U of C anti-abortion activists ask court to undo reprimand
Campus Pro-Life Club members say graphic poster display within Charter rights
A group of anti-abortion activists from the University of Calgary says school officials violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when they punished them for putting up a graphic display on campus.
In 2010, members of the Campus Pro-Life Club erected posters depicting aborted fetuses and comparing the procedure to the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust.
When asked by campus security to turn the graphic images inward, away from passersby, the club members refused.
School officials cited the students for non-academic misconduct.
After losing two internal appeals, the students are now asking Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Horner to order the university’s board of governors to cancel the reprimand.
Cameron Wilson, who is president of the club, said he feels he must stand up for his right to express his beliefs, whether or not they are popular.
"It’s really because as a tuition-paying student at the University of Calgary, I feel that I have the right to freedom of expression, and I would like to exercise that right without the university interfering with it," he said.
The board of governors said it sanctioned the students because they were not following rules set out by campus security.
Abortion protesters have displayed graphic posters on the campus numerous times since 2006. In 2008, six students were charged with trespassing, but those charges were later stayed.
Justice Horner has reserved her decision in the case.