Baggy Clothes and Baby Bumps: Day 1 of our Campus Campaign

by Anastasia Pearse, NCLN Western Campus Coordinator

She has to wear baggy clothes on campus, she told us. Because, as a pregnant student, she feels the stigma and felt embarrassed by the looks she received whenever her clothes revealed her growing belly.YNRL

She had stopped by our event with her boyfriend, intrigued by the images of the campaign that featured a young mom, her baby, and the title You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much. They were immediately interested in the community support for pregnant women that we mentioned; they hadn’t yet heard about the kind of resources that crisis pregnancy centres and organizations like Birthright can offer. That’s when they told us that they were pregnant.

They weren’t the only pregnant students we encountered yesterday at Simon Fraser University. We also met a student whose wife is 6 months pregnant. He was able to speak with a volunteer from a resource centre and will now be able to get the support he needs. Who knows how many other students we reached through our conversations and distribution of resources! Students drawn to the campaign also wanted to contribute, adding donations to a fund that will go towards supporting pregnant women in the community.

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This event at SFU with SFU Lifeline is only one part of a campus tour NCLN has coordinated for British Columbia campuses this week. The resources feature information about what support exists in the community and are from LifeCanada’s You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much campaign. Through this partnership with LifeCanada, we are getting this critical information to the demographic that needs it so desperately. The campaign also features young moms sharing their personal stories of choosing life, even under difficult circumstances, in public places on campus.

Day 1 of this campaign revealed, yet again, why pro-life clubs are so essential on our campuses: we need to ensure that students get the information and support that they need – information and contacts we were able to provide to the pregnant students we encountered yesterday (and many more). We can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store!

For more information on the other campuses this campaign will be visiting, click here.

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#LifeWeek on BC Campuses!

YNRLFrom March 17-19th, four campuses in BC will be promoting Life Canada’s You’ll Never Regret Loving this Much campaign, bringing in young women who will share real life stories that outline the reality of the hardships young pregnant women endure, but also the joy in the decision to choose life for their child. These women will be sharing their stories throughout the day in an open area on campus, being a public witness to the cause; we will also be distributing resources that outline the positive alternatives to abortion and show that there are resources available to support parents. Through this outreach we plan to engage thousands of students, reaching a demographic that needs to hear this message the most.

TUESDAY MARCH 17th
Simon Fraser University – Burnaby
9:00-3:00, Convo Mall
Join the Facebook event here.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 18th
University of the Fraser Valley – Abbotsford
9:00-3:00, on the Green
Click here for the Facebook event.

Columbia Bible College – Abbotsford
6:30pm, Clearwood Room
Click here for the Facebook event

THURSDAY MARCH 19th
Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Surrey
9:00-3:00, Main Courtyard
As part of their LifeWeek events, Trinity Western University will be hosting, “Echoes of the Holocaust” with Stephanie Gray at 7pm in Block Hall on Wednesday, March 18th.

She will be discussing how abortion is a modern day genocide. Come out to be challenged and inspired by her compelling words! Join the Facebook event here.

 

Support these students by donating to NCLN and by attending these events in your area!

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PRESS RELEASE: Ryerson Student Union Continues to Bar Pro-Life Student Club without Explanation

For immediate release.

PRESS RELEASE: Ryerson Student Union Continues to Bar Pro-Life Student Club without Explanation

Toronto, ON (February 24 2015) – On February 23rd, the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) Board of Directors unanimously voted that a group of pro-life students would not be allowed to form a pro-life club.

This vote marked the last step in an appeal process that began in the fall semester after Students for Life at Ryerson was rejected by the Student Groups Committee on the basis that the RSU, “opposes…groups, meetings, or events that promote misogynist views towards woman [sic] and ideologies that promote gender inequity, challenges women’s right [sic] to bodily autonomy, or justifies [sic] sexual assault”.

“Our club stands for human rights for all human beings, including those at the earliest stages of life. We also want to support pregnant students on campus who want alternatives to abortion,” states Carter Grant, a second year business major and Vice President of Students for Life. “If the student union is going to accuse students of serious things like misogyny, they should be prepared to explain the basis for that. We are still waiting for that explanation.”

The union operates a Centre for Women and Trans People that identifies as pro-choice but the Board of Directors were not willing to allow a student group the opportunity to share another side of the issue.

