University of Alabama Apologizes for Denying Pro-Lifers’ Free Speech

State   |   Students for Life of America   |   Feb 18, 2014   |   11:03AM   |   Washington, DC

Yesterday, the University of Alabama apologized to the pro-life group on campus, Bama Students for Life, and reversed their decision after they removed Bama SFL’s approved student display on campus because an administrator deemed it “offensive.” The University stated that will allow Bama Students for Life to set up their pro-life display on campus once again.

Bama Students for Life and Students for Life of America thank the University of Alabama officials for rethinking their decision and allowing pro-life students to openly express their First Amendment and free speech rights on campus.

freespeechBelow is the email sent by Carl Bacon, Assistant to the Vice President for Collaboration & Director of Ferguson Center Student Union, to Bama Students for Life on Monday:

“Dear Bama Students for Life,

Please accept my apology that your display was removed without your knowledge two days before your reserved time expired.  You have two options available to you to complete your 30-day reservation.  The same display case will be available for two days starting February 22nd“, or the case between the SGA office and the office of the Dean of Students is available this week for two days.  Please let me know which option you would like to choose. “

On Wednesday, Students for Life of America’s Campus Advisor, Rev. Pat Mahoney, will arrive in Tuscaloosa to speak on campus about the case and, on Thursday, he will assist Bama Students for Life in setting up their display case on campus.

The display, which featured several abortion-related facts, pictures of women who died as a result of having an abortion, and two small pictures of aborted babies, was among numerous other student group displays.

Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, commented: “Today is an historic victory for pro-life students nationwide. Because of the courage of Bama Students for Life and the dedication of grassroots pro-life activists across America, the University of Alabama has apologized for censoring our constitutional rights. This should be a clear lesson for universities across the nation – pro-life students will not tolerate unjust actions and censorship because of our beliefs.”

She went on to say: “The majority of Americans, as well as college students, are pro-life. Our beliefs are not only here to stay, but they are in the majority. It is this generation, lead by revolutionary leaders like those in Bama Students for Life, who will make abortion a thing of the past very soon.”

Claire Chretien, President of Bama Students for Life, added: “Bama Students for Life is very grateful to The University of Alabama for correcting this injustice.  We are thrilled that the University was so willing to right this wrong so that all students will be able to continue exercising our free speech rights.”

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Students for Life’s Campus Advisor and Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, stated: “Universities should be a marketplace of ideas where the First Amendment and free speech are embraced as students are openly encouraged to share and discuss their views and opinions in the public square. In light of this, it was especially troubling that the University of Alabama initially censored and discriminated against the free speech rights of pro-life students.

While we are grateful that university officials reversed their position and apologized to Bama Students for Life, it is a stark reminder that pro-life speech and the First Amendment continue to be under attack on America’s universities and colleges. I commend Bama Students for Life for refusing to be intimidated into surrendering their First Amendment rights and standing up to ensure their thoughts and beliefs would be freely heard at the University of Alabama.”