Protecting Life Where Many Christians con- tinue to tackle the thorny issues of abortion and euthanasia in Canada, some by quietly caring for the vulnerable and others, more controver- sially, by speaking out By Stephanie Tombari
Student groups that oppose abortion and euthanasia re finding it tough to operate freely at colleges and universities these days. Last fall Life Choice, a group at the University of
Guelph in Ontario, had its club status revoked by the university’s Central Student Association, which deemed the club’s
Life Fair event to be “anti-choice” and in violation of the
school’s policies for women. The fair included speakers and
exhibits from a variety of pro-life groups.
Over at the University of Calgary, students faced more
severe problems. They were charged with trespassing on their
own campus for displaying the Genocide Awareness Project, a controversial educational exhibit of graphic images
of aborted fetuses.
“We want to shift the debate over choice – in the abstract sense – to what is being chosen by showing pictures of
what abortion has done,” says Stephanie Gray, director of
the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, the educational
pro-life group that makes the Genocide Awareness Project
“Often people are critical of us and shoot the messen-
ger. But we would say it’s necessary to shift people’s under-
standing of abortion from being a ‘woman’s right’ to being
a ‘moral wrong.’ ”
Both the Calgary and Guelph student groups were even-
tually successful in getting their club status reinstated, thanks
to help from groups such as the Christian Legal Fellowship
and The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (CLF is an af-
filiate of the EFC). But the students’ struggles suggest how
contested the issue remains in Canadian society and how
politics often trumps information.
The shape of the debate on campuses is crucial, says Alber-
tos Polizogopoulos, the lawyer who represented Life Choice. All
sides realize, if young adults at college or university are taught
to accept that their stances on abortion and euthanasia are
private matters, it will be less likely for them to get involved
in these debates once they leave school.
September / October 2009