family's "Right to Life" -- also cited in the same towering Declaration

Bigotry comes in many forces: Prejudice against skin color, age, gender, or even those who are unwanted or inconvenient.

I would have thought Obama would have been sensitive to this and vowed during his presidency to protect all vulnerable humanity -- not continue to deny an identifiable group their human rights (the first of which is the Right to Life).

Mark Pickup

Monday, December 1, 2008

ALL Report: Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's Racist Founder

The Smithsonian is honoring one of the 20th century's most notorious eugenics proponents, Margaret Sanger. American Life League exposes Sanger's racist plan to create a "master race."

Monday, November 17, 2008

The following was sent to me by my dear friends at the American Life League in Stafford, VA. -- Mark Pickup



Your National Daily News Wrap from American Life League! American Life League is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at kwalker@all.org.

HEADLINES
Alleged Chemical Attack on Pro-lifers at Abortion Clinic Sickens Two
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/nov/08111311.html
Life Site News
Two pro-life volunteers participating in a round the clock prayer vigil were sickened last week, after being exposed to fumes from an oily substance that had been spilled across the driveway at George Tiller’s late-term abortion clinic. Operation Rescue, citing a similar incident that occurred in 2007, alleges that the spilling of the substance in such close proximity to where pro-life volunteers were participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign was an intentional “chemical attack.”

Admiral opens pregnancy counseling center
http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2008/11/14/tomball_magnolia_potpourri/news/po_as_admiral_preg_center_11_12.txt
The Potpourri
After earning several honors and awards during an extensive career in the U.S. Navy, retired Rear Admiral Al Kelln can soon add a new accomplishment to his list: opening a pregnancy counseling center. To many, it seemed an unusual choice for the man who has worked in several positions in Naval headquarters, founded the Naval Submarine League and provided his submarine and intelligence expertise to Washington, D.C., clients. “I really don’t like anyone telling me ‘no’ or ‘it can’t be done,’” he said. “There isn’t anything that can’t be done if you pray and believe.”

New International Planned Parenthood Document Tells States to Guarantee Sweeping “Sexual Rights”
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/nov/08111315.html
Life Site News
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has issued a new document that declares that governments are obligated to guarantee a sweeping definition of “sexual rights,” including abortion, “sexual freedom” and “comprehensive sexuality education,” as an integral component of human rights. The IPPF declaration defines sexual rights as “an evolving concept that encompasses sexual activity, gender identities, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction.” IPPF differentiates “sexual rights” from “reproductive rights,” a term that it equates with abortion, specifying that “sexual rights encompass more than entitlements related to health” and that “many expressions of sexuality are non-reproductive.”

American Life League's www.Canon915.org

There are many politicians who appeal to their Catholic constituents by flaunting their faith, but simultaneously support wildly anti-Catholic positions, such as abortion, contraception and euthanasia. In response, American Life League has compiled the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on pro-abortion Catholic politicians, to inform the clergy and the public on who they are and where they stand.

Be sure to visit www.Canon915.org!

FEATURE STORY
REPRODUCTION . . . AND WE DON'T MEAN CHICKENS

By Judie Brown

I have always been fascinated by the manner in which our opponents couch their arguments. This is particularly true in the "field" of reproductive health, which is a fairly new area of medical specialty and is fully supported and encouraged by every anti-life scientist known to man.

Just before this past election, a small group led by Alta Charo and guided by the philosophy of the now-deceased Dr. Allan Rosenfield, wrote the following in a commentary for the New England Journal of Medicine, on the subject of how a new administration might deal with this all-important specialty:

Reproductive health policy has been mired in debates over abortion and sexuality, leaving unresolved a cluster of reproductive health problems. For a country of such wealth and technical prowess, the United States has long fared poorly in this key public health domain. The litany of grave public health problems is as familiar as it is long: elevated rates of pregnancy-associated deaths, infant deaths, low-birth-weight newborns and preterm births, adolescent pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. Some of these rates have actually increased in recent years, and all are far higher than those in other developed countries. Moreover, these problems are concentrated among disadvantaged groups, and the disparities have persisted or worsened in the past three decades.

This introductory paragraph sets the tone for a screed aimed at disqualifying those who believe in personhood from entering into a professional-level debate on the value of the human person versus the mechanized practice of sexual relations without consequences. Note the use of terms such as "key public health domain" and "grave public health problems." Of course, they go on to make wild claims about the need to give attention to a host of questions, each of which is supposedly best addressed by increased federal funding of the sex-without-consequences agenda.

Rosenfield and Charo have a long history of anti-life activity. It was the late Dr. Rosenfield whose efforts inspired such leading abortion and birth control advocates as Frances Kissling, of Catholics for a Free Choice, and Sharon Camp, CEO of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, to remember him fondly for the contributions he made in the reproductive health arena. Some say that Rosenfield paved the way for the current push to indoctrinate young women, in particular, with information that equates sexual well-being with "accurate information," such as denying the clinical fact that many forms of contraception can actually cause abortion by interfering with implantation. Camp said this about Rosenfield:

Allan Rosenfield was a giant in our field and his death feels almost like the end of an era. He led in so many ways on so many issues. He was the only person ever to chair the boards of both Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute. There will never be another like him.

Indeed, Rosenfield did frame the debate, which many of us believe will now rage forward at breakneck speed if the Obama-Biden administration delivers on its promises. It is abundantly clear that the discussion will be ignited and sustained by using words that portray sexuality as a mechanical function rather than part of the whole person. This is how Planned Parenthood and its allies have long framed the debate, and the most recent discussion in NEJM carries it one step forward.

But before I show you what I mean, let's remember that animals reproduce and human beings procreate. However, when our foes discuss this subject, human beings are relegated to the status of animals with reproductive functions.

The article's tenor is that of sincere concern for women in all situations. Indeed, we are led to believe that their concern for those facing infertility is as great as it is for women who want to be sexually active while disregarding possible consequences. The authors want the government to address the needs of families who have to balance work and family, and they argue that because the government has allegedly ignored the needs of such mothers, many women delay their first pregnancy, which leads to higher rates of material morbidity and mortality. I am positive that much of what is in the article is true, but I am equally convinced that there is a method to the madness. The authors tell us,

We know how to improve the reproductive health of Americans: base policies on evidence, not ideology; improve clinical research and post marketing drug-safety studies; make accurate, comprehensive information about sexual health and family planning available to everyone, regardless of age; protect the privacy of patients; ensure access to reproductive health products and services; and adopt social policies that promote good health and facilitate individual choice about when to have children. As noted in the consensus documents from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, care that promotes all these aspects of reproductive health is not just good policy, it is a human right.

"Ideology," according to the authors, refers to those individuals who understand, based on basic biology, that a preborn human being is a person from his or her beginning while those who deny it are the only ones to be trusted with framing the question and doling out the proper phrases – all for the purpose of promoting their own agenda, of course.

The "regardless of age" phrase tells us that these people want anyone, from kindergarten onward, to receive information that will make their sexual health as good as it gets, or should I say, only improves their ability to divorce moral absolutes from behavior.

Individual choice is and always has been the code word for unfettered abortion. Let's not forget that we are supposed to believe that even Obama is not really pro-abortion but, rather, "pro-choice"!

And finally, the proponents of the sexual freedom/reproductive health agenda write and speak in terms of human rights, while at the same time making an entire class of human beings subject to the whims of an ideology that equates human rights with giving a license to every expectant mother to have her own baby killed, unless she "wants" her preborn child – by "choice."

Human rights run amuck? Indeed, but will this be business as usual – at an accelerated pace – under the Obama-Biden administration? I think you can count on it.

Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Respond to Judie
http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog_response.php?id=2401

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Alberta Pro-Life issues update

Below is the Alberta Pro-Life Association's weekly E-Update – October 31, 2008,
LaRee Pickup, provincial Director, Tel: (780) 421-7747, email: apl@albertaprolife.com

Woman wants court to open sperm donor records


A B.C.-born journalist, Olivia Pratten, has launched a lawsuit to have medical records of anonymous sperm donors opened so that she, and other children born through sperm donations, can learn the identity of her biological father. This is a class action lawsuit which would require doctors who do artificial insemination procedures to keep the medical records permanently and make them available once the children turn 19 or in medical emergencies. Right now, the records must be kept for six years. Ms. Pratten told the Globe and Mail that she wants to know her genetic origins. “"The child is the one who lives with choices that were made for them before they were born and who bears the consequences of these adult decisions," she said. Her lawyers will argue that Ms. Pratten’s equality rights—and those of other sperm donor children—are violated. Adoptive children now have access to records to help them trace their biological parents. Ms. Pratten has won support from Dwight Jones, a B.C. man who says he donated his sperm 300 or 400 times. He told the Globe and Mail that he would like to know who his offspring are. This week the B.C. Supreme Court issued an injunction ordering doctors not to destroy the records of sperm donors until this case can be heard.

Bishop Henry on Gardasil

Calgary Bishop Fred Henry wrote a column in the Calgary Herald this week to answer critics of the decision by many Catholic schools boards to refuse permission for Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, to be administered in their schools. The Alberta government has decided to provide the vaccine, which protects against four of the over 100 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and the cause of most cases of cervical cancer. Alberta Health has recommended mass inoculation for girls in Grades 5 and 9 and most school boards in Alberta have agreed to accommodate the program. Bishop Henry’s column explains the ethical, moral and health implications behind the decisions of 10 Catholic boards who have refused to go along with the plan. He points out that parents of these children can still make their own decisions about whether to have their daughters vaccinated and the province will provide the vaccine through health units. Gardasil was tested primarily on girls and women aged 13 to 25. Girls in Grade 5 are 10 years old. The outspoken Catholic bishop questions the underlying assumptions of the program. “The popular wisdom these days insists that because we can't stop our children from engaging in premarital sex, and because such sex can be dangerous and have bad effects, we should do everything we can to protect our youngsters by vaccinating them against the HPV virus. The vaccine, we are assured, will decrease cervical cancer in a simple, straightforward way. If parents love their children, they will surely see to it that they have ‘protection’….. Arguments in favour of widespread availability of the HPV vaccine are emblematic of a collective loss of nerve in the face of powerful libertine pressures within our culture." You can read a similar version of his column at the Calgary diocese website: http://www.rcdiocese-calgary.ab.ca/.

British court denies woman right to assisted suicide

A British woman, who wanted assurance from the courts that her husband would not be prosecuted for helping her to commit suicide, lost her case this week. Debby Purdy is 45 and has multiple sclerosis. She went to court seeking an order to force the Director of Public Prosecutions to assure her that her husband would not be charged if he took her to Switzerland to commit suicide. The court said that her rights were not violated by the DPP and that only Parliament could change the law. Justice Scott Baker did express sympathy for her and for others "who wish to know in advance whether they will face prosecution for doing what many would regard as something that the law should permit, namely to help a loved one go abroad to end their suffering when they are unable to do it on their own." However, Ms. Purdy was given leave to appeal because of the “public interest” in the issue. More than 100 people in Britain have gone to the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. Earlier this year, Baroness Mary Helen Warnock, a moral philosopher and advocate of legal euthanasia for Britain, said that “If you’re demented, you’re wasting people’s lives – your family’s lives – and you’re wasting the resources of the National Health Service,” she said. She has written an article, “The duty to die” which will be published later this year in a Norwegian medical journal. Charles Colson commented on her remarks in a Breakpoint column this week. It’s at: http://www.informz.net/pfm/archives/archive_674708.html.


Edmonton Archbishop launches Nothing More Beautiful series

Archbishop Richard Smith has announced a series of “encounters” for his “Nothing More Beautiful” evangelization series. The first year of this five-year project will be devoted to “The beauty of the human person, created by God and saved by Jesus Christ.” Each of the four encounters will include a catechist and a lay witness. The program will be launched on Dec. 12 at St. Joseph’s Basilica in Edmonton at 7 p.m. Speakers for this first encounter will be Archbishop Smith as catechist and Lea Singh, Assistant Director of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, as witness. You can learn more about “Nothing More Beautiful” at http://www.edmontoncatholic-church.com/index.shtml. Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Denver Archdiocese will be the catechist for the third session in April. Archbishop Chaput has been an outstanding defender of life and has recently written a book called “Render Unto Caesar” about the melding of Catholic faith and politics. Archbishop Chaput spoke about the book and his reasons for writing it at a conference earlier this month. You can read a condensed version of his speech at:

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2008.10.18_Chaput_Charles%20J._Little%20Murders_.xml.

Have you signed the petition for the Unborn Child yet?

Last month, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, C-FAM, launched its Petition for the Unborn Child to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, Human Rights Day around the world. As C-FAM president Austin Ruse explained then, “This will be a very big deal at UN headquarters in New York. The opponents of the unborn child will be out in force. We expect they will present petitions to the General Assembly asking for an explicit right to abortion. Those agitating for this are the largest, richest and deadliest abortion groups in the world: International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.” The groups have been collecting signatures for two years and recently removed the counter from their website. At that point, they had slightly over 600 signers. The C-FAM petition, on the other hand, as of October 31, has attracted over 56,000 signatures. Mr. Ruse hopes to hit 100,000 before presenting it on December 10. Download the petition from C-FAM and get it signed by friends, neighbours, church communities, youth groups and anyone else you can think of and encourage others to do the same. Go to http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.95/default.asp.

Support the Back Porch and get free ice cream!
Come and celebrate National Child Day of Canada on Thursday, November 20th, with make-your-own sundaes for the whole family! The Back Porch, an Edmonton-based ministry across from the Morgentaler Clinic, is hosting this fundraiser to support their work helping women who are reconsidering their decision to abort. Join us in the Holy Family Parish hall at 75 Poirier Ave, St. Albert. The fun will begin at 6:30 p.m., with face painting for the kids, a presentation for parents, and ice cream for all. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information call 780-421-9941.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News from the American Life League

Below is Pro-Life Today, from our dear friends at the American Life League in Stafford, VA.

Mark Pickup


Pro-Life Today | 28 October 2008

Your National Daily News Wrap from American Life League! American Life League is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at kwalker@all.org.

HEADLINES

Born-alive abortion movie stuns viewers
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=79274
World Net Daily
A movie based on the true story reported by WND of a woman trapped in the bathroom of an abortion clinic watching helplessly as her baby died after being born alive is being released to an increasing number of audiences, including the U.S. Congress.

Anti-Catholic Bias in Mercy-Killing Campaign?http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/16222/
NC Register
Church is becoming a target of proponents of a ballot initiative that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide in Washington state. The Church denies any inappropriateness in anti-suicide efforts, which now include ads featuring actor Martin Sheen, a Catholic. “Catholic Church Funnels Abuse Money into I-1000 Opposition,” claims a headline on the website of Compassion & Choices, which is pushing the initiative. The story claims that the Public Disclosure Commission reported that “out-of-state sexual abuse reparations” are being sent to help fund the anti-assisted suicide effort in Washington state.But opponents point out that no report exists showing a connection between funds for sexual abuse reparations and donations to the anti-assisted suicide organization. The Public Disclosure Commission merely lists the donors to campaigns, which, for the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide, happens to include donations from several Catholic dioceses around the country.

“Suicide is a Human Right”: Dignitas Suicide Doctorhttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08102704.html
Life Site News
Geiger blames the monotheistic religions, particularly Christianity, for the prohibition against suicide. But, he writes, “what if there is no God?” Suicide should be an option, he argues, for those who do not believe.

