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National Campus Life Network > Blog > Press Releases

Press Release: B.C. Pro-Life Student Group Denied Right to Exist on their University Campus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kwantlen Pro-Life Student Group Denied Right to Exist on their University Campus

LANGLEY, B.C. (November 27 2012) – Students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University have obtained legal representation to fight a recent rejection by the student union of their application to form a pro-life club on campus.

The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA), which represents the students from the university’s four Vancouver Metro area campuses, explained its decision by stating that the creation of the Protectores Vitae club “is clearly against our own standing policy on Abortion and a Woman’s Right to Choose.”

“We’re very disappointed,” said Oliver Capko, president of the pro-life group. “Our student association is supposed to represent us and not censor us for having a different position.”

“They are in violation of their own policies,” stated Anastasia Pearse, the Western Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network, an organization which supports pro-life students across Canada. “Their own policy states that the association can’t censor or interfere with a club, even if it disagrees with its beliefs. Free speech and debate, even on controversial issues, should not be stifled at a university simply because those in positions of authority are pro-choice.”

It also appears that the association may have made amendments on October 26 to Article 2 of its Club Procedures Policy in an attempt to create a stronger basis for denying status. The changes significantly increased the ways in which the student association could justify the denial of club recognition.

The club is demanding that the Kwantlen Student Association grant them status. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has taken the case and is acting on behalf of Protectores Vitae.

“We sincerely hope that it will not be necessary for Mr. Capko and other students to sue the KSA,” said John Carpay, lawyer and President of the JCCF. “The student union has no legal authority to impose its own views about a moral or political issue on all students by denying club status to students who disagree with the student union. The student union has an obligation to treat all students equally and fairly, without denying the right of students to freely associate on the Kwantlen campus and form the clubs of their own choosing.”

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For media requests, please contact:

Oliver Capko, President Protectores Vitae, kwanlenprotectoresvitae@hotmail.com, 604-772-1156

John Carpay, President, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, 403-619-8014 or jcarpay@jccf.ca

 

Further details can be found on the club’s website.  

To support free speech at Kwantlen, click here.

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National Campus Life Network joins in declaration of support for Motion 312

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Campus Life Network joins in declaration of support for Motion 312

September 19, 2012

Toronto, ON – Dozens of Canadian organizations and individuals, including National Campus Life Network (NCLN), have united to sign a Declaration of Support for Parliamentary Study of Canada’s Legal Definition of “Human Being”.

This Declaration affirms support for Motion 312 and the establishment of a special committee to review the definition of ‘human being’ in subsection 223 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Currently the Criminal Code defines a child as a human being only “when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother.”

“All one has to do is open an embryology textbook to see that the current law simply doesn’t fit the facts,” states Rebecca Richmond, NCLN’s Executive Director. “An examination of current medical knowledge on the subject by Parliament is long overdue.”

The Declaration states, “The current definition was first enacted in Canada in 1892, founded in concepts argued before the courts and the Parliament of England more than three centuries prior, and does not reflect the medical and scientific knowledge acquired over the last century. Given the high value human life is given in our society, as reflected in our social policies and Criminal Code, it is essential that the Parliament of Canada provide clarity in the law on this point which impacts parental choice, biomedical research, medical practice and matters being brought before the courts of the nation.”

The second hour of debate on Motion 312 will take place this Friday. NCLN urges Canadians to voice their support for this motion by contacting their MPs.

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The full declaration can be found here.

National Campus Life Network exists to educate, network and support pro-life post-secondary students across Canada. For media inquiries, please contact Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director, at director@ncln.ca or 416 483 7869.

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$1500 Grant for Pro-Life Clubs Offered Again this Year

It’s back! Last year, a new grant was created to support pro-life campus clubs in Canada. This $1500.00 grant is sponsored by The Interim and Niagara Region Right to Life, and facilitated by National Campus Life Network. We’re thrilled to announce that this grant is being offered again this year!