“Ryerson University talks a good game on the right to freedom of expression, but when it comes down to it, its student union prefers to punish those who do not espouse RSU’s particular viewpoints on social issues,” states Carol Crosson, legal counsel for Students for Life. “Ryerson policies affirm the right to freedom of expression, but it seems that RSU has no desire to adhere to University policies.”

“If the student union can advocate their pro-choice position on campus, why can’t pro-life students present theirs?” asks Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, which supports pro-life students across Canada. “The RSU is marginalizing and bullying students – and not even explaining why.”

For more information, please visit sflryerson.ncln.ca

For additional comment, please contact:

Carter Grant, Vice President of Students for Life at Ryerson, ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com, 647 213 4242.

Carol Crosson, Crosson Constitutional Law, ccrosson@crossonlaw.ca, 403 796 8110.

Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, director@ncln.ca, 416 388 0461

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Support Students for Life at Ryerson

Action Items

Along with the following items  from the Students for Life at Ryerson website, we encourage you to write to the students and encourage them. You can reach them at: ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com

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From sflryerson.ncln.ca

Action Items: What you Can Do to Help

  1. Write to the Ryerson student union executive members  and ask them politely to reverse their decision and give our club equal treatment to other groups on campus.
  2. Write to Sheldon Levy, the university president, and ask him to protect our right to freedom of expression by allowing our club to book space on campus. pres@ryerson.ca
  3. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @SFLryerson. Use social media to share our story and tweet at the student union and administration.

If you are a Ryerson student (or a prospective student or alumnus!) and you want to help:

  1. Contact us at ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com to get involved with the club.
  2. Submit a complaint to the president of the Student Union, Rajean Hoilettpresident@rsuonline.ca, about how their decision impacts you as a student, prospective student, or alumnus.
  3. Contact the president of the university, Sheldon Levy pres@ryerson.ca, and ask him to protect the reputation of the university and stand up for students by allowing the club to book space on campus.
  4. Write a letter to the campus newspapers explaining your concerns. news@theeyeopener.com and sonian@ryerson.ca

 

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University of Alberta Pro-Life Students Won’t Back Down

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Pro-Life students at the University of Alberta have taken postering to the next level. To advertise for their recent Information Meeting the club posted hundreds of posters around campus. However, not all students approved of the club or their event, and so took to ripping these posters down. The pro-life student’s response? “For each poster’s demise, two more will arise.” 

In the days leading up to their meeting, the club posted over one thousand posters. They witnessed first hand the students, as well as faculty, who tore down the posters and sent video clips to security. Security has yet to respond to these acts of censorship against the pro-life students.

For more info about the situation click here.

 

Image by Carolyn Tiry, CC 2.0
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BC Supreme Court Rules Against Freedom of Speech for Pro-Life University Students

National Campus Life Network (NCLN) is very disappointed with the decision of the BC Supreme Court yesterday, which decided against the petition of Cameron Cote (the former president of the pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria) and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). The case was in response to ongoing censorship from the student society and university administration and sought to have a confirmation that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be considered to apply to universities.

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YPY students protest illegal censorship in 2010

The University of Victoria has had a history of discrimination and censorship against pro-lifers. Anastasia Pearse, then president of the pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth, sued the student society with the help of the BCCLA in 2010. The lawsuit was settled out of court on the club’s terms, but unfortunately the student society and university administration has continued to bully the club over the past several years, censuring them for their activities.

Over the years the club has had their funding and status denied, they have had restrictions placed on their club booking and postering privileges, and has had stink bombs and smoke bombs set off during their activities. Recently, in the fall of 2014, the club faced vandalism and theft when two women threw used cat litter all over the table and stole fetal models. The current case focuses on events of 2013, when the university administration suddenly revoked their approval for space for a club event and admonished Cameron Cote, then club president, when the event went ahead despite the university’s attempted censorship.

Chief Justice Hinkson’s ruling found that the Charter did not apply in this case.

“I am very disappointed that the BC Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Victoria can silence an unpopular message at a moment’s notice without being held accountable to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” commented Cameron Cote. “If a university can pick and choose who is allowed to express their views in common areas on campus, then it is not only those who hold the pro-life view that should be concerned, but all students and indeed all Canadians.”

