Monday, February 08, 2010

Institutional Censorship of the Pro-Abortion Movement

Banning anti-abortion groups violates civil liberties

Across Canada, anti-abortion groups on various University campuses have been under fire.

Where pro-abortion groups fail and students' unions decline to run pro-abortion groups off campus, they settle for simply disrupting any events they disagree with.

In the latter case, it's censorship by deeply-institutionalized means.

Fortunately, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is prepared to take a stand on the matter, they're preparing to intervene in a case involving the University of Victoria Student Society and an anti-abortion group by the name of Youth Protecting Youth.

The argument is that anti-abortion activism "inherently discriminates" against women.

It shouldn't be thought that the BCCLA necessarily agrees with Youth Protecting Youth -- they merely believe that their freedom of expression should be protected.

"We're pro-choice nuts over at the civil liberties association," explained BCCLA spokesman John Dixon. "We would like to persuade the university students society to relent -- that's the course we're pursuing for now."

"This is a public institution and an organ of the government of British Columbia. Students are forced to pay fees to fund the Students Society."

It's on that note that the members of Youth Protecting Youth pay funds to an organization that has acted to deny them the freedom to express themselves because pro-abortion busybodies like Joyce Arthur -- who is representing pro-abortion group Students for Choice in this matter -- believe that expression "inherently" oppresses them.

Dixon insists that the U Vic Students' Society is wrong to attempt to censor the group. He quite rightly notes that silencing Youth Protecting Youth doesn't in any way settle the abortion issue.

"They can't punish, denounce, discipline a group who, in a very civil way ... try to persuade people not to have abortions. It isn't as though the entire Western world has settled all these bioethical questions about the beginning of life and end of life -- they're live issues."

Barry Cooper has often theorized about what he calls the "embedded state". He describes the embedded state as politicized institutions that operate for the preservation of its own powers, often in support of partisan or ideological interests.

The behaviour of the students unions that rush to run anti-abortion groups off their campuses demonstrate that the embedded state is alive and well on university campuses across Canada.

These organizations have given themselves the power to censor student groups on their campus in direct contravention of civil liberties. It's entirely understandable that zealots like Joyce Arthur either do not understand this or simply don't care.

Fortunately, the BCCLA seems to be prepared to stand up to these organizations -- at least within the province of BC. The time is long overdue that civil liberties groups in other provinces take a similar stand.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post. Free Speech has been under attack for years. On campuses groups in opposition to the allowed "consensus" view are being shut down through various means.
    Defunding, revoking their ability to form groups of campus, space to publicize their view etc.
    The problem is the majority of student leaders, administration at the campus are sitting on the sidelines and allowing this to take place on a national level.


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