by Steven Ertelt
September 8, 2006
Toronto, Canada (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life student group at the University of Toronto says the college has discriminated against it by not letting it insert brochures about abortion into welcoming kits new students received. Other campus student organizations were able to include brochures on other topics.
The University of Toronto Students for Life says it has been subjected to unfair treatment and alleges college officials have discriminated against it base don its pro-life views.
The brochures in question contain a picture of a baby and a woman and information about abortion and its risks and alternatives.
The pro-life group says the UT Student Administrative Council gave them permission to include a brochure and a small card with more information in each freshmen orientation kit. The group told the Catholic News Service that it prepared 8,500 brochures for new students and gave them to SAC officials.
Days later, SAC officials told the group they could not include the brochures.
"They’ve changed their story," Santosh D’Souza, director of external communication for University of Toronto Students for Life, told CNS.
D’Souza indicated that Jen Hassum, SAC president, told Students for Life that the pictures in the brochure were too graphic, even though it did not contain any graphic pictures and she hadn’t actually seen the brochure.
Once Hassum saw the brochure and realized it did not have offensive pictures, she told the group it was too late to include them.
UT official Rick Telfer, the SAC general manager, would not comment on the issue, but told The Varsity, the UT student newspaper "unfortunately club representatives appear to be twisting the facts into a bizarre conspiracy theory."
After the incident, SAC officials met with members of Students for Life and apparently apologized.
Natalie Hudson, executive director of the Right to Life Association of Toronto, spoke to CNS about the controversy and said the university apparently targeted the pro-life groups.
"From what I understand there are no other clubs that have had to go through the same approval process, been made to jump through all the hoops that the U of T Students for Life have had to," she said.
Related web sites:
UT Students for Life – https://sfl.sa.utoronto.ca