Freedom of Speech Upheld for Pro-Life Students



February 17, 2009

Press Release: Freedom of Speech Upheld for Pro-Life Students

For Immediate Release: February 17th 2009 – Freedom of speech has been upheld on two more university campuses in the past week, as two student unions have decided to treat pro-life clubs fairly despite some unjustified opposition to giving the pro-life clubs official status. Choose Life McGill, the pro-life club at McGill University in Montreal Quebec, received full accreditation as a campus club at the student union’s board meeting on February 12th. The final vote after a more than 2 hour debate was in favour of ratifying the club.  This vote came after Choose Life operated as an interim club for 3 months.

Meanwhile at the University of Victoria, pro-life students had been fighting for fair treatment from their student union since October 2008 when they were denied the same funding as all other campus clubs.  On February 10th, the student union board voted to grant the pro-life club, Youth Protecting Youth, the same funding that is applicable to other campus groups.

Both of these decisions come shortly after the campus pro-life club at the University of Guelph had their club status restored in a January 27th meeting. All allegations against Guelph Life Choice were dropped after a term of battling with their student union.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) also has recently put their support behind pro-life students and their right to freedom of speech. In a letter to all student unions the CCLA points out that when one disagrees with someone else “The proper response is argument, not censorship”.  
Additional progress towards the restoration of free speech on university campuses is expected in the next couple of weeks. Pro-life students at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario are awaiting a decision from their student union on their club application and a positive response is currently expected. Since September 2007, Lakehead pro-life students have been fighting for their right to fair treatment from their student union. Renee Schmitz, Assistant Western Director of National Campus Life Network comments, “It is our hope that with these recent events other student unions will stand up for what is right – protecting freedom of speech – rather than silencing students they do not agree with.”
For up-to-date Information on Campus Pro-Life Clubs Contact:
Theresa Gilbert, Executive Director, National Campus Life Network: [email protected], 905-630-7271
Renee Schmitz, Assistant Western Director, National Campus Life Network: [email protected], 778-833-0327

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