TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2010 – Pro-life groups applying for club status on university campuses continue to face scrutiny by student associations and many have had status denied or suspended. Clubs at Lakehead, York, Carleton, Memorial, McGill, Guelph, Calgary, Victoria and others have all had their status challenged; some have been successful in regaining it, but some have not. The club status of Choose Life was reinstated at McGill Feb. 10 after a heated debate and vote, while the University of Victoria’s Youth Protecting Youth had its funding denied — again — on Feb. 5.
Two factors have contributed to this problem: The Canadian Federation of Students has a policy encouraging (but not requiring) member associations to embrace a pro-choice position on abortion, and some pro-life clubs support the use of graphic images in their information campaigns. Probably the best known is the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), which attempts to draw parallels between abortion and other atrocities such as the Holocaust. Last spring at the University of Calgary, the insistence on continuing to use a GAP display, despite numerous warnings from administration, led to trespassing charges, which were later stayed.
The League has been involved in some of these cases by providing advice and support to help the pro-life groups insist on their rights, and also with some unavoidable expenses. If you or your children are students (or alumni) at universities where free speech is challenged, let the administration know that their response will determine your response to supporting the school.
– See The Catholic Register, Feb. 19, for a League column about this issue