The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Miller: Pro-life groups told to shut up
The Canadian Federation of Students is supporting York University's York Federation of Students' decision to block club status for pro-life groups. With most students out for the Summer, the YFS has managed to make life harder for pro-life student groups and clubs. The rationale? Pro-life groups are "anti-choice" and sexist.
Johanna Miller, President of the National Campus Life Network--a national pro-life organization--sums up the feelings of many in her opinion piece entitled "Pro-life groups told to shut up."
"The time has come for Canadians to awaken to the reality of totalitarianism in our midst. Ironically, the CFS claims to represent students of differing ethnicities, creeds, ages, and sex; however, it has taken a stance contrary to tolerance and inclusivity. This recent decision demonstrates that the CFS has adopted a dogma of dictatorship. The Federation has employed rhetoric to defame pro-life students as “anti-choice,” and has made a sweeping motion at a time when students are not at school. This lack of transparency, and obvious restriction of the right to choose to be actively pro-life, is startling and unjust."
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You ripped your graphic off of the BC anti-gag law site:
Posted by: joe bleau | 2008-05-31 2:28:50 AM
Funny ad. Question: Will the York Federation of Students know what the KGB is?
Posted by: Andrea Mrozek | 2008-05-31 7:56:30 AM
Once again we see how those with feeble arguments use brute force to control other's lives.
A classic case of argumentum ad baculum--Argument by the barrel of a gun.
CFS's behaviour is a reflection the Canadian univeristy's inability to teach students--how to think correctly.
Our nation is in serious trouble when these folks grown up to become politicans and judges.
Posted by: bob | 2008-05-31 8:01:09 AM
I wouldn't worry about it, Bob. The amount of intellectual rigour required of a judge pretty much precludes these narcissistic moonbats. That still leaves politicians, but then you at least have to be personable to be elected. These radicals have neither wit nor charm. They'll probably end up as nurses or teachers.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-31 8:59:12 AM
"They'll probably end up as nurses or teachers."
Unfortunately Shane, when your kids are a bit older you'll run smack into both. I've been fortunate to have stayed out of prison after dealing with the public school system. Well, its over this year. My kids have decided to pursue careers in business, and/or technical studies.
Posted by: dp | 2008-05-31 11:23:40 AM
Actually, DP, the secret to dealing with teachers and nurses is the same as dealing with women in general. Threaten violence, and you risk them running to tell daddy (so much for equality). The secret is to learn to take them apart with your tongue. Polite but firm. Accept no excuses, which are the tools of the weak and incompetent (tell them that, too). They'll still resent you, but at least they won't have grounds to withdraw from the interview or initiate a witch hunt--er, legal action.
Sounds like your kids have picked good careers that will stand them in good stead even as the manufacturing jobs dry up. Looks like you did something right. :-)
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-31 11:39:57 AM
I've renamed York university to Gulag university.
Posted by: winston | 2008-05-31 11:44:29 AM
How about Stalingrad University? Hey, I know--let's call this movement on our campuses the "Cultural Revolution." And the deaths of all the unborn we can call the "Great Leap Forward."
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-31 5:36:45 PM
Shane- love the way you use an indiscrimminate brush to tar everyone in sight. Please get a life.
Posted by: DML | 2008-05-31 7:48:14 PM
DML - Love the way you don't even discuss the topic. Contribute or get thee hence.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-31 11:40:12 PM
But if more women were allowed to hear the truth about abortion's potential psychological & physical risks, and the actual development of their "blob of cells" they'd be able to make an INFORMED CHOICE!
We can't let that happen. The truth might hurt our pretty little heads. Thinking is hard for us girls! Thanks, CFS & YFS!
Posted by: Jenny Webb | 2008-06-01 9:48:36 PM
I think it's time Canadians saw Abortion in this country for what it really is, government sponsored genocide and those who support this crime for what they really are, child murdering, hate mongering criminals.
That's my opinion though.
Posted by: blanks | 2008-06-02 2:38:53 PM
But we like to be controlled. I say let them control us. We Canadians are too dumb to have freedoms anyway.
Posted by: Tom | 2008-06-02 3:29:34 PM
Andrea: Funny ad. Question: Will the York Federation of Students know what the KGB is?
The sad thing is that even if they knew, they would take it as a compliment. What? You haven’t seen the amount of Che Guevara or CCCP T-Shirts that people wear on campus?
