Editorial: Universities should not censor educational films

Recently, Ottawa’s Saint Paul University came under fire for cancelling a screening of Vessel, a pro-abortion documentary film, set to be shown at a film festival aimed at sparking discussion about birth. This incident comes in the midst of a freshly roused debate about free speech in universities from the Lindsay Shepherd case at Wilfrid Laurier University.  Saint Paul is a Roman Catholic university, and the Roman Catholic Church is widely known for its pro-life stance on abortion. But, while the university may have been called to cancel the screening to follow the stance of the Church, cancelling a film with an opposing viewpoint undermines its status as a university. Religious or otherwise, universities are meant to be a place […]

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Saint Paul University cancels screening of abortion film

Saint Paul University in downtown Ottawa refused to screen the pro-choice documentary, Vessel, which was slated to be screened at the Choice Film Festival on Nov. 22.  Vessel tells the story of a woman named Rebecca Gomperts, a doctor who began to provide abortions on a ship for women living in countries where abortions are illegal.  Saint Paul University, a Roman Catholic school, has rented out its amphitheater to the Choice Film Festival for the past six years to screen films and host panels, according to an article by Global News. After learning that the film dealt with the topic of abortion, the university gave the organizers of the festival the option of either screening a different film, or finding another venue, according to […]

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Letter: Women’s safe access to healthcare overrides protest privilege

Last week, Ontario passed the Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, which increases the safe access zone around abortion clinics. While the bill does not ban protests, it allows people needing to access the clinic the ability to do so without verbal or physical harassment. Although abortion is accessible in the province, clinics in Ottawa have seen instances  of harassment outside the clinics by protesters. Anyone walking along Bank Street near downtown may have seen the regular protester outside the Morgentaler Clinic with signs depicting graphic images of fetuses and a severed baby doll head around his neck. Amidst the passing of the bill, there are cries from pro-life groups declaring that the law denies them their freedom of speech. […]

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Letter: Religious rights shouldn’t override women’s rights

RE: March for Life is about preserving humanity, June 28-July 26 The nonsensical notion that life begins at conception is a religious conceit. If your faith is such that you believe that a child exists from the moment of conception then it’s your right to make your own decisions about your health and physical autonomy based on that. But, as with so many things that are part of personal faith, when people seek to impose those beliefs on others, it ceases to become a matter of faith and then becomes an issue of systemic and cultural oppression. The freedom of religion identified in the Fundamental Freedoms section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to protect the freedom […]

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Letter: March for Life is about preserving humanity

RE: The annual March for Life is a misnomer, May 25-June 28 For over 300 years, the Atlantic Slave Trade saw the cruel mistreatment and forced labour of millions of Africans who were considered an inferior species. From 1939 to 1945, the world saw the murder of six million Jews whom Hitler saw unworthy to live. In 1994, Rwanda witnessed the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsi whom the Hutu ethnic majority deemed as “cockroaches” that needed extermination. Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 56 million unborn babies worldwide have been aborted annually, according to an article from the National Post. The March for Life simply begs the question: who is a person? We don’t have to look far to see […]

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