American Life League's www.Canon915.org

There are many politicians who appeal to their Catholic constituants by flaunting their faith but simultaneously support wildly un-Catholic positions, such as abortion, contraception, and euthanasia. In response, American Life League compiled the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on pro-abortion Catholic politicians to inform the clergy and the public on who they are and where they stand.

Be sure to visit www.Canon915.org!

FEATURE STORY
IS FORCED DEATH COMING TO WASHINGTON STATE . . AGAIN?By Judie Brown

I have a very personal interest in a proposed initiative that is on the November 4 election ballot in Washington State. You see 38 years ago, my husband and I went door to door, begging people to vote no on Referendum 20, a proposal that would have, and in fact, did liberalize the law regarding abortion in that state. Pro-life Americans lost that vote by a very narrow margin, and we all know what occurred in the intervening years. It was then and still is a bloody war on the most vulnerable members of the human family.

But now, the voters in Washington have to make a decision again regarding who should live and who should die. And as the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide makes perfectly clear, Initiative 1000 has huge problems, which is why they are working night and day to encourage voters in the state to vote against the Initiative. Make sure to check out the powerful ad on the Coalition's web site, featuring recently deceased Barbara Ann Wagner.

For starters, Eileen Geller, R.N., B.S.N., points out what could and probably will happen if this Initiative becomes law:

• Spouses and family members do not need to be told before – or after – a loved one is given lethal drugs.
• Persons suffering from depression can be given a lethal overdose without any psychological counseling or treatment – nothing in the Initiative requires an assessment of potential depression by a qualified professional.
• Health care insurers and HMO's could exploit I-1000 to save costs, since a bottle of lethal drugs costs far less than other end-of-life care.
• Heirs to a patient's estate are allowed to participate in the assisted suicide and to witness the request for lethal drugs. This would contravene existing practice governing wills and estates, a scenario that worries law enforcement because of the real potential for abuse.
Martin Sheen, a well-known Hollywood actor and Democrat, has seen through the lies and has helped the Coalition by recording a radio ad, which will hopefully resonate with the voters on several levels. But in order to run the ad as frequently as possible, as we all know, funding is required.

And as you might have guessed, that is really not a problem for the pro-death forces. According to a report compiled by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force, more than $3 million has been raised by the proponents of death on request. IAETF makes this clear:

This is the fourth highest all time record for money raised in support of any initiative campaign in Washington State.
Of that amount, assisted-suicide advocacy groups and spokesperson, former Governor Booth Gardner, his family and his "Legacy Committee" have given cash donations of $2,032,164.
That is more than double the total receipts of $874,646 reported over the same time period by the "Coalition against Assisted Suicide."

Frightening, isn't it? It seems that those who favor killing are always able to raise more money for their agenda than those who value life, respect the human person and regard the most vulnerable members of the human family as the most precious.

Booth Gardner, an heir to the Weyerhaeuser fortune, was governor for two terms in Washington. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he chose to become, according to news reports, a crusader for the "right to die":

Although Gardner backs the initiative, he told The New York Times Magazine that he sees it as a step toward a more comprehensive law that would allow people with diseases like Parkinson's that are debilitating, but not necessarily terminal, to choose physician-assisted suicide.
In other words, he views Initiative 1000 as simply a foot in the door, to soften up the people of Washington so that more "rights" to schedule one's death will become acceptable in the coming years. That's always the trouble with the agenda of the death peddlers: Given the least little crack in the legal framework, they will drill a hole large enough for as many deaths as they deem desirable. That's how it went with abortion. Will it be the same with euthanasia?

I have to tell you, complacency is the last thing needed in Washington right now. A recent news report on suicides in a Veterans Administration hospital in Spokane, Washington makes the point much better than I can. At the Spokane facility, a suicide prevention coordinator has been appointed to oversee mandatory suicide awareness training for every hospital employee.

You see, in this year alone there have been six suicides in that hospital. That's up from two the previous year. Alex Schadenberg wrote in his commentary on the Spokane situation,

I fully endorse the need for a suicide prevention coordinator in hospitals and long-term care facilities to properly care for people who are experiencing depression, mental illness or psychological problems.
But isn't there going to be a problem if Washington State voters decide to support the I-1000 assisted suicide Initiative?

Will the staff of this hospital be forced to abandon a patient who has received a legal lethal dose to their autonomy, even though that person has become depressed and mentally incompetent?

Will legalizing assisted suicide in Washington State not create an inequality among the patients in hospitals, whereby one patient is given the green light to go ahead and ingest a death cocktail while the next patient is discouraged to commit suicide, through the provision of counseling and anti-depressant medications?

Washington has become a testing ground once again for the struggle between respect for the human person and self-satisfaction at any cost.

Protecting the vulnerable, the ill and the dying is a never-ending struggle for each of us who realize that a human being's life, including one's own life, is a gift from God and not a thing to be used or abused at will. So, in this politically volatile year, I believe it is time for every person with the right to vote and a properly formed conscience to assess carefully what President Ronald Reagan once said: What America needs is spiritual renewal and reconciliation – first, man with God, and then man with man.

Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

____________________________
Katie Walker
Director of Communication
American Life League
1179 Courthouse Road
Stafford, Virginia 22554
540.659.4942
kwalker@all.org
http://www.all.org/

Friday, October 24, 2008


E-Update below for 23 October, is courtesy of
Alberta Pro-Life Association.
LaRee Pickup, Provincial Director
Email: apl@albertaprolife.com
Tel: (780) 929-9230

___________________________________

E-Update - October 23, 2008

Pro-lifer will appeal his decision on withholding taxes over abortion

PEI resident David Little will be in court on October 24 to appeal an earlier ruling by the Court of Queen’s Bench in New Brunswick. Mr. Little, who used to live in New Brunswick, has not filed income tax since 1999 as a protest against tax-funded abortion which he argues violates his religious freedom as a Roman Catholic. Earlier this week he told the Globe and Mail: "When I finally took the decision to embrace courage and fight the federal government, it was because I could no longer look myself in the mirror and ask the question: Who am I to pray for life and pay for death?" Mr. Little says he will appeal his case to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary and he is confident that he will win his constitutional challenge. Lawyer and left-wing activist Clayton Ruby told the newspaper that there is little hope for this case. As reported in the Globe and Mail, he said, “the freedom-of-religion defence cannot be based on one person's ‘idiosyncratic interpretation’ of a church's teaching, noting the difference between that and the more broad-based Sikh requirement to wear a turban, or the Hutterite opposition to photographs. ‘The church must have this as a stricture that must be followed,’ he said. ‘The Catholic Church does not.’” That would be news to Pope Benedict XVI and to most faithful Catholics throughout the world.

UBC Okanagan campus pro-life club loses in Supreme Court of BC

John Hof, Campaign Life Coalition BC, sends this report: “In a decision that could act as a green light for student unions to censor other pro-life clubs in BC and perhaps the rest of Canada, Justice Wong of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled against a petition brought on behalf of two pro-life students at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus. The students were seeking to overturn a BC Human Rights Commission decision to dismiss the students' complaint that the student union acted in a discriminatory fashion in refusing to ratify a pro-life club on campus. The matter was deferred to a special general meeting at which members of the student body voted to deny the group club status. Justice Wong determined that the Tribunal's decision to dismiss the complaint brought against UBCSUO was not inappropriate, arbitrary, or based on irrelevant facts. He cited the use of offensive material - namely a film and pamphlet originating from the Centre for Bioethical Reform's 'Genocide Awareness Project - on the part of Students for Life as appropriate justification for the refusal of club status. In even more damaging language, Justice Wong declared that the boundaries of the right to religious expression needed to be clearly established in order to prevent the situation in which secular students are forced to fund activities that they may find offensive. He gave no consideration to the argument that pro-life students are currently forced to pay student union fees, many of which go to fund activities and ideals that they find offensive. To make matters even worse, the defendants in the case, the student union, now have the option of holding the plaintiffs, two young nursing students, financially responsible for some of the legal costs incurred. It remains to be seen if the well-funded student union will exercise that option and force the two young students to pay out of pocket.”

