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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Press Release: Carleton Lifeline Sues Carleton University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PRO-LIFE CLUB SUES CARLETON UNIVERSITY

Carleton Lifeline Seeks Restitution

Carleton Lifeline, the pro-life club at Carleton University, has sued the University and its administration for the discriminatory treatment they have been subjected to during the 2010-2011 academic school year.

“We believe that the behaviour of the University is actionable. We have suffered discrimination and intimidation, we have been arrested and threatened and we are seeking restitution”, said Ruth Lobo, President of Carleton Lifeline. “The University’s discriminatory actions are shocking, to say the least. We want to ensure, through law, that this behaviour is not repeated at Carleton University ever again.”

Lifeline is asking the Court to declare that Carleton University and its administration have breached their own internal policies regarding freedom of expression, academic freedom and discrimination. As such, Lifeline is also requesting that the University is ordered to comply with these internal policies.

On October 4, 2010, Carleton University had members of Lifeline handcuffed, arrested, charged and fined with trespassing for attempting to display an exhibit that the University administration deemed disturbing and offensive due to the graphic images  it used. In November 2010, Carleton University’s administration provided Lifeline with an ultimatum  regarding the expression of their opinions and threatened further arrests.

“Carleton University has allowed other exhibits using graphic images on campus” commented Albertos Polizogopoulos, Carleton Lifeline’s lawyer. “Clearly the University opposes Lifeline’s message and not its medium. This is censorship and viewpoint discrimination and violates Carleton University’s internal policies.”

To view a copy of the Statement of Claim, please visit www.carletonlifeline.wordpress.com.

For more information, please call Carleton Lifeline at 613-600-4791 or Lifeline’s lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos at 613 -241-2701 Ext: 243

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The Experience of the Washington March for Life

By Kathleen Dunn

Kathleen is the President of the Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu Pro Life Club at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy (Barry’s Bay, ON). This post originally appeared on the blog of Catholic Chapter House on February 1st.  It appears here with permission.

This past Monday, January, 24th, the streets of Washington were flooded with 400,000 devoted Pro Life activists  for the National March for Life. Among this multitude of young people, I had the privilege of standing with twenty of my classmates and three staff members from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. It was a rousing experience, as many of us have never attended such a large Pro Life rally before. With generous donations from the local Knights of Columbus, and St. Hedwig’s parishioners, we were fortunate to be able to afford the adequate rental vans to commute the group of us down to the States from Barry’s Bay, Ontario.

As an initiative of our school’s Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu Pro Life Club, we felt there were a number of reasons why we should make the pilgrimage to Washington’s March. First of all, as the Academy educates a number of American students, we felt it important to give them the opportunity to attend their nation’s march with strong support from their peers. Secondly, the United States is a country that is influential both culturally and politically. As Canadians, we have a government who doesn’t seem to have the backbone to make these important decisions. If the American government changes its laws on abortion, we can have hope that Canada would emulate this movement towards the sanctity of life. Finally, and most importantly, as Pro Lifers, Catholics, and simply as human beings, we have the duty to protect the innocent, no matter what country they are from. If we have any opportunity to pray for, support, and stand up for the voiceless, we have the responsibility to do so.

With that being said, so began our 12 hour trek, beginning in Barry’s Bay, early on the previous Saturday morning. Everyone gathered in the school parking lot, with excited spirits, ready to get started on our pilgrimage. With blessings from Fr. Brian Christie, we set off in 4 vehicles towards our destination. Thanks be to God, we arrived safely and we were welcomed by the Thomason family, who so generously put all of us up for the next three nights in their beautiful, Virginia home.

