Carleton University in Canada May Prohibit Pro-Life Groups on Campus

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Carleton University in Canada May Prohibit Pro-Life Groups on Campus Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 28
, 2006

Ottawa, Canada ( — Carleton University is coming under fire from pro-life advocates in Canada because the student government there is considering a proposal that would prohibit pro-life organizations on campus. Pro-life advocates are upset saying it would restrict free speech at the college.

Katy McIntyre, vice-president of services for the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), proposed a motion last week that would amend the student society’s discrimination policy.

Her proposal would state that "no CUSA resources, space, recognition or funding be allocated for anti-choice purposes."

Shawn Menard, president of the association, told the CBC the motion came in response to complaints from the pro-abortion group on campus about a debate the campus pro-life group Lifeline organized about whether abortion should be legal.

"It’s discriminatory to not provide a female with a choice surrounding her body," Menard said.

Sarah Fletcher, the president of Lifeline Carleton, told the CBC the motion discriminates against the pro-life group and threatens the existence of religious clubs on campus that oppose abortion as well.

"There are students at Carleton who do have a pro-life point of view, and those students need to be represented," she said. "We feel it’s an infringement on our basic rights."

Meanwhile, the CBC reports that the forensics group on campus is puzzled by the proposal, saying that abortion and other hotly contested political issues should be able to be debated in a college that should support freedom of speech.

"We believe strongly in free speech. We think that good ideas win fair debates," Garnett Genius, the University Debate Society vice president, told the news service.

"And we don’t really understand why it would be in the student union’s or the student body’s interests to suppress debate, around particularly … an issue that is so important," Genius added.

Menard said students are free to debate but shouldn’t use CUSA space or money.

The council is expected to take a vote on the pro-abortion proposal on December 5.

ACTION: Contact Carleton University and express your views on this proposal. Write to Carleton University 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6 Canada or call (613) 520-7400. Send a fax to 613 520-4474 or contact CU President Dr. Samy A. Mahmoud at [email protected].