Parents accompany their son to Swiss suicide clinic

A British couple disclosed last week that they accompanied their 23-year-old son to a Swiss suicide clinic where he died. Mark and Julie James said their son Dan, a rugby player who was paralyzed in March 2007 during a game, found his life “unbearable” and had tried to kill himself three times. They said he was not prepared to live what he described as a “second-class existence.” His mother criticized the person who reported their actions to police. "Our son could not have been more loved and had he felt he could live his life this way he would have been loved just the same but this was his right as a human being, nobody but nobody should judge him or anyone else,'' she told the The Daily Telegraph. The newspaper said the family was being investigated by the police. They could be charged with aiding and abetting a suicide although no one has ever been convicted before. At least 100 Britons have travelled to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to die.

Let’s get 100,000 signatures on this UN petition

Three weeks ago, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, C-FAM, launched its Petition for the Unborn Child to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, Human Rights Day around the world. As C-FAM president Austin Ruse explained then, “This will be a very big deal at UN headquarters in New York. The opponents of the unborn child will be out in force. We expect they will present petitions to the General Assembly asking for an explicit right to abortion. Those agitating for this are the largest, richest and deadliest abortion groups in the world: International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.” As of Monday, October 20, 46,417 people have signed the petition and Austin Ruse is now hoping to hit 100,000. Download the petition from C-FAM and get it signed by friends, neighbours, church communities, youth groups and anyone else you can think of and encourage others to do the same. Go to http://www.cfam.org/publications/id.95/default.asp.

Last chance to apply for sponsorships for Medical Students’ forum

Tomorrow is the last day to submit an application for sponsorship to the Medical Students’ for Life forum on November 22 - 23, 2008 at Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, Ontario. This is a terrific event hosted by Canadian Physicians for Life. Pro-life medical students and residents who are interested in deepening their understanding of the life issues and who want to acquire the knowledge, the skills, and the courage to defend the pro-life ethic in the medical profession are invited to apply for sponsorship to attend this event. You can get more information on the forum, the sponsorships and download an application form at www.physiciansforlife.ca. Completed applications must be received in the office by October 24, 2008. You can also contact: KC McLean, Communications and Events Coordinator, 613-728- LIFE (5433) or at info@physiciansforlife.ca. Pass this message on to medical students you know who might be interested in attending.

Don’t get tricked by UNICEF Halloween candy

If you are buying Halloween candy this week, please read the packages carefully. UNICEF has stopped using the trick or treat boxes for children but many candy manufacturers are supporting UNICEF through their sales. UNICEF does much good work in developing countries but unfortunately, it also supports the pro-abortion agenda of many United Nations organizations and International Planned Parenthood. Go to http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.604/pub_detail.asp to read about their most recent involvement promoting abortion. Many of the bags of chocolate bars and other treats available now in stores for Halloween have a small UNICEF logo on the package. See the September issue of The Rose for a sample of the logo. (It is online at www.albertaprolife.com. See story on page 9.) Please avoid these treats. You might also want to write the manufacturer to explain why you did not buy their product. Also, many schools will be doing UNICEF projects for Halloween so keep tabs your school’s Halloween projects.

Ice Cream Sundaes

Come and celebrate National Child Day of Canada on Thursday, November 20th, with make-your-own sundaes for the whole family! The Back Porch, an Edmonton-based ministry across from the Morgentaler Clinic, is hosting this fundraiser to support their work helping women who are reconsidering their decision to abort. Join us in the Holy Family Parish hall at 75 Poirier Ave, St. Albert. The fun will begin at 6:30 p.m., with face painting for the kids, a presentation for parents, and ice cream for all. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information call 780-421-99

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If you would like to post something pertaining to Life issues to the HumanLifeMatters blog, forward information to HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca for consideration. This blog has an international readership primarily in the U.S. and Canada, but also has readers as far away as Great Britain, Europe, Australia the Philippines and India.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al-Qaida supports McCain because they want Obama in the White House


Apparently the Washington Post has reported that Al-Qaida supports John McCain because he will continue to exhaust the US economically and militarily with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although I have only seen reports about the WP article, and not the article itself, it's obvious Al-Qaida wants to see Barack Obama in the White House. In a thinly veiled attempt at reverse psychology, their supposed support for McCain will ideally drive American voters to Obama -- or so they must hope. Think about it, if Al-Qaida wants Obama in the White House ... should you?

Not only will an Obama/Biden Presidency be disastrous for national security, it would be disastrous for the Right to Life cause in America. He is apologetically pro-abortion, he would appoint a Supreme Court vacancy with a "pro-choice" judge to ensure the continuation of Roe V Wade. Where does Obama stand on euthanasia and assisted suicide? We don't know. He avoids answering those two questions. It would only stand to reason that the same thinking that brought him to support the arbitrary killing of life at the beginning of the life spectrum could also be applied to the end of life.

This evening CNN reported that their polls (which we know are always so balanced)give B.O. a double digit percentage lead in public support of John McCain. I hope they are wrong just like they were in the 2004 election. You may remember that pollsters right up to election day had John Kerry beating George Bush.

Democratic gremlin James Carville sat in the CNN studios on election night with a waste paper basket over his head (literally). He thought it was funny -- I was just grateful.

It's my hope the same happens with another Republican win on election night. If Americans committed to life and national security will just get out en masse and vote for John McCain, I will happily supply a new waste paper basket for Carville.

Mark Pickup

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A western perspective on Canadian Life issues


Below is a copy of Alberta Pro-Life Association's (APL) email update on Life Issues across Canada. Further, the latest edition of APL's newsletter can be seen at http://www.albertaprolife.com/alberta/rose/sept_2007.pdf .

E-Update - October 16, 2008

Linda Gibbons arrested again

Toronto pro-life activist Linda Gibbons, who was acquitted just two weeks ago, returned to pray outside the Scott abortion clinic in Toronto on October 8th and was arrested. She appeared in court this week and was remanded to October 21st. Mrs. Gibbons, a 60 year-old grandmother, was charged with violating a court order, that being the “temporary injunction” imposed 14 years ago by the former NDP government. Mrs. Gibbons was acquitted two weeks ago because the judge said her peaceful protest could not be construed as obstruction. The police and Crown have always avoided charges under the court order because it might be found at trial to be unconstitutional. Mrs. Gibbons may finally get her chance to have the case heard by a jury. She has served 75 months in jail over the past 14 years for her peaceful protests outside abortion clinics.

It’s another Conservative minority government

Prime Minister Stephen (I won’t reopen the abortion debate) Harper strengthened his position in Parliament but still fell 12 seats shy of a majority government. As usual, there were a number of pro-life MPs elected but it is difficult to see what difference their presence will make if all the party leaders are content with Canada’s radical pro-abortion policies. The final tally is 143 seats for the Conservatives, 76 Liberals, 37 NDP and the Bloc Quebecois with 50 and two independents. Life issues were not part of any mainstream party’s agenda. Only the Christian Heritage Party is officially pro-life.

Cardinal Ouellet says spiritual vacuum is bad for Quebec

The Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada, Cardinal Mark Ouellet, wrote in an Italian newspaper last week that the anti-Catholic mentality in Quebec, partly fostered by the media, has led to a religious and cultural breakdown in the province. "Hence the confusion of our youths, the dramatic drop in marriages, the very low birth rate and the alarming number of abortions and suicides. The crisis in values and the search for meaning are profound and urgent problems in Quebec that are even having serious repercussions on public health that have led to considerable costs on the health-care system." He said the province is ripe for re-evangelization and urged Catholics to get involved.

