Pro-abortion protesters shut down talk by Canadian MP at University of Waterloo
WATERLOO, Ontario, March 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Canadian MP was forced to cancel a talk at the University of Waterloo on Wednesday night as pro-abortion advocates shouted him down.
Pro-life MP Stephen Woodworth delivered the first third of his presentation at the event, organized by Waterloo Students for Life, before the protesters – one dressed up as female genitalia – got up and occupied his platform.
“Who do you think you are, trying to impose your bigotry, your views, on society?” shouted the costumed heckler as he prevented Woodworth from speaking.
Although campus security was present, the pro-life organizers say they failed to take any kind of action to allow Mr. Woodworth to continue his presentation. When asked to intervene, say the organizers, security said they would not unless the protesters became violent.
Campus security said they “couldn’t do anything because [the protesters] had the right to free speech as much as Mr. Woodworth did,” explained Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator of the National Campus Life Network, who attended the event.
Luluquisin said Students for Life is an approved club and they had booked the space properly.
“I asked, what if this were a lecture and the students were talking while the professor was teaching? And the officer said, no that’s a different context,” she said.
Contacted for comment, the University of Waterloo’s media relations officer, Pamela Smyth, told LifeSiteNews.com she was unaware of the incident but would look into it and respond.
Woodworth, a Conservative MP for the Kitchener Centre riding, brought forward Motion 312 at the House of Commons last year, calling for a re-examination of the 400 year-old definition of a human being in section 223(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code. His presentation on Wednesday was to address that topic as well as to take questions from the audience.
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"The conduct of these protesters suggests they may consider the philosophy of hatred and disrespect for others to be a virtue rather than the self-limiting prison it really is,” Woodworth told LifeSiteNews. “Above all, their conduct reveals why it is so dangerous that subsection 223(1) legitimizes a power for the State to designate someone as non-human without the slightest regard for their actual nature as a human being.”
“In everything we do, thinking Canadians must model and teach that love and respect for others are a better standard,” he added.
“We understand that there are strong opinions when it comes to an issue like abortion. But we expected better from our peers at the university,” said Hannah Bailey, president of Waterloo Students for Life. “Their behaviour was an embarrassment to the entire university community.”
“This is an elected member of our government speaking at an institution that is supposed to have a high value for free speech,” said Luluquisin. “Instead of respectfully listening and then asking questions, we see that the protestors preferred to cling to a few pieces of rhetoric rather than listening to anything Mr. Woodworth might say.”
Video of the protest is available at the National Campus Life Network's website.
Feridun Hamdullahpur, President of the University of Waterloo