Opinions

As the Protests Go On

December 14th, 2016

Illustration provided by SARA and UBCO artist Varenka Kim

Illustration provided by SARA and UBCO artist Varenka Kim

The Kelowna Right to Life Society continues their protests on campus, as UBC Okanagan is allowing the demonstrations to take place “provided their demonstrations remains respectful.” Many opinions are being expressed about the protest, and a counter protest is being arranged by students. Protesters are holding graphic signs, and most of the school community can agree when we see these signs we are disgusted regardless of our position on abortion. Freedom of speech gives this group the legal right to protest, previously this group protested on a roundabout on the way to campus, but now, UBCO is allowing this demonstration to take place directly on campus where it is practically unavoidable, this will result not only in the disruption of many students but makes you wonder if UBCO is in favour of the pro-life movement.

Are these protests considered “respectful” when they are holding horrible posters that can have a major impact on our students mental and emotional health? UBCO is offering to counsel those who have been affected, upset, or need someone to talk to but why offer a solution when you have the power to stop the problem in the first place. The mere fact they are preparing for students to need counselling, shows that they understand the severity that this protest will have on the emotional well-being of our students. It is simply outrageous that they would allow these graphic posters directly onto our campus, where students should be able to learn in a safe environment, this means not seeing these vivid pictures of dead fetuses and babies on their morning walk to class.

Are holding these horrific and horrendous signs at our university going to overthrow a law that was made in 1988, to protect our right to life, liberty, and security? Pro-life advocators are encouraging a law to be made that directly goes against our constitution, specifically section 7. Women have a right to their body and even with the use of contraception pregnancy is still a possibility. Many women also do not have the access to proper medical care, birth control, or sex education that we may have. Schools teach abstinence and do not include giving knowledge to teens on how to use condoms, or showing them that they are other options of contraception available to them. Instead of holding these signs trying to scare us into choosing pro-life, it would be more efficient to educate the

youth. One common argument these protesters throw at us is “a fetus has the right to life”, but even if one agrees that a fetus has a right to life, that does not mean it has a right to utilize its mother’s body. It is her body and she has right to choose as she pleases. Simply “my body, my choice”, every person has an undeniable right over their own body.

It would be reckless and ignorant to think that women should merely have children because it would be morally wrong to do otherwise. Having a child is arguably the most life changing event that could happen in a woman’s life. The idea that one should go through with it when they find themselves pregnant after a one-night-stand, an incident of rape, or a broken condom is completely irrational. By allowing forced/accidental pregnancies and not letting someone choose to terminate, you are giving a fetus more privilege than any born person and giving a pregnant person fewer rights to their own bodily autonomy than a corpse.

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