MONTREAL, Quebec, October 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A controversial pro-life presentation will continue this evening at McGill University, despite the student union's attempt to censor it.
The Students Society of McGill University (SSMU) voted 25-2-2 to censure an event entitled “Echoes of the Holocaust” at their meeting last Thursday, October 1. The event, scheduled tonight, has been organized by Choose Life, a pro-life club on campus, and will carry on as planned.
The presentation, hosted by a university-sanctioned club, Choose Life, is to be given by Jose Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. His presentation outlines how societies have justified and perpetuated great atrocities, including the Holocaust and abortion.
Natalie Fohl, president of Choose Life says, “The Holocaust was a major affront to the dignity of the human person, and resulted in a horrific loss of life. Choose Life, through this event, fully recognizes that reality. Moreover, we recognize that abortion is also an affront to the dignity of the human person, and that the denial of personhood to the unborn is unjust and arbitrary.”
At the meeting, SSMU Councillors accused Ruba of comparing women who have had abortions to Nazis and therefore violating their Constitution and Equity Policy. The speaker has clearly stated, however, that he does not make this comparison.
Though the students' society cannot directly stop the event, they have promised to punish the club for hosting the presentation. The motion passed was amended to include a resolution that by continuing with the event despite the censure, Choose Life will be automatically ineligible for funding from the SSMU for the remainder of its existence.
The SSMU resolution demanded the intervention of Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson, but he has stated that he will not cancel the event.
“My understanding is that a student group has reserved space … and that they are being very upfront about what they are presenting,” said Mendelson on Friday, according to the McGill Tribune. “The issue that is being discussed is an issue that people in society are grappling with, students are grappling with it and I could not imagine how the university could find a reason to intervene in this.”
Ruba has given this talk at a variety of campuses including McMaster University, University of New Brunswick Saint John, St. Francis Xavier University and University of Prince Edward Island. When students tried to shut down the same lecture at St. Mary's University in February 2009, the university was subject to embarrassment in the media for not upholding freedom of speech.
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