In early March of this year, Go Life, the pro-life group at Ed- monton’s University of Alberta, planned a pro-life event. It did
not go well. An angry group of 50 or
so students confronted the pro-life
students and “forcibly shut down a
pro-life display though obstruction
and destruction,” explains John
Carpay of the Justice Centre for
Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).
In 2010, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada published Pro-Life
Clubs and the Law, a guide for groups
facing discriminatory action.
“Across Canada’s university campuses, pro-life clubs are being censored
and discriminated against by universities and student unions. Often, the
clubs will be denied official club
status and thus stripped of funding
and access to facilities, or in extreme
cases, club members will face disciplinary hearings,” says the report.
“It continues to be an issue,” says
Rebecca Richmond, executive dir-
ector of National Campus Life Net-
work (NCLN), a loose umbrella or-
ganization of campus pro-life groups
across Canada. “It’s really become a
situation of bullying on campus. It
does make things challenging.”
Sometimes, says Richmond,
these challenges provide a greater
opportunity to raise awareness.
“We are not
The people whose
violated the most
more often than
not pro-lifers or
–JOHN CARPAY, Justice Centre
for Constitutional Freedoms
“We’ve had people
never heard the
before seeing our
–REBECCA RICHMOND , National
Campus Life Network
Pro-life campus groups
There are approximately 35 pro-life groups on university
campuses across Canada. Many of them struggle to survive
in a hostile environment. What is the problem?
What can you do . . .
Visit www.ncln.ca to find out more about the pro-life movement in Canadian
universities and high schools. The site includes links to groups, news and
resources. If you live in a city with a university, find out if they have a pro-life
group. See if you can support them in practical ways. For more about the
abortion situation in Canada, visit www.theEFC.ca/SocialIssues.
NUMBER OF CAMPUS
Please pray for the public policy work of
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. You
can also support it financially at www.theEFC.ca/
donate or toll-free 1-866-302-3362. Read more of
these columns at www.faithtoday.ca/AtIssue.
“We’ve seen more people come
across to the pro-life message when
they don’t see a group give up.”
Carpay believes what pro-life
groups on campus are actually fight-
ing is a fundamental shift in under-
standing what free speech means.
“What I hear frequently today is,
‘You can’t say that. You should not
be able to say that because it’s hurtful
and offensive,’” says Carpay. “They
really are of the view that they are
entitled to shut down speech that
they disagree with.”
But, “There are so many campuses
that don’t have problems,” reminds
Richmond. And NCLN believes that
there is nowhere more important
than on a university campus for the
pro-life message to be heard.
“We want to reach women who
are vulnerable to abortion. That is
the university demographic. These
are also the future leaders of our
country. Most of them haven’t
engaged on the abortion issue before. It’s an uncomfortable issue
especially when many of them
have personal connections to it,”
“We’ve had people say they’ve
never heard the pro-life message
before seeing our information.
They really have never fully considered the abortion issue.” /FT
IN CANADA ( W W W.
WOMEN WHO HAVE
ABOR TIONS ( W W W.