Life Link holds private meeting after University of Fraser Valley shuts down pro-life event
ABBOTSFORD, B.C., April 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) did not allow a pre-approved pro-life event to proceed on campus yesterday, it did give Life Link a room in the student services building to hold a private meeting.
“I’m saddened that we couldn’t promote a healthy discussion on campus because our event was terminated,” Ashley Bulthuis, president of UFV Life Link, told LifeSiteNews.com.
Mike Schouten, who was to speak at the school-wide event yesterday, decided to give his presentation to the roughly 13 people present at the by-invitation-only event.
The Life Link event, which had been approved by the university on March 20, was to raise awareness about protecting the pre-born through legislation, with a focus on protecting those targeted for abortion because of being female.
During his presentation, Schouten, who is with the group “We Need a Law,” made the case that unborn children should be offered legal protection, discussing in particular gendercide and late-term abortion in Canada.
“Much of the conversation was focused on why abortion is unjustifiably killing a member of the human family,” said Schouten to LifeSiteNews.com.
On Friday, Jill Harrison, Manager of UFV’s Student Life, informed Life Link that their event would be cancelled due to “security issues” and the “lack of a risk management plan,” as reported by LifeSiteNews earlier this week.
“With our knowledge of potential protesters and the advertising of your event on the WeNeedALaw website, we feel the potential for conflict is high,” Harrison wrote in an e-mail to the group.
Schouten said that when he arrived at UFV yesterday for his presentation, he did not see any signs of opposition or protest, although he did notice that there appeared to be a significant number of security guards on patrol.
He told attendees at the meeting not to be discouraged when they encountered opposition to their message.
“There’s going to be opposition, but we can’t just go home and say, ‘You don’t want to hear our message, so we’re not going to bring it here,’” he said.
Life Link had threatened legal action against UFV if it did not rescind its decision to cancel the event.
But Ashley Bulthuis, president of UFV Life Link, told LifeSiteNews that Life Link will forego pursuing legal action if the university allows the same event which has already been planned for next semester to go forward.
“With regards to legal action, we know that if we get censored again in September when we’ve been promised that we can do the event, then that will definitely be our next step,” Ashley said.
Despite having set in motion plans for a future event, Bulthuis worries that university administration will force her group to dilute its strong pro-life message.
In the e-mail to Life Like on Friday, Harrison had proposed that the group plan a future event, but with the university’s “institutional partners” so as to “create an event that provides a balanced view of the issue at hand”.
“I don’t know how many times that happens with other groups”, said Bulthuis. “I think that it’s just because of our topic that [they are demanding] another side has to be present”.
Bulthuis is hopeful that the planned future event will be a success, despite the university’s proposal to influence the event.
“We’re hoping to work with UFV in the following semester in the hope that they stick to their policies and uphold their word to us,” she said.
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According to Life Link, the meeting was attended by UFV Student Union Society president Shane Potter. LifeSiteNews contacted Potter for comment, but did not hear back by press time.
Dr. Mark Evered, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Fraser Valley
Jillian Smith, Executive Assistant to the President & Vice-Chancellor
E-mail: [email protected]
Jill Harrison, Manager of UFV’s Student Life
E-mail: [email protected]
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