Commentary | Letter: SSMU should grant pro-life group official club status

SSMU should grant pro-life group official club status

Re: “Pro-life group seeks SSMU club status” | News | Oct. 6

I’m just writing to encourage Samantha Cook in her seeming inclination to support granting club status to Choose Life. Without knowing anything about Natalie Fohl or her organization beyond what is represented in the article, I think it is important, in evaluating Choose Life’s suitability, that SSMU not succumb to political pressure from the stridently pro-choice corner.

I won’t address the notion that “we don’t like what this club stands for” is a good reason to deny Choose Life club status, because Cook is clearly aware that it isn’t. More likely to hurt Fohl’s chances is the cast-iron certainty that every activist group within hailing distance will noisily decry her club as hateful and regressive. The narrative will be some variant on Gilary Massa’s contention that a pro-life group is, prima facie, “sexist, or discriminatory,” because that’s really the only assumption that would make it possible to withhold club status and keep a straight face.

What I urge SSMU council to keep in mind is that such contentions are essentially rhetorical and partial. No reasonable definition of “discriminatory” comes anywhere near describing the mere possession or propagation of pro-life views, and here the word simply encodes a closed-minded antipathy. Look, the pro-life position is hardly a maniac fringe (in fact, two thirds of Canadians support some level of restriction on abortion), and it’s disingenuous to behave as if the ethical questions surrounding abortion had been conclusively settled – which is precisely what SSMU council would have to suppose, if it were to bat away Choose Life on moral grounds.

I hope the council is decent enough to avoid making an unfair decision for political reasons.

Stuart Wright

U3 English

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