By Ruth Shaw, Executive Director
Brandon Students for Life (BUSL) received backlash from their student government, Brandon University Students’ Union (BUSU), for putting up a pro-life poster around campus this past week. The purpose of the poster is to inform students that abortion ends the life of a human fetus and that instruments such as the forceps pictured are used to break the body parts of a fetus.
On October 23rd, BUSL received an email from Mohammed Agavi, Vice President External of BUSU. Mr. Agavi wrote in an email:
After reviewing your poster, it has been declined because it violates our Advertising Policy law. The Policy clearly states that:
“Policy #2016 – Advertising Guidelines: This policy applies to arrangements entered into by BUSU with student groups and other advertisers for displaying commercial advertising in or at BUSU spaces and in BUSU publications, and specifies content guidelines for all advertising acceptable by BUSU. Content for All advertising that is circulated, sponsored or created by BUSU and must meet the following general standards of respect as to form and content. BUSU will not accept advertising that is sexist, racist, homophobic, discriminatory or derogatory to any group of people. If such determination is called into question, acceptability shall be deemed by the Executive Committee.”
The Executive Committee has deemed the poster to be triggering, offensive and aggressive to a large member of the student body because of the pictures and the choice of language on the ad. As Brandon University is a space for all students I will be more than happy to help you design a poster that would be suitable to go up at the KDC. Please email me to setup an appointment or if you have any questions comments on concerns.
The decision and actions of BUSU prompt us to ask Mr. Agavi a few questions:
- If a poster depicting an abortion procedure is offensive, wouldn’t that indicate that abortion is offensive?
- If a poster depicting an abortion procedure is aggressive, wouldn’t that indicate that abortion is aggressive?
- If a poster depicting an abortion procedure is triggering, does hiding the truth help those hurting to understand the procedure and to begin healing?
Indeed, if a poster of a human child next to forceps is so damaging, perhaps we ought to re-think the procedure it is depicting.
What can YOU do?
- Share the BUSU-censored poster on Facebook.
- If you are a student and want a copy of this poster for your campus, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reach out to Mohammed Agavi, BUSU Vice President External, and share your displeasure at this act of censorship. Be honest without compromise, communicating with respect, as you would in activism. You can include the following two talking points: We hope Mr. Agavi (1) examines for himself the evidence about what abortion does to the preborn; (2) upholds freedom of speech on campus, treating all BU students – including our pro-life peers – with integrity and fairness.
You can reach Mr. Agavi by telephone (204-727-7478) and email (email@example.com).
NCLN staff dedicate hours of their time to coach students in speaking about abortion without compromise. We are working with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) to fight for the rights of pro-life students, to ensure that Universities uphold freedom of speech on campus so that we can continue to educate the demographic having the highest number of abortions and influence those in power. Check out the JCCF’s news release here.
It begins and ends on campus, but it starts with you.
It is imperative that we do not let those in power who are for abortion dictate how and when abortion is spoken about. If we stop fighting censorship, we stop fighting for the lives of parents and their children.
We cannot stop.
For media commentary on the censorship at Brandon University or censorship of pro-life students as a whole, please contact our Executive Director, Ruth Shaw, at: 1.877.618.4275 (ext. 3)