UTM Students for Life, an on-campus pro-life activist group, distributed pamphlets in Davis last Thursday with the question: “Shouldn’t all human beings have human rights?”
“Parents between the age of 18 and 24 are the demographic most likely to have abortions,” UTMSFL’s president Chad Hagel told The Medium. “And since this is the age range of the average university student, it is crucial we address this topic on a university campus.”
The cover of the pamphlet contained the photo of a seven week-old embryo in its mother’s womb.
“Upon opening the pamphlet, one is met with an abortion victim photo of a human being ripped from their mother’s womb at 10 weeks, along with the sentence ‘They Should,’” said Hagel, referring to the question presented on the cover.
The pamphlet also included arguments which state that human life begins at fertilization, and also addresses an “ethical portion” by using the number of abortions in Canada, which according to Hagel, is about a 100,000. As well, the pamphlet had points about the “diffcult circumstances [of abortion] and the mother’s life being in danger.”
UTMSFL also asked students whether or not they believe babies had a right to life.
“Open and free dialogue which is respective of the other’s viewpoint, while also offering support to those who need it, is the only means by which we can address this topic in a proactive and effective manner,” said Hagel.
“Our goal is to have everyone on campus see the inhumanity of abortion, while also seeing the humanity of the pre-born, through abortion victim photography—and at the same time providing support for those in crisis pregnancies or who have gone through an abortion.”
According to Hagel, the pamphlet and the questions were unrelated to their lawsuit against UTMSU.
“Students for Life is an anti-choice group,” stated UTMSU’s president Nour Alideeb in an email to The Medium. “The UTMSU, and I as a woman, do not condone anti-choice groups.”
“The UTMSU believes that women and other individuals who can bare children have agency over their own bodies and have the right to make decisions for themselves,” continued Alideeb.
As previously reported by The Medium last January, former VP campus life, Russ Adade had stated at a UTMSU board meeting on August 24 in 2015, “Students for Life, which has been recognized by UTMSU in the past, was not recognized for the upcoming school year due to their stance on abortion, in terms of being pro-life and using their platform to tell women what they should do in those situations.”
UTMSFL also wrote on their website last January that UTMSU denied the renewal of their club’s status and that UTMSFL were therefore unable to utilize the student union resources, such as the Student Centre.
The date of the court for the lawsuit remains unknown, as of press time.
This article has been corrected from the print edition. It originally did not reflect the fact that Alideeb had responded by press time. A notice will be printed in the November 21, 2016 issue.