After spending Sunday afternoon exploring the sights of Washington, we attended the National Prayer Vigil for Life Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. This is where our March for Life experience truly began. We joined 10,000 Catholics, packing the pews and filling the aisles, for the celebration of this Holy Mass. I don’t know how this great number of us fit in this Basilica, large though it was. I had never seen this many Catholics – mainly youth! – under one roof before. Hundreds of bishops, cardinals, priests, seminarians, and other religious attended as well. This in itself was an uplifting sight to see. The Mass was beautiful, traditional and reverent, complete with booming organ and a spectacular choir. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, was the principle celebrant of the Mass, and gave a motivating homily to the multitude of Catholics who attentively listened from any and every spare floor space in the Basilica. This Mass, I felt, was the most beautiful part of our pilgrimage, as the spiritual battle is the most necessary victory for the Pro Life Movement.

The following day brought the March itself. We stood together at the National Mall and watched as thousands upon thousands poured onto the open grass. As I sat on my friends shoulders, and looked out across the sea of people, I could not even see to the end of the crowd. It was such an incredible, exciting and empowering group to be a part of. Again I must mention what a testament to our future it was to see that the majority of people attending the March were young people – from universities and high schools all over the country.

We listened as a number of senators and prominent leaders gave motivating speeches to the crowd. Their booming and extremely passionate voices gave encouragement to us to have hope for and to fight for respect for life. Soon enough, the March began. Although it wasn’t a particularly long walk distance wise, it took a few hours to complete as we slowly filled the streets to march towards Supreme Court. Various clusters of people began praying rosaries, Divine Mercy chaplets, novenas, singing hymns and belting out Pro Life chants. The catchy, “Obama, Obama! You had a pro life mama!” was my personal favorite. Despite sore feet, legs and voices, everyone valiantly completed the March at around 4 in the afternoon. Some continued on to pray in front of the Supreme Court building, others left to catch their busses back to their home state. A beautiful and important day had been experienced, full of prayer, sacrifice, and devotion. The passion and zeal of Pro Life Americans was uplifting and inspiring to all of us, and encouraged us to bring that enthusiasm back to Canada.                                     .

Some might find it strange that we would attend another country’s rally against their government. For us, though, it was a missionary trip to help those who cannot help themselves. Just like any university may make a trip to a third world country to build homes for those in poverty, we, too, can make a pilgrimage to another country, to help save those lives that are being murdered on mass every day. Through prayer, support, example and in standing up for truth, it is our duty as human beings to protect God’s children no matter where they are.

The Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu Pro Life Club of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy would like to thank the Barry’s Bay Knights of Columbus, as well as the parish of St. Hedwig’s in Barry’s Bay for their enormous support of prayers and donations to this pilgrimage to Washington. Also, a great thank-you to the Thomason family, and the local Mom’s group for cooking for us, and giving us a place to sleep during our pilgrimage.


N.B.  The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

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PRESS RELEASE: New Threats and Intimidation by Carleton University Administration

November 30, 2010. For Immediate Release:

NEW THREATS AND INTIMIDATION BY CARLETON UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION

Pro-Life Students Threatened With Disciplinary Action and Arrest

OTTAWA.  On October 27, Carleton Administration threatened pro-life students with charges of non-academic misconduct when they stood with hand-held signs of aborted fetuses on their campus. See video here: http://www.carletonlifeline.wordpress.com

The University subsequently sent the students’ club, Carleton Lifeline, correspondence threatening them with arrest and disciplinary action.  They said these could be consequences if the students did not comply with a strict set of rules which only applied to them; these provisions surround a designated zone created for Lifeline where few students travel in the winter, where they are not able to offer pamphlets or initiate conversations with students, and not being permitted to move if protestors block the signs.

“This act of ‘compromise’ on the part of the University is nothing more than an intimidation tactic limiting our expression on campus,” said club president Ruth Lobo, a Human Rights Major.  “The definition of discrimination is differential treatment and that is what Lifeline is receiving.”

The university is no stranger to graphic images.  In the past month, Holocaust imagery was displayed as part of an Awareness Campaign. Further, Animal Rights activists have also been seen on campus multiple times erecting large, graphic displays in the busiest parts of campus showing slaughtered animals with slogans such as “SHAME ON YOU.” Neither of these events were surrounded by warning signs or held in ‘restricted’ areas.