Chauvin court challenge to OC award

Frank Chauvin, one of the Order of Canada recipients who has notified the Governor General’s office that he will be returning his award, has launched a legal challenge against the advisory council that recommended Henry Morgentaler for the award. The announcement was made the same day Morgentaler’s award was presented in Quebec City last week. Mr. Chauvin has not yet returned his medal because as long as he has it, he has standing in the case as a member of the Order of Canada. Mr. Chauvin is asking the court to rescind the award because the council did not follow the criteria established for recipients and also because Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin should have recused herself from the process since Henry Morgentaler has a case before the court in New Brunswick which could end up in the Supreme Court of Canada, the court she oversees. Last week, a former Supreme Court justice, Louise Arbour, also received an Order of Canada award, and she enthusiastically endorsed the Morgentaler appointment. I suppose we should celebrate the fact that she is no longer on the bench.

Looking for great pro-life Christmas gifts?

I know it’s early but some people actually start their Christmas shopping before December 15th. We’ve got the 2009 Pro-Life calendars sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and displaying artwork by high school students. These make great stocking stuffers. Also, we’ve got our very popular “unaborted” clothing line, T-shirts and hoodies in great colours and a variety of designs. If you are interested in calendars or “unaborted” stuff, call our office at 780-421-7747 or toll free at 1-877-880-5433.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Order of Canada lost its honour!


With a look of obvious adoration, Canada’s Governor General, MichaĆ«lle Jean gave Canada’s highest civilian award, the Order of Canada, to the most infamous abortionist in the land, “Dr.” Henry Morgentaler. A statement released by Rideau Hall (the Governor General’s office) stated, “A Holocaust survivor, he [Henry Morgentaler] has not hesitated to put himself at risk in his determined drive to increase health care options for women.”

The Holocaust survivor from Europe created a new holocaust in Canada. Morgentaler has admitted to personally presiding over a 100,000 abortions. His abortion mills dotted across Canada have helped to make him a millionaire.

This dark and sinister irony went unspoken but was glaringly apparent to all but the most ardent abortion ideologues. Canada’s liberal elite at Rideau Hall and the mainstream media – like the Globe and Mail, CTV and CBC television networks – cheered that their champion of abortion 'rights' received such a high honor. Awarding Morgentaler the Order of Canada did not raise him up; it brought the prestige of the Order down.

Abortion is not a right – it is a wrong. Victory for one person’s rights gained at the expense of another person's right to exist is no victory at all. Nobody who truly believes in the ideal of universal human rights could deny any life the right to be born, breath, walk on the earth, and find their place in the world.

No, abortion on demand is not a victory for women’s rights, it is a defeat for universal human rights. Universal human rights must be universally applied to all humanity – otherwise they are not “universal” human rights. Basic biology tells us that life begins at conception. This is not a metaphysical contention; it is a plain and simple biological truth. Human rights begin when human life begins. Anything less is prejudice and sophistry. Abortion denies protection and care of the youngest, smallest and most defenseless members of the human family.
Yet that is what Canada has celebrated by giving Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada.

You can decorate an abortionist with all prestigious medals ever made … he is still an abortionist. A murderer by any other name is still a murderer.

Canada has lost the honour in its highest honour. Its luster is gone. By giving the Order of Canada to the most contentious and infamous abortionist in the land, we have unwittingly proclaimed that we no longer embrace the great and noble ideal of universal human rights – of which the right to life is the first and highest.


A mass murderer of prenatal life has been honoured for doing just that. The insignia at the center of the medal should be changed to a swastika.

Mark Pickup

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Meaning of Suffering: A Christian Perspective


Read my latest blog "The Meaning of Suffering: A Christian Perspective" at http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Mark Pickup

Monday, October 6, 2008

I received an email that moved me to tears


On October 2nd, I received an unexpected email from a woman I shall refer to as simply J. for the sake of her anonimity. Her note deeply moved me. There are times when one realizes that his life has made a difference for good. This was one such occasion.

Keep reading. -- Mark Pickup
______________________________________________

Dear Mr. Pickup,

I don't know if you'll remember me, but I met you at the National Right to Life Committee Conference in 2001. I remember being moved by your speech, and my mother and I took home a copy of your video [To Be, or Not To Be -- The Human Family] when we went back to Boston. What I didn't count on at the time was just how meaningful that speech would be for me just a few months down the line.

Less than a year after being at the NRLC event, I found out that I was pregnant, during my senior year of high school. My fiance was supportive and was prepared to do whatever he needed to do to help me as I carried our child. Both of us were pro-life, but I was absolutely petrified. I knew 100% that abortion was wrong and that my child was a child, made in the image and according to the likeness of God, but it was so hard to fight back the knowledge that I was in Massachusetts and could easily have had a taxpayer funded abortion without anyone ever knowing about it. My life could just go on as it had before, unless you count a broken heart and wounded humanity.

Whenever I started feeling weaker in resolve, I would watch the video of your speech because it gave me the courage to see that I was not so weak that violence ought to be done to "protect" me. Your courage in facing your own trials made it easier for me to stand up to my own challenges, and we have done so with reliance on the grace of God and a firm commitment to hard work. My son turns 6 years old this Sunday, and my husband and I now also have 3 other small children ages 3, 1 ½, and 2 months:

We both graduated college the same year that we would have without becoming pregnant, and now both of us are working at jobs that we love. I'm working from home now, for the same pro-life organization that was so helpful to me and my husband as we planned for parenthood while working our ways through college.

I stumbled on your blog, and felt like I needed to say "thank you" for having the courage to share your story and to speak the truth in a world growing deaf. I heard you, and my life and the lives of my children have been better for it.

Thank you again,

J

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New blog entry



Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "Did the financial bailout solve the problem?" at http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's no longer about Wall Street, it's about YOUR street


To read Mark Pickup's latest blog, "It's no longer about Wall Street, It's about YOUR street" go to http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exile and comfort in suffering


Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "Exile and comfort in suffering" at http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crisis in the family


There have been no blog entries this week due to a crisis in my family. See http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Thank you.

Mark Pickup

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lethal Labels

The blog entry below also appears in the September 15th edition of Canada's Western Catholic Reporter at http://www.wcr.ab.ca/columns/markpickup/2008/markpickup091508.shtml
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Eight years ago, Kevin Monk of Casper Wyoming was in a terrible car accident. He suffered severe physical and brain injuries. For eighteen days after the accident Monk had no brain function and remained in a coma for another three months. During that time, his doctors tried to persuade is family to let him die.

Contrary to the doctors’ predictions that Mr. Monk would never recover, he did waken from his coma. In a recent interview with the Casper Star-Tribune, Monk (33) said, "Some of the doctors told Mom and Dad to just pull the plug," His mother added, “From every place we went, they told us he'd never be anything but a vegetable." Some vegetable!

Today, Kevin Monk is well on his road to recovery and even walks unaided.

HUMAN VEGETABLES
Why does modern society believe that catastrophic injury changes
a human being into a vegetable? If an apple falls from the tree, it is a bruised apple, but it remains an apple. If a race horse breaks its leg, it is an injured race horse, but it remains a horse. Why is it then that a severely injured man somehow becomes a vegetable? The fact is, he does not –- and most rational, reasonable people know that in their heart of hearts. It is sinister motives that believe otherwise.

Referring to a comatose human being as a vegetable is intended to distance them from their humanity. It’s easier to starve and dehydrate a person to death if they are not viewed as human. It releases doctors from any responsibility for care usually afforded to people.

Words are powerful but not so powerful to change a man’s species, regardless of how wounded he may be.

