Ban on pro-life university group overturned

A pro-life student group in Canada has been allowed to resume activities on campus after the university students’ union restored its official status.

The group, Students for Life, was banned in November 2015 by the Brandon University Students’ Union (BUSU).

The ban was reversed after the club commenced legal action in July this year.


Students for Life had been unable to book free meeting rooms or receive union services without union membership.

It says it was banned because its views made other students “uncomfortable”.

“As students of Brandon University, we must have the same right as every other fee-paying member of BUSU to participate fully in campus life”, said Students for Life President Catherine Dubois.


“Our club has been repeatedly censored and denied these opportunities offered to every other student. We are tired and frustrated with being treated in such a discriminatory manner.”

She expressed her regret that legal action had to be taken, but said she was pleased with the outcome.

Students for Life will be recognised by the BUSU for the 2016-17 academic year.

Wider problem

John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, said: “The student union should never have removed club status from this group”.

He added that it “was quite clear the only reason why they removed this club’s status was because the student union did not like, or did not agree with their opinions”.

While Students for Life has had its ban overturned, there are other universities in Canada imposing similar bans on pro-life groups.

Important issue

Pro-life groups at the Ryerson University, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology have all taken legal action against their students’ unions.

“We know that the pro-life position is one that can be uncomfortable to talk about”, said Anastasia Pearse, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network.

“But it is such an important issue for us to talk about, as so many women on our campuses are affected by abortion.

She added: “It’s unfortunate that so many student unions resort to the lazy option of censorship instead of relying on open dialogue and debate.”

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