These campaigns did not result in non-academic misconduct threats or arrest-threats like the anti-abortion signs did.  Arrest threats turned into actual arrests on October 4 when those same Carleton students were arrested for attempting to display the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) in the quad of the University. While GAP is a stationary exhibit consisting of 4×8-foot signs comparing abortion to the Holocaust, the most recent activity of Carleton Lifeline didn’t require a space booking and involved hand-held signs showing aborted fetuses with the word “Choice?”

James Shaw, Vice-President of Lifeline, questioned the University’s conduct asking, “Are students now being required to book standing space on campus? The University is taking a ‘Big Brother’ approach in their relationship with Lifeline. Frankly, we find this behavior more akin to 1984 than to the 21st Century.”


The following timeline summarizes the club’s 2-month-long controversy:


Oct. 4: Four Carleton students arrested for attempting to display the Genocide Awareness Project


Oct. 27: Carleton Lifeline begins a hand-held, mobile project called “Choice” Chain. View video: http://www.carletonlifeline.wordpress.com


Nov. 11: Carleton Lifeline receives official notice of revoked club status from the Student Association (CUSA)


Nov. 12: Carleton Lifeline has a closed meeting with Carleton Administration


Nov. 15: Carleton Lifeline Legal Counsel responds to Student Association


Nov. 18: Carleton Lifeline receives official “Exhibit Zone” Proposal and threatening letter from Carleton Administration


Nov. 19: Carleton Lifeline pursues internal appeal processes with Student Association as well as a judicial review.


Nov. 29: Carleton Lifeline told by Student Association that Legal Counsel cannot represent them at internal appeal meeting.


Nov. 29: Carleton Lifeline Legal Counsel responds to threatening letter from Carleton Administration


For further information, contact Carleton Lifeline at (613) 600-4791, or Carleton Lifeline’s Legal Counsel, Albertos Polizogopoulos at (613) 241-2701.



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University of Toronto Students for Life: Choice: Carleton-style

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Unfortunately, this is not surprising. If you followed the news that Blaise posted on Friday regarding Carleton Lifeline’s correspondence with the University you may already know that Carleton University decertified the pro-life group. The National Post ran a story Monday on this shameful action by the University:

The student association at Carleton University has decided that any club that is opposed to abortion has no place on campus and would have its funding as a student club cut off.

On Monday, Carleton Lifeline, an anti-abortion group, was told by CUSA, the Carleton University Student Association, that it was in violation of CUSA’s anti-discrimination policy.

Isn’t Carleton Lifeline being discriminated against for their belief in equal rights for unborn children?
Therefore, because of CUSA’s commitment to choice, Carleton Lifeline can no longer promote activities on campus or even lobby in any way that would go against a pro-choice position.
The president of Carleton Lifeline, Ruth Lobo, had a good response to the position of CUSA:
It is ironic that they support choice and do not see that they not having an abortion is a choice,
CUSA does a wonderful gesture, however, and gives Careleton Lifeline a saving grace (sarcasm off):
We invite you to amend your constitution to create one that respects our anti-discrimination policy as laid out above. If you are able to resubmit a constitution that meets our criteria by Thursday, November 18th we will be able to certify your club for this semester
So….how will this work? Either unborn children have human rights that need to be respected or they do not. A pro-life group cannot say in one breath that the unborn are human and are worthy of the right to life and then say “but if you really want an abortion you can go ahead”. I think actual choice and free speech are foreign concepts when it comes to the CUSA.

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

The ‘B’ word: Does being pro-life make us bigots?

By Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director

“You’re a religious bigot!”

The accusation caught me by surprise.  I was with the University of Toronto Students for Life at their abortion protest and the pro-choicers had mobilized a counter protest. (see yesterday’s blog post for more details) The man in front of me was in his late 30s or maybe even in his 40s, with a Planned Parenthood t-shirt, a handful of pamphlets called “10 LIES that ANTI CHOICE groups are telling you about abortion,” and a bag of pro-choice buttons.

I wish I had the conversation – if I can call it that – on tape, because it was an interesting one.

