McGill University Student Govt Suspends Club Status of Campus Pro-Life Group
by Steven Ertelt
November 16, 2009
Montreal, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The McGill University student government is the latest to suspend official club status to a pro-life student organization on campus. The SSMU Council voted 16 to 7 in favor of suspending the status of the Choose Life club in the latest evidence of discrimination against pro-life students.
The Students Society of McGill University debated two resolutions considered two different motions — one that would have revoked the club’s status, that was defeated 11-12, and another to suspend it.
The motions come from student government members who claim the pro-life student group put forward false information on the risks and dangers associated with an abortion and wrongly exposed students to graphic images of babies who have been victimized by abortions and unborn children during fetal development.
SSMU council member Elaina Kaufman also claimed the club violated college policy and said, Regardless of whether a formal promise was made, there had been a verbal agreement with SSMU Council and they still contravened the equity policy.
Choose Life president Natalie Fohl responded to the claims, which contend the group distributed information on the proven link between abortion and breast cancer, which SSMU denies based on the denial from the government health entity Health Canada.
The goal of our group is to promote the well-being of all persons, including those discriminated against based on age, Fohl said, according to a McGill Daily report.
I really don’t feel that if people properly understood what our position was that they would be saying what they said, Fohl said. It sounds good to say, No, we’re not limiting free speech, but it really is saying, You say what you want but only this way.
Members of the pro-life group said during the meeting that they are being treated differently by the student government than other groups because they hold dissenting views on campus.
The motion the council approved makes it so Choose Life must appear before an Equity Committee that will adopt a document the pro-life group would have to agree to that says it will follow all campus policies.
We will certainly sit down with the Equity Committee and see what their suggestions are but that doesn’t mean that we are necessarily going to accept everything, Fohl told the Daily newspaper.
In a post on the group’s web site, Fohl described the effect of the motion.
"For the time being, we no longer have the privileges that Clubs within the SSMU are allowed, such as booking space in the SSMU building and on campus," she said.
In February, the University of Calgary student government revoked the club status of a pro-life group that resisted efforts to censor its message.
ACTION: Express your disagreement to the SSMU Council at https://ssmu.mcgill.ca
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