The purpose of this grant is to recognize the work of pro-life clubs and assist them in their efforts on campuses. The grant will be given to the group whose event proposal demonstrates:

  • Creativity
  • Planning
  • Leadership, and
  • Will have a substantial impact on the university culture.

The deadline for this year’s application is August 31st.

Last year’s winner was Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria. The grant money made it possible for them to focus on activism, rather than fundraising, allowing them to organize effective events, including Choice Chain in November. Cam Côté, the Vice-President of Youth Protecting Youth, described this event as the most successful event he has seen since joining the club. Hundreds of conversations were had that day, and many more students were exposed to the pro-life message. Even more were reached through the media attention the club received, both on campus and in the community.

Cam Côté, reporting upon the impact the grant had on the club, stated,

“I cannot adequately express how successful our year was, despite the opposition and censorship, and how much the grant made our success possible. With it we have been able to train the largest group of people our club has had in recent memory … Though there will certainly be difficult times to come, the group that has come together has the desire and the basis to take an active part in making abortion unthinkable at UVic, and throughout the nation.”

Applications, which include the completed event proposal and a tentative budget, are to be submitted to NCLN by August 31st. The decision will be made by the Grant Sponsors, with recommendations from National Campus Life Network’s staff who work with the groups throughout the year. The grant of $1500.00 will be presented to representatives from the successful group during NCLN’s Annual National Symposium (Sept 28 – 30) in Toronto.

For an application contact Clarissa at central@ncln.ca  Applications are to be submitted to NCLN by August 31, 2012.

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Pro-Life Rally in Victoria to “Speak for Life”

Pro-Life Rally in Victoria to “Speak for Life.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On May 10th, Pro-Life British Columbians from across the province will march to the Legislature in the 5th Annual March for Life in Victoria.  With the abortion issue receiving such prominent attention in the media lately, organizers expect a large turnout this year.  This year’s theme, “SPEAK UP FOR LIFE,” challenges all British Columbians to raise their voice for the protection of the lives of the unborn.

Recent news stories about gender selection abortion and designer babies, and the current Parliamentary Motion calling for a committee to review the Criminal Code’s definition of a human being, have all drawn much needed attention to this issue. “The attention these issues have received, and polling data results, clearly show that Canadians are concerned by the complete lack of restrictions on abortion,” said March for Life media spokesperson, Anastasia Pearse.

“Our intention here today is to peacefully and prayerfully bring attention to the victims of abortion in our province,” she added. “We want to raise awareness and ask people to think before they choose abortion. They need to know the facts and be fully informed of all of the risks before they make these life changing decisions.”

The March for Life is organized to be a celebration of lives saved as well as a commemoration of lives lost. In BC, despite a severe lack of transparency in abortion record keeping, it is estimated that over 14,000 abortions are performed every year. “As tax-paying citizens, our money is being used to fund these abortions,” states Pearse. “We are marching today to speak out against this atrocity, to speak up for those 14,000 British Columbians who never had the chance to speak for themselves. We cannot remain silent when so many lives are at stake.”

This year’s March for Life is part of a national day of marches across the country. The BC March is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus BC & Yukon State and Campaign Life Coalition British Columbia. The March begins at 2:00pm in Centennial Square.

For more information, contact:

 

Anastasia Pearse,

March for Life Media Relations

westerncanada@ncln.ca

604-365-3484

 

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Press Release: Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

March 14, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

Toronto, ON: This March, two Ontario university clubs are hosting abortion debates on campus, but pro-choicers have been unwilling to debate.  Despite contacting over 120 professors, feminist organizations, and abortion advocacy groups, Guelph Life Choice and McMaster Lifeline have been unable to find anyone willing to debate.  Pro-life students from McMaster and Guelph are now issuing a public challenge to pro-choice proponents (specifically professors, doctors, clinic workers, and advocates from pro-choice organizations), inviting them to defend their position on abortion and join in an open and respectful debate.