“What does ‘choice’ mean?” I had asked.  “Shouldn’t our choices be limited if they result in the death of an innocent human being?”

And then came the ‘B word’.

“But you’re pre-judging me,” I protested, “I haven’t mentioned religion* at all.  Why are you assuming all these things before you even listen to what you have to say?”

But the “conversation” was over apparently, and he walked away from me.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of a bigot is:

“a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

These are serious allegations and since I was not given an opportunity to respond to them at the protest, I would now like to clear my name.

Yes, I am devoted to the pro-life position.  However:

  • Although I was raised by pro-life parents, I did my own research to form my opinion.  You see, my parents and my teachers always encouraged me to conduct research when forming an opinion.  So I read articles and books.  I investigated fetal development and considered pictures of abortions.  And I thought carefully.
  • I have not shied away from dissenting opinions and sources of information.  For example, I attempted to speak with the pro-choicers at the protest.  In fact, I gladly speak to any pro-choicer who is interested in discussing abortion.  (Please note that when I say “I will speak”, this includes also listening to whomever I’m speaking with.)  I took feminist theory classes in university.  I read pro-choice blogs and articles regularly.

No, I do not treat “members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”  Nor do I treat pro-choicers and/or men and women who have had or been involved with an abortion with hatred and intolerance.  Trying to have dialogue is not hatred nor is it intolerance.  Telling women they deserve better than abortion is not hatred nor is it intolerance.

So no, I am not a bigot.  And please do me the courtesy of listening before you label me as such.



*Interestingly, the only person I heard mention religion was one pro-choice woman who had the microphone.  She told us she was Catholic and that the Bible says “do not judge.”  One pro-life student turned to me and remarked, “Doesn’t the Bible also say something along the lines of ‘thou shalt not murder’?”  And if she’s going to bring up judging, perhaps she and her friends should take note of that and not call us names without first listening to what we have to say.

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Imagine listening to this all day…

By Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director

I’m not very familiar with the campus at the University of Toronto, but I had no trouble finding what I was looking for yesterday.  I don’t think anyone within a 2 block radius could have missed the ruckus that was the street corner in front of the library at the U of T.

University of Toronto Students for Life were there, peacefully holding signs, handing out pamphlets on the pro-life position, engaging people in dialogue on the issue of abortion.









Pro-choicers were there too.  With large banners they tried to block the pro-life signs.  They handed out brochures entitled “10 LIES that ANTI CHOICE groups are telling you about abortion.”  They called the pro-lifers names.  And, with a megaphone, they chanted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  I’m quite familiar with their chants and am always surprised by the fact that, despite decades and decades of chanting, they still resort to the same old ‘classics’.

“NOT THE CHURCH, NOT THE STATE.  WOMEN MUST DECIDE THEIR FATE,” they yelled, making it hard to hear above the din.  If they really believed that women should decide their fate, they shouldn’t have a problem with women discussing the issue.  Nor should they have a problem with the many female pro-life students making their views on abortion known.

“GET YOUR ROSARIES OFF OUR OVARIES!”  they yelled, apparently not noticing that the club is non-religious, that the club members never appealed to religion, and that there wasn’t a rosary in sight.

“HEY HEY MISTA MISTA!  GET YOUR LAWS OFF MY SISTA!”  they chanted.  One pro-life student turned to me and posed an apt question: “What laws are they talking about?  Last time I checked, Canada had no abortion laws.”

Sadly most of the pro-choicers refused to talk with the students about abortion.  “I’m not talking to you about this!” was heard over and over again.  And when they barged into conversations between pro-lifers and students passing by, the pro-choicers made unfounded allegations (apparently we’re in league with firebombing an abortion clinic?!) and refused to listen to anything the pro-life students had to say.

Fortunately, many other students were willing to talk, and had good discussions with the club members on the issue of abortion. Many weren’t interested in talking or were off to a class, but walked away holding a brochure which outlines and defends the pro-life position on abortion.  Countless others had to at least consider the issue, as they walked past.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how loud the opposition is.  Because    at the end of the day, you can’t drown out the truth.

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