This phenomenon is of great interest to me: I may be called a vegetable at some point in the not so distant future. After all, I am incurably ill with aggressive multiple sclerosis that is slowly stripping me of function. When will utilitarian bioethics decide my transition from man to vegetable is complete? I’m triplegic now. Does that make me half vegetable? The last time I looked in the mirror my hair had not yet turned into leafy tops.

Will my transition from man to vegetable be complete when I’m quadriplegic or bedridden or no longer able to communicate? When will it be! What will be the criteria for medical bioethics to strip me completely of any claim to humanity? I know it’s not brain wave activity because Kevin Monk was considered a vegetable even after his brain function returned. I heard Terri Schiavo referred to as a vegetable and she had brain function.

HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION & ORGAN PHARMING
Princeton University professor and animal rights champion, Peter Singer, has suggested using comatose patients for medical experimentation instead of animals. In other bioethical circles it has been suggested using comatose and terminally ill patients as sources to harvest organs for transplantation.

There you have it. Strip a person of their humanity with terms like ‘vegetable” and “persistent vegetative state” -- dismantle the notion of the sanctity of human life  and any barbarity is possible!

ALWAYS HUMAN
No human being is a commodity or property for the use of others: This sort of appalling, stone-hearted mentality has marred the history of mankind. It takes different forms: It occurred as slavery through racial prejudice and subjugation, forced child labour, oppression of women. All these groups of people were seen as commodities or property at one time or another. Twenty-first century bioethics sees the people labeled as being in a persistent vegetative state as commodities to do with as they please.

A year before he died, Pope John Paul II commented on the derogatory term “vegetable.” He said, “A man, even if seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his highest functions, is and always will be a man, and he will never become a "vegetable" or an "animal".”[1]

The Pope reminded the world’s health care professionals:

“The sick person in a vegetative state, awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery.”

Catholics must always resist cultural pressures to subjugate or devalue any members of the human family. We are people of light not darkness. We must shine the light Christ’s love and compassion for all to see. We are called to reflect the light of that love and compassion through our lives and witness. How far does the light of Christ’s love and compassion extend? To all human life from the youngest in the womb to the oldest near the tomb and every state or stage between those two points. Even comatose people retain their full human dignity. I know this because John Paul II said it.

He then reminded us: “The loving gaze of God the Father continues to fall upon them, acknowledging them as his sons and daughters, especially in need of help.”

Pope John Paul II’s suffering in his last days illustrated this truth so very poignantly. His last public appearance at the papal apartment had to be cut short because he could no longer speak. To me, it was his most eloquent moment for he showed his solidarity with the disabled and incurably ill of the world who can not speak for themselves. One day I may amongst their ranks.

Thank you Holy Father.

Mark Pickup

[1] Address John Paul II to the Participants in the International Congress of "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas.:, March 20 2004. See http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/2004/march/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20040320_congress-fiamc_en.html

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bodies of disabled sold in China


Sometime disturbing to my attention by Dr. Dick Sobsey, the Director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada). Apparently, there is a demand in China for the bodies of disabled people. See http://icad.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/hong-kong-murder-for-corpse-ring .

It’s ironic that in the wake of Paralympics hosted by China that various news sources have reported a gang in Guangdong province has been arrested for kidnapping and killing between 100-400 people with disabilities. Their bodies were sold on the black market to wealthy families who want to bury their own deceased. Cremation is the only legal way of dealing with the dead in China so they present for cremation the corpse of the disabled person they purchased for about $1,500 Cdn.

Apparently Chinese tradition considers cremation disrespectful. This is why wealthy families buy murdered bodies of people with disabilities to present for cremation instead of their loved ones.

Not only do China’s disabled live low and desperate lives but the final insult to their existence is given in death. (I don't know why I'm singling out China!)

Dr. Sobsey said, “If this story isn't disturbing enough, it is almost as troubling that Reuter's and Time have covered this story in sections of their publications reserved for quaint curiosities and silly oddities rather than serious news.”

We should not be surprised. That’s the way people with disabilities have been treated throughout history? Curiosities and oddities.

Mark Pickup

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah Palin: a politician for a time like this


My latest blog is enitled "Sarah Palin: A politician for a time like this". It's pro-Life subject matter involved too many visuals and footnotes for the HumanLifeMatters blog which has been compromised to prevent more complicated entries. Therefore I posted this entry on my personal blog. It can be read at http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Mark Pickup

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pro-Life appeal

My wife LaRee is the provincial Director of Alberta Pro-Life (Canada). She asked me to post a general appeal on the HumanLifeMatters blog. I am pleased to do this and encourage readers of this blog to support pro-Life advocates as they battle the culture of death that has firmly gripped North America. Abortion is widely accepted, available and practised across North America. Public attitudes have become so coarsened and callous that Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler has been given the highest Canadian civilian award: The Order of Canada. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are gaining public acceptance. Over 70% of Canadians support euthanasia and assisted suicide for the terminally/chronically ill.

The work of pro-Life advocates throughout North America is truly an steep uphill battle. We need to sacrificially support their courageous work to educate and illuminate a new Dark Age we are entering.


Please see the general appeal below and support the Alberta Pro-Life. They need help to update their website. Thank you, in advance, for your consideration and assistance.

Mark Pickup


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - GENERAL APPEAL- September 2008

Alberta Pro-Life Alliance Association and its community groups are a primary provincial voice for Life issues surrounding abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. [1]

In the late 1990s, Alberta Pro-Life was one of the first pro-life groups in Canada to launch a website. We have updated it and revamped it over the years but it has been about five years since we have redesigned the site. More sophisticated technology and higher computer use have rendered our site "old", and we need to rebuild and update. (See www.albertaprolife.com.)

I am appealing to all Pro-Lifers to help underwrite the approximate $10,000 we need to transform our website to be the cutting edge educational tool for Albertans to access information about the sanctity and dignity of every human life. This is the mid-range price of the three estimates we've received.

Why a website? Undoubtedly, you have heard, Henry Morgentaler, who runs a string of private abortion clinics and admits he has aborted over 100,000 babies, was awarded the Order of Canada on July 1st. This is Canada's highest civilian honour. How could someone who denies the humanity of Canada's tiniest, most vulnerable human beings, be so elevated? In part, because so many Canadians, and Albertans, are ignorant about abortion and other life issues.

I want the Alberta Pro-Life website to include an informative assortment of 4D ultrasound video showing prenatal development, video clips from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition's extraordinary 2007 production, Turning the Tide, selected essays about abortion, prenatal life, end of life issues, pain management, euthanasia and assisted suicide from some of North America's foremost authorities in their respective fields. There is good information on all these issues already available and we want to ensure people can come to our site and find what they need either through original material or through links to other sites. A webpage will be dedicated to international stories about Life issues. Users will be able to order educational and other resources (books, brochures,
t-shirts, videos, DVDs, etc), find pro-life speakers throughout Alberta and up-to-date information on campaigns, events, petitions and much more.


Alberta Pro-Life asks all Pro-Lifers to prayerfully consider contributing to the cost of creating this dynamic website under the auspices of Alberta Pro-Life Alliance Association . My husband Mark has advanced multiple sclerosis. He is known throughout North America for his work against euthanasia and promoting disability inclusion and equality. We would be happy to speak to you or your organization/business, about this funding request.

For more information, call LaRee Pickup, Director, Alberta Pro-Life Alliance Association at 780-421-7747 or toll free 1-877-880-5433

LaRee Pickup
Director, Alberta Pro-Life
Box 11479
Edmonton, AB
T5J 3K5
Toll Free: 1-877-880-5433

"Defending the sanctity and equality of all human life."

[1] Alberta Prolife Association is a federally registered as a non-profit organization. Due to its political activities, the Canadian government will not issue a charitable number to APL for tax deductible receipts.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Who was that woman?