“There’s been great student interest in having this debate,” states Hanna Barlow, President of the University of Guelph Life Choice.  “But everyone we’ve contacted to represent the pro-choice side has either rejected the invitation or simply ignored it.  It’s very disappointing.”

With the debate scheduled for the end of the month, Guelph Life Choice contacted the Student Help and Advocacy Centre (SHAC) from the student union for help finding a pro-choice advocate.  They declined, stating, “We do not believe that the sexual and reproductive rights of women is [sic] something that should be debated because we see ‘pro-choice’ as the only option. For us, reproductive rights are non-debatable.” (See full email text at: http://uofguelphlifechoice.ncln.ca/2012/03/14/email/)

“Unwillingness to debate is something we’ve seen before on other campuses,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization.   “Despite accusations from pro-choicers that we’re closed minded and backwards, they are the ones who keep rejecting our offers to engage in dialogue.”

“Anyone who holds a belief on an issue must have evidence to back up their belief,” states Julia Bolzon, President of McMaster Lifeline.  “If pro-choicers are confident in their position, then they should be willing to defend it in a debate.  We hope pro-choicers will rise to the challenge.”

 

For more information or for those interested in representing the pro-choice side of the debate, contact:

Julia Bolzon – President McMaster Lifeline, 647 221 0912, jbolzon@gmail.com

Hanna Barlow – President Guelph Life Choice, 519 830 9072, hannabarlow@gmail.com

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

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PRESS RELEASE: Abortion Debate on B.C. Campuses

March 7th, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ABORTION DEBATE ON BC CAMPUSES

Vancouver, B.C. University pro-life clubs across British Columbia are bringing the abortion debate to their campuses in an unprecedented manner. Over the next week, six B.C. university campuses will be hosting multiple events, seeking to engage their peers on the issue of abortion.

“Our universities are places where ideas should be shared and contentious issues discussed,” states Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization. “A recent CIHI report reveals that over a quarter of abortions are performed on university–aged students. If this is a choice young women are making, it is important that they consider what precisely they are choosing and know what abortion alternatives exist.”

Despite Prime Minister Harper’s repeated refusal to reopen the abortion debate in Parliament, pro-life student groups across the country have continued to be active on this issue, even amidst censorship and discrimination like that experienced most recently by Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria.

Events include academic debates, resource distribution, information tables, and abortion imagery projects, all aimed at educating and engaging students in dialogue on the abortion issue. These clubs are also calling on their local politicians, asking them to bring the abortion debate to parliament.

Along with Canadian campus groups, others across the country are also working to raise awareness on the need to dialogue about abortion. Jakki Jeffs, director of Ontario’s We Want the Debate Campaign, has stated that, “the suppression of any debate in a democratic society is unacceptable.” The Alliance for Life of Ontario campaign is demanding that, “the current censorship of the debate around abortion be ended, and that an open and informed discussion be held in public.”

Abortion takes the lives of approximately 300 Canadian preborn human beings every day. Canadian pro-life students refuse to remain silent or be censored while such an injustice is occurring in our society.

Abortion Debates:
Capilano University: March 8th, 1:30 pm, Cedar Building Room 122
University of British Columbia: March 12th, 5:00pm, UBC-Woodward 1
University of the Fraser Valley: March 13th, 6:00pm, UFV Abbotsford Room B101
Simon Fraser University: March 14th, 6:00pm, SFU Burnaby, room TBA

For further information contact:
Anastasia Pearse Western Campus Coordinator, National Campus Life Network westerncanada@ncln.ca 604-365-3484

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University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

February 7, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

Victoria B.C.-The University of Victoria Student’s Society (UVSS) Board of Directors passed two motions to publicly censure the pro-life club on campus, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) last night, February 6th. The first motion was put forward in response to complaints stemming from an event the club held last November called “Choice” Chain and charged the students with violating the UVSS Harassment Policy. The second motion was passed in response to a poster the club put up on campus in October. As a result, YPY will be denied their ability to book public space on campus for their events and is forbidden to hold “Choice” Chain or other similar events. The club is also banned from putting up posters until a new policy is written by the UVSS to govern poster content. The board also ordered YPY to write a letter of apology to groups who were offended by the poster.