Actually, the funny thing is that the VP of the York Federation of Students is a head scarf wearing Muslim woman!!!
How her stance and religion go together is beyond me.
Posted by: Richard | 2008-06-03 7:46:49 AM
Now, in order to be an anti-abortion club on campus, you'll need to convert to Islam and promote the imposition of Shari'a Law.
-- Then you'll be "multicultural" and, ipso-facto, anti-American, and so worthy of having as much funding thrown at you as can be reasonably gotten away with.
Posted by: Mike18xx | 2008-06-04 3:00:20 PM
And, what is your fantasy requirement for the ‘I Choose Life' club?
Posted by: set you free | 2008-06-04 7:52:28 PM
1. in favor of a proposition, opinion, etc.
2. a proponent of an issue; a person who upholds the affirmative in a debate.
3. an argument, consideration, vote, etc., for something.
1. The act of choosing; selection.
2. The power, right, or liberty to choose; option.
3. One that is chosen.
4. A number or variety from which to choose: a wide choice of styles and colors.
5. The best or most preferable part.
6. Care in choosing.
7. An alternative.
looks to me like pro-choice is actually in favour of free speech. i myself am pro life, but i'm also pro choice because i'm not here to make decisions for other women.
i highly doubt anyone here has read either the CFS or the YFS policy because you have it all wrong. there is no ban on anything. the yfs does not have the power to ban groups on campus. pro life groups can exist on campus and will likely receive funding- its the anti-choice groups that compare women who choose to have abortions to nazis who will NOT receive funding. the motion that passed at the national meeting for CFS was simply that if a campus chooses to take a pro-choice stance, and if a campus chooses to deny anti-choice groups funding on campus, the CFS supports them.
for people who talk about using their brains, you folks don't really read much. put down the newspapers and actually read the policies before you begin to make judgements. debates on campus are wholly encouraged, as long as women are not being demonized. i think its fair to ask not to be compared to nazis when having a debate on an issue and actually argue facts or whatever.
Posted by: student | 2008-06-04 11:05:10 PM
"for people who talk about using their brains, you folks don't really read much. put down the newspapers and actually read the policies before you begin to make judgements. debates on campus are wholly encouraged, as long as women are not being demonized. i think its fair to ask not to be compared to nazis when having a debate on an issue and actually argue facts or whatever."
Women are not being demonized.
Are women who have children demonized? No.
Are women who never get pregnant demonized? No.
You seem to be having difficulty understanding the difference between "women" and "women who have abortions".
Your attempts at turning this into a gender are easily recognizeable. Falsely implying sexism is no different than falsely calling someone a nazi.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-06-05 5:30:06 AM
I think everyone supports the right of free expression of both perspectives.
However, having seen one such "pro-life" demonstration, I found their methods offensive and intrusive.
It's all a matter of how it is done, in my opinion, and some of these groups are so extreme that they are offensive even to people with pro-life views because they give the movement a bad name.
It is not about the particular message, but the delivery. Also, I can't imagine that they accomplish anything with these offensive demonstrations, except to alienate people. I would think supporters of the movement would be concerned about these extremists who appear threaten the whole movement.
People are free not to listen, and apparently some are making that choice.
Posted by: granny | 2008-06-11 5:58:09 PM
The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), by its recent decision to deny funding to any student club which opposes or criticizes abortion, has demonstrated that the CFS itself deserves to be labelled as an anti-choice group, and therefore should be denied any funding.
Obviously it is not interested in or dedicated to researching, lobbying, and action for the benefit and advancement of student rights and the interest of the community.
By its own decree, it has demonstrated a gross intolerance regarding the right of any and all students to profess a belief in anything not sanctioned by that radical student federation.
Maybe those student "leader-wannabes" should consider spending more time attending and participating in classes, instead of professing their intolerance and ignorance as CSF officials.
Posted by: Dave Olejnik | 2008-06-17 6:03:34 PM
"Strange days indeed." (John Lennon)
Posted by: Linda Macdonald | 2008-06-18 9:27:46 AM
It seems so hypocritical for the so-called "pro-choice" group to call the "pro-lifers" as being"anti-choice". If anyone's anti-choice, it's really the pro-abortionists. No choice for the baby, no choice for the father, no choice for the grandparents and sometimes not even for the mother (who is often deceived about what is really happening).
