Press Release: Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

March 14, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

Toronto, ON: This March, two Ontario university clubs are hosting abortion debates on campus, but pro-choicers have been unwilling to debate.  Despite contacting over 120 professors, feminist organizations, and abortion advocacy groups, Guelph Life Choice and McMaster Lifeline have been unable to find anyone willing to debate.  Pro-life students from McMaster and Guelph are now issuing a public challenge to pro-choice proponents (specifically professors, doctors, clinic workers, and advocates from pro-choice organizations), inviting them to defend their position on abortion and join in an open and respectful debate.

“There’s been great student interest in having this debate,” states Hanna Barlow, President of the University of Guelph Life Choice.  “But everyone we’ve contacted to represent the pro-choice side has either rejected the invitation or simply ignored it.  It’s very disappointing.”

With the debate scheduled for the end of the month, Guelph Life Choice contacted the Student Help and Advocacy Centre (SHAC) from the student union for help finding a pro-choice advocate.  They declined, stating, “We do not believe that the sexual and reproductive rights of women is [sic] something that should be debated because we see ‘pro-choice’ as the only option. For us, reproductive rights are non-debatable.”

“Unwillingness to debate is something we’ve seen before on other campuses,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization.   “Despite accusations from pro-choicers that we’re closed minded and backwards, they are the ones who keep rejecting our offers to engage in dialogue.”

“Anyone who holds a belief on an issue must have evidence to back up their belief,” states Julia Bolzon, President of McMaster Lifeline.  “If pro-choicers are confident in their position, then they should be willing to defend it in a debate.  We hope pro-choicers will rise to the challenge.”

 

For more information or for those interested in representing the pro-choice side of the debate, contact:

Julia Bolzon – President McMaster Lifeline, 647 221 0912, jbolzon@gmail.com

Hanna Barlow – President Guelph Life Choice, 519 830 9072, hannabarlow@gmail.com

Rebecca Richmond – Executive Director, National Campus Life Network, 416 388 0461 director@ncln.ca

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3 Responses to Press Release: Ontario students want abortion debate but abortion advocates unwilling to defend their position

  1. Kaitlin says:

    Um, do we have debates on whether slavery is ok? Do we have debates on whether or not women are people? No, because human rights are not up for debate. Abortion is legal because a fetus is a part of a woman’s body, not a person. Get over it.

    • hannabarlow says:

      One important thing to remember is that in the past, we have had debates about whether slavery is okay, and whether women are people. In the 19th century, it was not generally recognized that slavery was wrong. In 1858, the Virginia Supreme Court declared, “In the eyes of the law… the slave is not a person.” Until 1929, women were not considered persons under the law in Canada (http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/women/a/personscase.htm), which prevented them from holding positions in government.
      Clearly human rights have been up for debate in the past. We have had to fight to make sure that every person is allowed their rights. What we need to do today is make sure that even the smallest humans are included too.
      An unborn child is distinct from its mother, having its own DNA, its own circulatory system, and half the time, is a different gender from the mother. It is a distinct person, and deserves the same rights the rest of us enjoy.

      • Kyle David says:

        dear hannabarlow,
        I agree that there should be debate on the topic of pro-life vs. pro-choice. Here is my argument in favor of keeping abortion legal:
        There are cases where the mother will die if they don’t get an abortion. Here is one case – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/savita-halappanavar-death-irish-woman-denied-abortion-dies_n_2128696.html
        It is due to the existence of cases like this that I think that abortion should be available. I would not throw a woman who had just gone through the ordeal of having to lose a child in jail. That would just be making her life even worse. I don’t want women to fear life in jail for wanting to live, and you shouldn’t either. And even if abortion is made illegal, there will still exist people who will illegally do back alley abortions, which will be much more dangerous than abortions provided by doctors in current abortion clinics.

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