by Steven Ertelt
October 10, 2007
St. Johns, Canada (LifeNews.com) — Another Canadian university has voted to deny official status for a campus pro-life group. This time, the student union at Memorial University of Newfoundland voted to deny the group official status on campus and the funding and official campus resources that are made available to other groups.
The MUN Students’ Union (MUNSU) addressed a request for ratification by MUN For Life. As an officially recognized group, the pro-life organization would be eligible for funding and space from the student union.
Matt Sheppard, who represents the gay and lesbian students on campus, put forward the motion to deny the ratification, according to the Muse student newspaper.
Sheppard said the Canadian Federation of Students, which is the parent group of MUNSU, has an official pro-abortion position and, therefore, MUNSU backs abortion as well.
He told other student leaders that the pro-life group should be allowed to exist on campus but not be eligible to be an officially recognized organization.
James Hearn, a representative of athletic students, spoke up and said Memorial University should take exception to the pro-abortion position and allow the group funding and space.
“Why should we support baby murder?” he said, according to the Muse. “I know this is opening a can of worms and we can talk about this for hours, but I just can’t support abortion.”
Director of Campaigns Stella Magalios strenuously oppose ratification and said, “A woman is not merely a baby machine. A woman is not merely a vessel through which life passes."
She said it would be a violation of women’s rights to give official support to the pro-life group and claimed MUN For Life provides inaccurate and offensive information to people.
“It’s pretty fair to say they are woman haters,” she said and added that the campus wouldn’t approve an anti-gay or anti-Jewish group either.
MUN For Life President Patrick Hanlon, told The Muse he was upset by the decision.
"We are paid members of this union and we deserve the full rights of belonging to this union. This union trampled on our rights, our human rights, and this is a very dangerous precedent for this union to set," he said.
This isn’t the first time a Canada college has refused to recognize a pro-life student group.
Students at Capilano College in August were denied official status from the university and took their case to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
The official recognition by the college is an important distinction. Without it, a campus group can’t post fliers, advertise and hold meetings.
Last year, the student union at the University of British Columbia’s Kelowna campus refused club status to campus pro-lifers.
And in Ottawa, the Carleton University Students’ Association passed a motion affirming their pro-abortion position and denying official status to a student pro-life group.