Posted by: Susan | 2008-06-27 6:24:16 PM
It seems society continues to be mere puppets of the media. After reading thru everybody's comments - it seems we are re-inventing the exact same problem we are having with the interpretation btw pro-life and anti-choice in the first place. "Set you free" actually pointed out something critical. Before one should opinionate on any issue and to come up with a fair judgement, one needs to hear both sides of the story.
Prior to this CFS motion and even now, pro-choice campaigns no where explicitly mentions that abortion is wrong. What it does advocate is the need to recognise that individuals have the right to choose over their bodies. If u pose the argument of ethically wrong - then what about people who make the decision to change major parts of their body? Or what about the institution heads' decision on who gets the death penalty?? Both of these are indépendant abilites to implement choices into actions. So what makes this any different from women choosing over their own body or for the way they would like to lead their life??
For such a motion to be passed on campuses to limit access to anti-choice grps is for the very reason they are labelled "anti-choice". Pro life advocates ask that abortion not be done in order to save the unborn child. Anti-choice is a sub-grp of that idea that takes it to another level of extremism that focuses on the women and directly intrudes women's freedom of space and reason to choose. Most anti-choice campaigns are aggresive in nature and IMMEDIATELY intimidates and attack women spaces by posting screaming obscenities in their face. Victims of these are left to feel uncomfortable and violated. That to my mind is an assault - an assault of the psychology. That's where orgs like CFS come in to protect the vulnerable.
And my final comment refers to the statement made about the Muslim YFS VP. Fyi - Islam supports the protection of women w reasonable circumstances. Lets know our facts straight guys before we make judgments on others or point fingers. And besides, its not upto us to be preaching on other's faith.
Rest i leave it to you.
Posted by: Tania Hassan | 2008-06-28 10:37:12 AM
Well said Tania,
I have had the pleasure of being involved with these discussions at CFS and feel that such a choice to declare ourselves (CFS) as a 'pro-choice organization' is definately a risky one. I am loving the lengthy discussion that is taking place on this blog, so much that I am willing to have this discussion take place on my campus in the future. As a student leader, I feel that we should spend more time providing the discussion space for students to engage in this discussion (similar to whats going on in this blog) instead of shutting the door on a students ability to chose whether or not they fall on the pro- or no- choice side of things.
With regards to the decision to limit funding and space allowed to pro-life groups on campus, this in itself is not something that I could feel comfortable about mostly because members of these groups are also members of our student unions. to control the content on posting material is one thing, but when we blatantly say that Pro Life Groups are not allowed space-money-status, we are sending a strong message that those who disagree with us are not welcome (whether or not this is the actual message that we are trying to send).
In the end, we as student leaders should try to rid ourselves of making such powerful decisions on personal opinions (especially when discussing hot topics like this). We should be more encouraging of such discussions happening by providing the discussion space. We should be spending more time on 'anti-hate' policy (to address what is posted by ANY group, and not just pro-lifers) instead of discouraging any student from forming a group or expressing an opinion. Lastly, we should remember that we are here to serve the students - not to make ethical choices for them.
I understand the point, but maybe the ban on groups was not the best of ideas.
Posted by: Paul Brown | 2008-06-28 3:44:37 PM
"Most anti-choice campaigns are aggresive in nature and IMMEDIATELY intimidates and attack women spaces by posting screaming obscenities in their face. Victims of these are left to feel uncomfortable and violated. That to my mind is an assault."
If someone is screaming obscenities in your face, they're already breaking the law. Who cares if they're anti-choice or not? Call the police on them.
I've been present when a group of atheists screamed obscenities in the faces of members of a Christian evangelical group. Should atheist organizations be banned from campus next?
"What it does advocate is the need to recognise that individuals have the right to choose over their bodies. If u pose the argument of ethically wrong - then what about people who make the decision to change major parts of their body?"
I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. Are you saying that it is wrong to pronounce moral judgment on the choices of others? Why not? If the person making the judgment has a good argument behind him, then am I not served by hearing that argument? And if he has no argument at all, then why does his unsupported moral judgment do me any harm?
Either way, why crush free speech? Why limit debate?
