TORONTO - In response to a series of controversies over abortion debates on Canadian campuses, the student government of York University has tabled an outright ban on student clubs that are opposed to abortion.
Gilary Massa, vice-president external of the York Federation of Students, said student clubs will be free to discuss abortion in student space, as long as they do it "within a pro-choice realm," and that all clubs will be investigated to ensure compliance.
However, at least one student has things in perspective, even if he is on the pro-choice side of the abortion debate,
"I think it's outrageous that they do this when students are away for the summer and when they can't really do anything about it," said Michael Payton, a York student who argued the pro-choice side of the March debate. "This isn't the right of the student government to be deciding what students are allowed to hear."
He said it is "very much an open question how in line they are with what students really think and feel."
"It would be one thing if the YFS were doing polls on this. At least then they would be able to justify the claim that most people would be on board. But even if most people were on board, if 90% of students were on board, I would still think it's wrong in principle," Mr. Payton said. "When the YFS says they believe in free speech, they believe in free speech for them, for the positions they hold, not for freedom of speech for positions they disagree with."