Victory! Pro-Life Students Vindicated After Posting FFL's Pro-Woman Ads!
Youth Protecting Youth, a pro-life student group at University of Victoria, British Columbia, paid a heavy penalty for posting Feminists for Life's College Outreach ads on their campus. The University of Victoria Student Society accused YPY of "harassment" and revoked YPY's official club status and funding several times between 2008 and 2010.
Feminists for Life offered assistance and encouraged FFL members to stand in solidarity with Youth Protecting Youth, supporting their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), a pro-choice organization, also came to the defense of the pro-life organization
On May 3, 2010, YPY filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia requesting restoration of the club's official status and funding and asking that the UVSS' harassment policy be revised to remove recent amendments that applied to pro-life groups.
We are pleased to announce that a July 13 settlement awarded YPY the restoration of status and funding, including all funds they had been denied since 2008. The settlement further allows YPY to resubmit their petition if it becomes necessary in the future. The UVSS board also voted to amend the harassment policy.
FFL President Serrin Foster said, "Congratulations to Youth Advocating Youth, and our thanks to all those who refused to choose between women and children, between their education and families, and supported them during this struggle."
YPY President Anastasia Pearse said, "It's a great victory, and the terms of settlement show that the UVSS acknowledges YPY has been treated wrongly over the past two years."
FFL President Serrin Foster agrees, adding "It's an impressive victory. Thanks to YPY, women, especially those who are pregnant and parenting while in college, are the ultimate winners."
The University of Victoria incident is one of many attacks on pro-life student groups who are using FFL ads or implementing FFL's woman-centered mission, advocating services and support for pregnant women and parents. A mother's discussion of the challenges of being a student parent, scheduled by the pro-life group at Duke University, was recently cancelled by the Duke Women's Center because the event was part of a "traumatizing" Life Week sponsored by the pro-life group. University officials deemed the discussion of student parenting "too upsetting" for students.
"We hope this is a turning point and there will be no more undermining of our efforts to find meaningful solutions for student mothers, fathers, and birthparents making adoption plans.
"There should be no debate," Foster added, "when it comes to free speech or developing resources and support for pregnant and parenting students."