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-28 4:01:55 PM
Tania, the focus of your argument is the inviolable right of a woman to control her body. However, in this case she's not controlling her body, but another's. It's not merely an appendage that magically becomes human when you cut the umbilical cord. That is why this argument doesn't fly.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-06-28 7:24:03 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. Once again, it has been proved that we all have our opinions and this is the VERY fundamental reasoning of 'rights' to both sides of the argument. The next obvious qs then arises is, "whose right is more of a priority over the other?". And such is the fun of the rights and freedom code...
Whilst protecting the right of one, it is common to trespass on the other. I see logic to both sides. Terrance and Shane: you bring forth very key valid points. In this world of mix, is it not natural that we are cultivated to the different opinions? We are.
Shane - i see your point of pro life. However, what happens in extreme circumstances? Such as the victim of a rape? Or what if that woman simply cannot afford the reality of having that kid for whatever reason? Folks, if we really think hard about it, we each have arrived at crossroads in our own lives that have also been hard on/for us.
My arguments above are not necessarily choices that i would make or not make. I am just posing a wider picture of what is happening. Which brings back to what Paul very well suggested about open discussions.
Lastly, Shane - a good solution is always one that sustains, and promote positive actions to prevent. Calling the police is just a reaction, aka "quick-fix". However, i do like the focus of anti-hate groups. Coz that is the exact culture that anti-choice groups are fostering towards women who decide to choose.
Posted by: Tania Hassan | 2008-06-28 9:50:05 PM
1. The baby's rights take priority. The baby's right to life supersedes the woman's right to wear a bikini without embarrassment. Ultimately the entire responsibility for the pregnancy rests with the woman, assuming she had a choice in the matter. "But," I can hear you protesting, "it takes two to tango!" Absolutely--and if the father had any rights to balance his responsibilities in the matter, I would agree. But so long as all the rights reside with the mother, so do all the responsibilities. Sucks to be in charge.
2. I have covered elsewhere the case of rape. Your chances of becoming pregnant via rape are only slightly higher than getting struck by lightning. I'm afraid it's too rare an event to be a factor in general policy. Most unplanned pregnancies are the result of sloppy discipline. As for expenses, don't kid yourself. There are so many adoption agencies and childless couples out there that expenses don't have to be a problem, especially in Canada where health care is free.
3. I'm not sure I understand your point about "positive actions to prevent" and "anti-hate groups." I do know that few good solutions involve flushing inconvenient humans down the toilet. Pregnancy is completely preventable, and adoption agencies are crying for children. Yet a million abortions were performed in the U.S. last year, largely because of an outdated feminist mindset that the right to get your uterus vacuumed out is the key to women's emancipation.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-06-29 10:06:57 AM
Patricia - I think that what you are saying is a complete assumption. Everyone's situation is different. I had a family member who found out she had cancer while she was pregnant. Abortion was an option- she didn't do it. She died. The child is alive, but has no mother and a father who works all the time and leaves his child living an unstable life.
In terms of the CFS and YFS - Organizations can decide how to allocate their resources. Just like how organizations and companies we interact with on an everyday basis choose to allocate their resources. Sometimes it is toward unethical causes such as war, etc.
Does anyone here lobby those groups? Does anyone spend their time writing about and criticizing those companies?
There is no attack on free speech by the YFS. A lack of funding does not trump speech. The YFS has no control over space- the admin does.
If anything, it's the bureaucracy that exists that limits free speech like wait times to book space and approval of materials (which is completely arbitrary) to hand out while tabling.
Students were recently penalized for having a demonstration on campus in a space that they did not ask for permission to use (which would have been denied anyway). This space was created for the very purpose of having demonstrations.
Posted by: student | 2008-07-05 9:21:35 AM
You people still exist ? Where are you hiding, out west ? I am from Québec and I lived a couple of years in Ottawa and your views on abortion are dated. Women at Carleton University blocked anti-choice (do not even try to call yourself pro-life) groups from receiving subsidies from other students, so it was definitely not a paternalistic move. Personally, I think those groups should have the right to talk about what they believed in as long as pro-choice groups are there to counterbalance what they are preaching. If university students consider that abortion is something that is good for them, then I don't see why CFS should not be able to accept that its members are putting barriers to those anti-choice groups. It is their prerogative. Plus, those groups usually receive money from churches and other backwards source of funding, so they truly don't need my student money.
