Right to speak?

7 Feb

Clearly I’m a pro-choicer – if you haven’t gotten that by now, you haven’t been reading this blog. I have to say, though, that I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions – I mean, that’s one of the guiding principles of the pro-choice movement. You can perhaps understand my mixed emotions, therefore, when I read that Carleton University banned anti-choice clubs. It should be noted immediately that this is not the first school to ban anti-choice clubs, but for some reason (perhaps because of the heated political wars going on), it’s getting a fair amount of press.

In case you’re wondering if this is just another one of those media attempts to blow everything out of proportion, here’s the language:

The Carleton anti-abortion club was told their constitution conflicts with the association’s discrimination on campus policy. That policy reads: “any campaign, distribution, solicitation, lobbying effort, display, event etc. that seeks to limit or remove a woman’s right to choose her options in the case of pregnancy will not be supported.”

I can’t lie – language like that makes me incredibly happy. It makes me wish I lived in Canada. The problem I have with it is that it isn’t fair. As I said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, even if I don’t agree with them. It does bring in elements of freedom of speech, which, granted, is an American law and this is happening in Canada.

That being said, here’s where my mixed emotions come into play. How many times have anti-choice groups taunted/hurt/abused/ridiculed/SHOT people who dare to disagree with their beliefs? These club members may not be violent, but you have to admit that there’s a bonafide reason for this ban. Not only that, I have personally dealt with a conservative college administration who would allow all sorts of anti-choice rhetoric, but would not allow a women’s rights group to conduct all of the activities of V-Day, stating that some of them were “lewd” – which was bullshit.

I don’t know how I feel about this. Part of me feels justified, part of me feels ashamed for thinking that. What are your thoughts on the ban?

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