My August 21st post was entitled, “My role in long ago abortion still haunts me.” It prompted somebody to ask about the woman who was my girlfriend. Her name is LaRee and two years later (1973), we married. We will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this year.

LaRee and I had two other children and we now have five grandchildren. For years, LaRee grieved her abortion. When our next child was born, she looked into the baby's face and thought, “You are not my first baby.” For years we kept the abortion a secret from our children. We finally shared it with them in their teen years in hopes it might serve as a deterrent to them from making the same mistake. Happily, neither did.

LaRee recently became the provincial Director of a pro-Life organization in the Canadian province where we live (Alberta). A previous blog of June 9th announced her appointment.

Pro-abortion ideologues maintain that there is no such thing as post-abortion trauma. LaRee is a living example that trauma does occur after abortion. It can settle into grief, guilt and regret that can last for decades. To those who say that life in the womb is not a child, she says “Come look at the marvel of 3D and 4D ultrasound and you will see the humanity of the child.” To those women who regret their abortions – and there are millions -- she says,

“Give your sorrow to Christ. He will understand and forgive you – just as He has for me. We are part of that great family of the heavy-hearted people who know the poverty and lies of abortion. Into Christ’s gentle care we give our children, our sorrow, our shame. He frees us from our grief.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

More on Canadian late term abortions: Suppressing the terrible truth.


My June 5th 2008 blog was called "Canada and late term abortions." It dealt with the fact that there are no restrictions against abortion at any point throughout all 9 months of pregnancy in my country. You can have an abortion for any reason or no reason -- and this occurs even in late term pregnancies. Canadian abortion supporters deny it. Even the national advertising regulatory body Advertising Standards Canada tries to suppress this horrible reality by ordering removal of all advertisements revealing this grisly truth. Oh, Canada! Where did you go so terribly wrong?

Below is the text of a press release I received from a Canadian pro-Life group.


For Immediate Release

August 25, 2008

Dejavu - Advertising group says ads are “deceptive”

In a bizarre – yet anticipated- ruling last week, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), rejected fact based evidence from Stats Canada, confirming, abortions do occur throughout all nine months of pregnancy and a ruling from the Supreme Courts, which shows that there are no laws against abortion in Canada.

Corry Morcos, president of Edmonton Prolife, the group behind the billboards, said the decision was “unbelievable, but expected” given the previous ruling regarding the Life Canada ads. “Governments have failed to enact any legislation as requested by the Supreme Court in the 1988 Morgentaler decision, and that is why today we have no protection for the unborn in Canada. Abortions are totally unrestricted by any laws. But apparently educating, through advertising, about this truth is not allowed.”

The ad “9 Months, that is the amount of time the government say it is legal to have an abortion. Abortion. Have we gone too far? “has been running for two years and one complaint has been received. The ad is speaking solely to the legal status of abortion in Canada, yet ASC wanted the ads to include various medical guidelines. Women will be interested to note that according to ASC women may not be assured an abortion simply upon request particularly after the first trimester.

In the appeal ruling, Ad standards was silent on many of the grounds for appeal issues raised by Edmonton Prolife. In particular the issue of competing interests. “Council did not do its due diligence in looking for “competing interest”. The complainant in the case is an activist in the “pro choice” movement and clearly has a “competing interest”.

The ASC, a self-regulating body of Canada’s advertising industry, wants to appear to be the gatekeeper for consumers, to make sure we are receiving the truth. Their website states

“ASC is the industry body committed to creating and maintaining community confidence in advertising.”

Confidence? The very media organizations that the Ad Standard represents have written numerous articles deriding the Ad standard council’s prior decisions against similar ads. When your own membership questions your integrity, the confidence that the general public has in the ASC is compromised. When ASC calls facts deceptions, the authority of the ASC to be keeper of all that is “truthful, fair and accurate” in advertising rings hollow to many.

It is completely mind boggling for Edmonton Prolife to be held to the ruling of a self-regulating, unnamed complaints panel of anonymous people who can claim anything they want, without providing a shred of documentation. Yet when Edmonton Prolife, provides documentation, including government statistics, and legal rulings, those facts are dismissed as false, misleading and inaccurate.

Prolife groups and their messages of facts and truth are being censored, that is the bottom line.

For more information, contact Corry Morcos at 780-455-5249 or Edmonton Prolife at 780-425-1637

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My role in long ago abortion still haunts me


A recent edition of the Knights of Columbus magazine Columbia, featured an article entitled ‘Reclaiming Fatherhood’. It dealt with men and abortion. This struck a chord with me because I am affected personally by abortion.

In 1971, my girlfriend became pregnant with our baby. We were both seventeen years of age. She wanted to get married and have the baby. Not me, I was a goodtime Charlie. There were parties to attend, beers to drink, drunken choruses to sing. The prospect of fatherhood would have put a damper on the good times and so I began pressuring my girlfriend to have an abortion.

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
It worked to my advantage that there were many clairvoyants and crystal ball gazers who predicted a life of dire poverty, welfare and lost opportunities, if my girlfriend made the mistake of having the baby. They told us that if we married at seventeen, I would be relegated to low paying and dead-end jobs forever and a day. I would never reach my potential! That was the conventional wisdom. I remember it well.

Granted, the message scared me, but it also gave me ammunition to pressure my girlfriend to abort our baby. The underlying desire to protect hedonism was a powerful motivation. It was so easy to solve ‘our problem.’ The developing child simply had to die.

LANGUAGE TO HIDE TRUTH
Of course, I didn’t couch the reality of abortion in such brutally blunt terms. In fact I stopped thinking or referring to our “problem” as a baby and start talking in terms of “it”, ‘potential life’ and a ‘blob of tissue.’ It was necessary to remove the developing child from her humanity. It worked. My pressure on my girlfriend to abort our baby was intensified until, with nobody affirming the life she carried, she submitted to the hands of an abortionist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton in December of 1971.

On the surface I was glad to have our “problem” solved and cracked another beer to celebrate the occasion. But something deep inside me did not sit right with what was done to solve our problem. The abortion did not solve “our problem” — it created new ones.

Phrases like ‘blobs of tissue’ grated against my conscience. Even at seventeen years of age, I knew they were lies. Unfortunately for this Good-time Charlie, I knew better.

During the 1960s, before abortion became a fashionable social issue, my father kept a complete TimeLife book series in his bookcase. One book was entitled Growth. It was published in 1965 and contained very early prenatal photography by Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson, dating back to 1957. Using an endoscope, and other methods, Nilsson captured stunning imagery of life developing within the womb. His photographs originally were made famous in a book entitled A Child is Born, but they also appeared in our TimeLife book.

My strategy to cope with advocating my own child’s death was simple: Deny, deny, deny. This approach worked for most of the next decade.

I became the Director of Family and Community Support Services for two Alberta communities. In both communities I referred couples in crisis pregnancies to the nearest Planned Parenthood affiliate and even invited that vile organization into my communities to promote themselves and their so-called “services.”

MY TERRIBLE SIN
Eventually my conscience would be suppressed no more. A Dark Night of the Soul -- to borrow a phrase from St. John of the Cross -- occurred in which my first inklings of God’s conviction stabbed me like a knife. Facing the awful fact that I was pivotal in the killing of my first child brought great grief and internal mortification. It involved, in part, acceptance and confession of my terrible sin. It involved penance, and openness to God’s leading and illumination in my life. A long and painful journey of purgation before God continues to this day, although the dynamics changed throughout the past thirty-seven years.

I have been forgiven of my terrible sin, but the journey toward God continues with slow purging of my imperfections and sinful human nature. Still, my terrible sin is the single biggest regret of my life.