“Choice” Chain is a project developed by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) and consists of volunteers holding three by four foot signs with graphic images of first trimester aborted fetuses. The volunteers engage passers-by in dialogue about abortion. More information about the project can be found here: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/projects/choicechain

“This is a disappointing development,” said Cameron Côté, YPY Vice-President and coordinator of the “Choice” Chain event. “People may have felt offended by the images but that in no way constitutes harassment. If you merely have to claim your feelings were hurt or you disliked someone’s message or way of expressing themselves to find that person guilty of harassment, freedom of speech ceases to exist. While we recognize that some people do not like our message, that doesn’t mean we should be censored.  ”

Campus Outreach Director for CCBR, Alanna Gomez, stated, “The charges of harassment have no grounds. There were no complaints made about the conduct of the students, because they acted respectfully and peacefully. The only complaints were based on the negative feelings people had because they didn’t like the pictures the students were holding. Just because someone doesn’t like a picture doesn’t mean they have been harassed, which is what the UVSS is trying to claim.”

The poster that resulted in the second motion was developed by National Campus Life Network (NCLN), and compares the current denial of legal personhood to the pre-born in Canada with similar treatment of other groups in the past. The poster can be viewed here: http://www.ncln.ca/resources/print-resources/person-poster/

“I thought the UVSS had moved past this type of discrimination and censorship since the settlement of YPY’s lawsuit in July 2010,” said Anastasia Pearse, former YPY president. Pearse currently works as the Western Campus Coordinator for NCLN. “Censorship of the abortion debate at a university is shameful and unacceptable.”

“YPY will not tolerate this ideological discrimination,” said Côté. “We must all demand that our   society be free of discrimination and censorship of minority or unpopular viewpoints. If there is a right not to be offended than we cannot have freedom of speech in this country or on campus.The legal killing of so many innocent human beings is a disturbing topic, but it is far too serious to suppress or ignore.”

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For further information:

Cameron Côté (YPY Vice President) – 778-678-4275, youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com

Alanna Gomez (CCBR Campus Outreach Director) – 403-690-5217, acampbell@unmaskingchoice.ca

Anastasia Pearse (NCLN Western Coordinator) – 604-365-3484, westerncanada@ncln.ca

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University of New Brunswick (Fredericton) Students for Life Finally Get Status!

[Picture: Sara Hall (NCLN Maritime Campus Coordinator) and Stacy Anderson (NCLN board member) with Amanda Magee and other students from the new club shortly after receiving status at the Student Union Meeting.]

In December we informed you that the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton) Students for Life had their application for club status denied.  (For more information, the press release can be found on our website here).  Now, we have the pleasure of informing you that the club was ratified last night at a Student Council meeting and the club now enjoys status and funding.

Club President, Amanda Magee, was present along with several other club members at the meeting.  The club had re-submitted their application prior to the meeting and Amanda was given an opportunity to make a brief presentation to the Councillors.  She also fielded several questions from Councillors before a motion was made to recognize the club.

Shane Westin, the club’s Vice-President, quickly questioned the difference between ‘recognition’ and ‘ratification’.  It was explained that ratification gave the club both status and funding but recognition, which would apply to religious or political clubs, would mean they would not receive funding.  Given that the club is neither political nor religious in nature, Mr. Westin questioned the Councillor’s motion and, after consulting policy, the motion was amended and the club was ratified.

NCLN was there to meet with the pro-life students beforehand and attend the Student Union meeting.  We’re pleased that the Student Union finally granted the club the rights they were due and we look forward to working with UNB Students for Life as they plan and host events this winter.

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