On Campus

Denying anti-abortionists club status hurts free speech?

Liberties groups says issues around abortion need further debate, not censorship

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has weighed in on the controversial debate surrounding the rights of anti-abortion clubs on university campuses.

In a letter, sent last week to the Canadian Federation of Students, the CCLA says denying campus-club status to anti-abortion groups infringes on freedom of speech and is objecting to a resolution supporting student unions that deny the groups funding and office space.

“We decided to weigh in on this, a rather disquieting development in the university environment, which is supposed to encourage debate,” says CCLA general counsel Alan Borovoy.

In their letter, the CCLA asks: “What is there about these anti-abortion groups that warrant such special denigration?” saying that the issue needs further debate, not censorship.

In the Globe, CFS spokesman Joel Duff says the resolution, which was adopted by federation delegates a year ago, lends “moral support” to student unions who are opposed to funding anti-abortion groups. He also points out that the student unions’ opposition to financing was upheld last fall by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.