In my June 2008 letter to our supporters I wrote about the student union at Canada’s York University attempting to ban funding for pro-life clubs. Now it’s official; there will be no university funding for any secular student group which opposes abortion. The June 13, 2008 issue of the student newspaper, Excalibur, featured an article titled “Student Union Cuts Funding to Pro-life Groups at York University.” The article reads, in part, as follows:
A motion put forward by the York Federation of Students [YFS] to deny club funding to non-religious pro-life groups has been ratified by the Canadian Federation of Students.
YFS vice-president external Gilary Massa denies that the motion seeks to ban such groups from operating on campus since YFS does not have control over the allocation of club space or if a club gets official status.
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‘… [W]e have decided that anti-choice groups on campus do not provide safe spaces. They don’t provide a vibrant campus and that’s not activity we want to endorse.
Margret Fung, former president of Students for Bioethical Awareness (SBA) at York, says … ‘We will continue operating, that’s not going to be a question ….’
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Massa says … ‘We’ve been talking about this since March when the Genocide Awareness Project decided to come to our campus. Students showed their opposition then; we passed a policy at our executive meeting, then we took it to our council ….’ [T]he voices of the students that spoke up against this group coming to our campus [have to be taken into account].’
Massa said this in reference to a debate on abortion rights held on March 18 in Curtis Lecture Hall E. The university stepped in and provided a venue for the debate after the Student Center Board of Directors, which includes some members of the YFS, pulled the plug on the debate. It was originally slated for Feb. 28 in the Student Center [and cancelled] less than three hours before it was scheduled to begin.
At issue was the participation of Jose Ruba from the controversial Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), a group well-known for their graphic posters linking abortion to genocide, and their presentations filled with gruesome images of abortion. Ruba was set to debate Michael Payton from Freethinkers, Skeptics and Atheists at York (FreeSAY).
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Massa says that the abortion debate is over in Canada and that women have been granted the right to choose. …
Where to begin? Ms. Massa says that student government doesn’t have the power to ban pro-life groups but it is pretty clear that she wishes it did. And her allusion to CBR not “providing safe spaces” is true if she means “safe” for pro-aborts whose arguments can’t survive an encounter with an aborted baby photo. So her solution isn’t to revise her arguments; it is to get rid of the pictures. The pictures are the truth which exposes her lies about abortion and she fears them most of all. We aren’t sure what she means, however, by criticizing CBR for not “providing a vibrant campus.” Dictionary.com defines “vibrant” as “exciting; stimulating; lively” and anyone who has attended a CBR debate or Genocide Awareness Project display would have to agree that the excitement is nothing if not stimulating and lively; sometimes so lively that pro-aborts get arrested for violence against our persons and property.
We are thankful that the stalwart pro-life group at York refuses to accept Ms. Massa’s wishful thinking about the abortion debate being over.
It is clear that our pictures are the real issue here. Ms. Massa admits that our use of abortion photos in a debate triggered the cancellation of the forum and an attempt to defund all secular pro-life student groups. Canada is as backward as any Third World police state in its primitive views on freedom of expression.
But with your help, we are determined to bring Canada into the community of civilized nations where freedom of expression is concerned. The pictures will be seen at York, just as they were eventually seen at the University of British Columbia and a host of other Canadian universities which tried to censor our pictures. Every time the administration or student organizations erect barriers, we will continue to knock them down!