Some of the comments I've read made me sad and angry. As a woman, I have the right to use my body in any way I want to. Plus, as a law student, I felt that you should benefit from reading the Morgentaler, Dobson, etc.. cases that were decided by the Supreme Court of this country to fully understand what the reproductive rights of women are. IF you do choose as a woman not to exercise them, then good for you, but if your friend ever needs to, I do hope you'll be there with her. Finally, it is not genocide, please read about genocide and what has happened through the centuries before repeating words that you don't actually understand.
PS : Do stay out west in Alberta, that kind of opinion is not needed in Québec or Canada, thanks!
Posted by: Karine | 2008-11-09 10:05:39 AM
Well it's nice to see Ontario's reputation for intolerance, fascism and bigotry remain intact. You stay in Ontario among your rich white people and oppress non-whites, like you were in Apartheid South Africa.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-11-09 10:53:49 AM
"As a woman, I have the right to use my body in any way I want to."
Posted by: Karine | 9-Nov-08 10:05:39 AM
Hmmm, so you are saying its' only because you are a 'woman' that you can use your body as you see fit, and that should be enough to super-cede all other aspects to this discussion, eh?
How original, and compelling...makes feel so second class I wasn't born an all and powerful woman, deciding the fate of my those blobs in my womb :(
Posted by: prairie dog | 2008-11-09 11:47:44 AM
Karine wrote: “1. You people still exist ? Where are you hiding, out west ? I am from Québec and I lived a couple of years in Ottawa and your views on abortion are dated.”
1. Big surprise there. Quebec hasn’t been grounded in reality since the Quiet Revolution. It is one enclave in North America that has truly not moved past the Sixties. It seems that French Canadian society does not evolve steadily, but leaps ahead in enormous bounds after prolonged periods of stagnation (e.g., the “Great Darkness”). You’re the perfect example. You’re responding to a thread that’s six months old.
2. I will call myself what I wish, and furthermore, will call YOU what I wish. You and your ilk butcher 110,000 unborns every year in this country—one for every three live births—and have the unspeakable gall to call it “choice.” That could compete handily with Hitler’s “Final Solution” as the most ghoulishly euphemistic phrase of the century.
3. No one cares what you think, on the rare occasions you can be said to think at all. Any group may speak anywhere, at any time, subject to laws and the rights of others, without a “counterbalance” there to act as a chaperone. If you want to counterbalance them, that’s your right, but they are not muzzled until you decide to put in an appearance.
4. What university students consider good for them is irrelevant. What funding these groups may or may not receive from private groups is irrelevant, totally unproven, and frankly none of your fucking business. Students receive private bursaries all the time, along with enormous government subsidies and loans (which they often neglect to pay back). The law is the law. Either you are against discrimination or you are not. There is no grey area. If gays cannot be discriminated against, then neither can pro-lifers. Ever. For any reason. Unless they break the law.
5. We don’t care that you’re sad and angry. Your feelings are unimportant, your feelings make me sick, your feelings are nothing but rancid little piles of dogshit in the gutter. Policy is not to be based on feelings. Not for any reason. Ever.
6. So only women have the right to use their bodies the way that they want to? Men don’t? Consider your answer carefully. Then consider, O female law student who knows so much better than we unwashed corncobbed Westerners, that the fetus has its own body and YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO USE T H A T BODY THE WAY YOU WANT TO. You do not own that body. Because such a situation would constitute SLAVERY. Law student.
7. Medical emergencies excepted, abortion is NEVER “needed.” Pregnancy is not a disease.
8. 110,000 fatalities in Canada a year, over 1.1 million per year in the United States. That means feminists surpassed Hitler’s record in just five years. And this has been going on for nearly FORTY years. Spare us your snotty insults and your pathetic attempts to sound more knowledgeable and important than you are. If that doesn’t qualify as genocide, then the word has no meaning.
9. Canada is my country and I’ll go where I like in it, you petulant little skank.
P.S. It's true what they say about honey and vinegar, you know. Or, if you prefer a more classical example, about reaping what you sow.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-09 1:12:03 PM
Strangely, Ontarians are consistent with their views on baby murder. They allow for abortion AND let kids be gunned down on their streets with no remorse - except of course if they're white. Still, I say that Ontarians should keep to themselves from now on. They're a menace.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-11-09 1:21:37 PM
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