“This is another blow to the reputation of Canadian universities,” states Anastasia Pearse, alumnus of the University of Victoria and NCLN’s Western Campus Coordinator. “Universities claim to value free speech in their policies on the one hand and then repeatedly act against it when the peaceful expression and activities of some students is controversial or offensive to some.”

For more information or additional comment, contact Anastasia Pearse, NCLN’s Western Campus Coordinator. westerncanada@ncln.ca604 365 3484.

National Campus Life Network is Canada’s national pro-life student organization.

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McMaster Students Shout Down Anti-Abortion Speaker

McMaster Lifeline held an event on campus: “Abortion: Reproductive or Human Rights?” presented by Maaike Rosendal of The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Though it was protested and interrupted with yelling and chants, we want to give a big congratulations and thank you to McMaster Lifeline, Maaike, and those who respectfully attended and engaged in the discussion, for being willing to bring such an important message to campus.

What is a university, unless a place to respectfully share and discuss ideas and opinions? Needless to say, the pro-choice position embarrassed themselves that night.

See below for CCBR‘s official press release regarding the incident:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: McMaster Students Shout Down Anti-Abortion Speaker

Between 20 and 25 students shouted down an anti-abortion speaker Thursday night at McMaster University, disrupting the presentation, stealing a box of books and DVDs, and chanting until the police arrived.

The lecture was organized by McMaster Lifeline, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about the abortion issue, and featured Maaike Rosendal, a speaker with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (www.endthekilling.ca). Pro-choice students apparently took issue with the fact that a speaker with anti-abortion views would be allowed to speak, and responded w10525987_303306069874813_8279273968683516785_nith various chants and signs featuring slogans like, “Pro-sex. Pro-child. Pro-woman. Pro-abortion.”

Audience members expressed irritation that the presentation was disrupted. The popular Facebook Page “Stuff McMaster Professors Say” posted the following statement: “Professors, TAs, and students alike attended this meeting simply wanting to learn more about the prolife view yet people got into unnecessary fights, violating their right to the freedom of speech. The presenters still went on but what they did gave a bad name for prochoicers and the University of McMaster… People in university hold different views from you. That doesn’t mean you should attack people. That doesn’t mean you should silence people. Grow up.”

“It’s a shame that pro-choice students think the only way they can win this debate is by silencing it,” Maaike Rosendal of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform noted, “We are more than happy to engage in dialogue, but at too many universities abortion supporters simply want to shout us down and shut us down.”

The McMaster incident follows on the heels of similar incidents at McGill University, the University of Waterloo, and Brock University. After the police arrived, they ensured the rights of all were respected and the presentation was able to proceed.

Find video footage of the incident here.

For more information, contact Maaike Rosendal at 1-403-360-2376.

Source: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/blog/2014/11/10/immediate-release-mcmaster-students-shout-down-anti-abortion-speaker

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Successful Debate @ SFU

Last night, SFU Lifeline and SFU Health Ethics Club hosted a public debate on Simon Fraser University campus: “Should Abortion Be Legal“?

About 125 students and guests attended to hear Stephanie Gray, on behalf of the Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, present the pro-life position and Umer Altaf, President of the SFU Debate Society, present the pro-choice position.

steph debate

Appealing to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Stephanie claimed that abortion should be illegal, since the pre-born are human beings, and ending an innocent human being’s life would be a violation of their human right to life.

Umer based his argument on what he claimed were three logical conclusions: something receives our moral consideration in the face of termination if it can feel pain, if it will be missed by loved ones, and if they have wants and dreams that won’t be realized if their life is taken. When the pre-born can’t feel pain, will not be missed and does not have dreams to be realized, the pre-born are not worthy of our moral consideration and thus abortion should be legal.

Stephanie and Umer debated the implications of making abortion illegal, also weighing the effects that abortion and pregnancy have on women. Umer claimed that there are different levels of suffering, and abortion alleviates some of the suffering that a woman would face in a crisis pregnancy. Stephanie proposed that a civil society should certainly alleviate suffering, but not eliminate sufferers.

Students were able to ask questions during the final session of the debate, and the open discussion continued well after the debate officially ended.

Who won the debate? Stay tuned for a video of the full debate online. We’ll let you decide.

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