THE FORGOTTEN ONES
Fathers of aborted children are, by and large, forgotten in public discussions of abortion. The Columbia magazine article “Reclaiming Fatherhood” brought this out powerfully. Organizations like Silent No More have given post-abortive women a way to express their sorrow and regret. But thousands of men of aborted children face trauma and grief too.

Last year, the U.S. based National Office of Post Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, the Knights of Columbus, the Archdiocese of San Francisco sponsored the first international conference for male post-abortion trauma. Good for them. It’s needed so badly.

Abortion is a tragedy on so many levels. I consider it to be a great moral poverty of the age in which we live. Forgiveness and healing for men and women hurt by abortion can help to lessen its effects. Abortion’s negative influence on society will require a cultural reversal, or face God’s judgment. All we can do for the millions of aborted children is to commit them to our Lord’s tender care, and pray for God’s forgiveness of us and a twisted time such as this one.

Mark Pickup

The above blog also appears in the August 25th 2008 edition of Canada’s Western Catholic Reporter under the title “ABORTION CAN THROW MEN INTO TURMOIL TOO: My role in long ago abortion continues to haunt me”
http://www.wcr.ab.ca/columns/markpickup/2008/markpickup082508.shtml

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lessons of time


To read Mark Pickup's latest blog "Lessons of time", go to http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation time


I will be on vacation until August 18th. Check back for my new blog entry then. Hope you're having a good summer.

Mark Pickup

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Truth Booth!


Please view the video at this link (http://www.truthbooth.org/). What a beautiful celebration of life in the womb! It's the video shown in shopping mall kiosk called "Truth Booth". The kiosk display uses a flat screen and shows modern 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging interspersed with color photographs of life in the womb to illustrate prenatal development. Using flat screen TVs, accompanied by tasteful and informative brochures, the unmanned Truth Booths are located near stores geared to young people.

This brilliant and simple educational concept targeting young people and teenagers was developed by Mike and Maureen Nuzzi of Atco, New Jersey. Well done!

If you are intersted in obtaining a Truth Booth for your community, go to the website for information.

The more the truth get out of the humanity of prenatal life gets out, the more the "Choice" mentality will become unsustainable.

Oh yes, the image at the top of this blog entry is a 3D image of my granddaughter Erin at 16 weeks gestation.

Mark Pickup

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Unspeakable conversations for good atheists


Read Mark Pickup's latest blog entry "Unspeakable conversations for good atheists" at http://markpickup.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 17, 2008

When child welfare isn't


I know a woman who was a foster parent until recently. She is my sister-in-law. Her foster child is 11 years old. I will not give the child’s name; let me refer to the little girl as T. Her biological mother is a drug addict. The social services department in the Canadian province where I live (Alberta) took T into foster care very early in her life. I don’t know about foster parenting where you live but foster care in Alberta has a less than stellar reputation. The chances were high T would be bumped about through numerous foster homes, then back to her bio-mom, then back into foster care and so forth. The merry-go-round with child welfare officials would begin. There’s nothing merry about it.

By the time T arrived at my sister-in-law’s home nine months ago, she had been through 27 fosters home – although the social worker initially lied at said it was 11 homes. They also understated the trauma of T’s emotional state and stunted development. It didn’t take long to detect that social services had not been exactly forthcoming about T’s case. Her emotional and spiritual scars began to surface.

It seemed that an epidemic of nose growth was sweeping through the department of social services. When the bureaucrats came clean about the number of foster homes T had been through, they also mentioned a small item about some sexual torture T experienced at the age of five. Apparently somebody took a potato peeler to T’s genitals. Social services promised help with the psychiatric support for T. Yeah right. If she hadn't received the proper counselling and care between ages five and eleven, it probably would not be a high priority.

T began to threaten my sister-in-law, stealing, lying and fantasizing about being in a gang (at eleven!). She was cruel to animals. In other words T acts out. Without the psychiatric support T desperately needed, the 28th foster placement was doomed to fail -- which it did after nine months. Social services put T in a group home. Good thinking. Not surprisingly, T ran away from the group home. After she was missing for more than a day, my sister-in-law, her former foster mom, sent out an APB into the community, when she heard about it. She contacted the police, put posters up in the community, contacted the media and basically went into panic mode. After all, T is only eleven years old. Where could she be?! I think Social Services yawned.

Eventually T went back to the group home. She has no where else to go.

Her social worker informed my sister-in-law that the department would be launching a lawsuit against her in the range of $50,000 for going public, putting up posters and going to the media ... and making the incident public. My sister-in-law was told she would never be allowed to foster again.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Why am I relating this story? It’s all so reminiscent of my wife’s and my experience being foster parents twenty-five years ago under the same department. We fostered a four year old boy named David. In his short life he too had experienced the revolving door of foster placements, beginning in infancy. The last placement, prior to coming to my wife and I, was with a foster family headed by a cruel and sadistic man with a twenty year history of mental illness. His initials were P.F.. David lived in a virtual torture chamber from age 18 months until four years.

LIES AND COVER UP
Foster Care officials discovered their horrible mistake and removed David, then placed him with my wife and me as our first and last experience at being foster parents. They assured us his last home was “a good Christian home.” I replied, “Then why remove the child?” They responded with a bold-faced lie that the “good Christian home didn’t want him any more.” Huh?

The social worker placed David in our home without checking our references (we could have been far worse than the previous home, as far as the social services knew). They didn’t tell us about the numbers placements or the dreadful environment David came from. They were too busy covering up their colossal mistake to level with us.

MEDIA GET INVOLVED
Of course, it didn’t take long for David’s bizarre twists in behavior to start spilling the beans on the despicable cruelty of his former foster father and Alberta’s Social Services department. The department would not level with us nor provide promised psychological help for David. We eventually discovered about David’s ghastly former life by talking to the adult children and acquaintances of his former foster father, P.F.. – and went to the media. And just like my friend's experience with the child welfare authorities, we were threatened with lawsuits for embarrassing the department, and told we would never foster again. We took the threats along with names of officials who were doing the threatening to the media. They scurried under the cracks of their departmental doors, like cockroaches. The threats stopped.

PROMISES TO CHANGE
David’s appalling story received wall-to-wall news coverage and shone a bright and garish light of media attention on the department of Social Services, Foster Care program and bureaucrats scattered again under the woodwork. David’s story broke open a festering wound of ineptitude and callous corruption within the department. More cases of child abuse, neglect and even death while under the “care” of child welfare authorities. Eventually a departmental investigation was instigated. It culminated in politicians promising major reforms. Yeah right.

My sister-in-law's recent experience 25 years after my wife and mine show that things have remained the same. The child welfare department isn't.

Mark Pickup

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Humanity's inhumanity to humanity


http://www.abortionno.org/

The US based Center for Bioethical Reform has a graphic abortion video at the above link. It's tough stuff with a tough message -- but it's real and it's happening all across North America thousands of times every day. If you choose to watch it, make sure the volume on your computer is on.

Someone may ask, "Why such upsetting videos?" The sad fact is that the horror, injustice and violence must be understood in order to stop it. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Some injustices are beyond words. The images on the video are terrible. There are times when humanity's inhumanity to humanity must be confronted. This is such a time. Only cowards and perpetrators hide from the truth.

Just like the Second World War concentration camp photographs and film footage were necessary to shock the world, the horror of this generation's inhumanity of the abortion holocaust (which dwarfs the previous holocaust) must be seen or we will keep tolerating it.

Even worse, a society can even become so twisted that will even celebrate the perpetrators of this evil -- as we saw in Canada when it was announced that the infamous abortionist, Henry Morgentaler, will receive the highest civilian honor in the land: the Order of Canada.

Mark Pickup
Founder
HumanLifeMatters

To see the photographer's statement go to link below.
http://www.abortionno.org/pdf/Photographer%20Videographer%20Certification%20Hardcopy%20Pixelated.pdf