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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Campus Pro-Life

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Author Topic: Campus Pro-Life
Bun Bun
Member # 37353

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Campus Pro-Life, a group that has recently had their club status revoked at the University of Calgary, have once again set up a display smack in the middle of the pathway between most of the buildings. So everyday I walk to my first class in the morning now, I get to look at disgusting pictures that are obviously fabricated, or just horribly misleading. The display compares abortion to genocide, contrasting pictures of slaughtered children in Rwanda with "aborted" (read: obviously fake, or stillborn) fetuses. One of the ones that caught my eye (unfortunately) read:

Religious Choice
Racial Choice
Reproductive Choice

With a pictures of the holocaust, a lynching of a black man, and two tiny arms around a coin, respectively. Huh.

Unfortunately, despite many requests by the university for the protests to pack up and go, they're persisting. Legal action has apparently been taken, but I don't see much happening.

Part of the problem, I think, is that a lot will argue that this is free speech. But where do we draw the line? I'm fine with a pro-life protest- but showing 7ft high banners of what is just plain gore in my face? Isn't that taking it a bit too far?

I know this isn't really a new problem- Heck, my mom was telling me about protests they had in the 80s that were basically the same thing at other universities.

What are your thoughts on this?

(If you need more information, I'd be more than happy to look up some news stories [Smile] )

Posts: 206 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I gotta say, I will never get over the fact that it is ALWAYS white, non-jewish people I see comparing abortion to racist violence or the Holocaust. It just never freaking fails.

There is a point at which freedom of speech can become either harassment or fraud. In other words, someone's right to speak freely (which is only the case for public spaces, so if the school is private, they won't have the same rights) and demonstrate freely doesn't supercede the right to safety, nor does it absolve someone of responsibility, legal and otherwise, to be truthful.

Did you want to take any action around this? I'd be happy to help you be creative and think of some good ones.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bun Bun
Member # 37353

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I'd love to take action if I just had the time. Between balancing my three sciences courses (with three labs a week), and a humanites course that is just over my head- I wouldn't have the time. It's frustrating too since I live an hour or so away by train/bus from campus, it gives me even less time to partake in anything really.

The protest was gone today, however, when I got to school.

Yesterday though, Campus Pro-Choice were out protesting on the other side of the hill. I didn't get to see much of what they were saying, but they had set up a "pro-choice village" with a bunch of tents and signs. They also drew chalk drawings on the paths that were still left over today. My favourite? A drawing of Spock saying "Pro-choice is only logical". Also, there was "The money you spent on posters could have been spent on sex ed".

I just get so frustrated that I can't do anything!

Posts: 206 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 38698

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Unfortunately, there is not a lot of legal recourse here. Political speech is the most carefully-protected kind, exactly because it can be the most inflammatory and controversial. As much as I detest what these people are doing (I go to a public university and have seen them on occasion, with their 10-foot gore posters), and as much as I would like to see someone debunking their lies in the booth next-door, I think it's important to remember that the purpose of free speech is to protect the statements we hate most, not just the ones we want to hear. As long as they're on public property and following the time/place/manner rules in that jurisdiction, they aren't doing anything legally wrong.
Posts: 96 | From: West Coast USA | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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