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Updated on Wednesday, July 15

#21104

OMG: There was a crazy anti abortion woman handing out flyers in the SLC. Can we get her arrested or something?

50 comments

  1. If there's any place in which the polite advocacy of ideas ought to be maximally sanctioned it's the university. If you're unable to tolerate such an environment perhaps you should seek take greater pains to insulate yourself from ideas that offend you instead of imposing silence on everybody else.

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    1. Thank you. As long as she was not harassing or targeting people, she has every right to distribute information. It is up to you whether you consider her ideas valid, but to have someone arrested for sharing ideas on a university campus is absurd.

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    2. Actually 1a, that's false. If she had booked a classroom to give a talk, or paid for the right to solicit on-campus, that would be one thing. But solicitation isn't something you can do freely anywhere on campus. They can't and won't arrest her for it, but campus police would ABSOLUTELY escort her off-campus for such a thing.

      If she wants to share her ideas, she can book a lecture hall and schedule a talk like everyone else. Hell, she can even book the SLC Great Hall itself!

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    3. 1.b, the idea that a university is a place where *advocacy*, not solicitation but advocacy, must be limited to booked rooms and must be sanctioned through official channels totally belies a key institutional purpose, namely that universities preserve intellectual freedom. I think that is an absolute mandate of the modern university. Nearly every aspect of Canadian society that we value has, at some point, been widely opposed and was able to develop because people were free to debate various forms of social organization and because institutions of learning safeguarded that argumentation and knowledge.

      It's completely reasonable to request that advocacy be respectful (e.g. don't force information on someone who declines it, don't pester people, etc.). But the original post is motivated by a desire to purge a set of ideas, which a developed sense of history rightly repudiates. Ceding the control of ideas to authorities may ease your personal discomfort in the short run but it's a recipe for tyranny in the long run.

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    4. 1c, if the lady was handing out flyers, then it's solicitation, not advocacy.

      I generally agree with what you're saying, but preservation of intellectual freedom does not mean you get a stage whenever and wherever you want. You want to talk and have lots of people listen to your ideas? Book the space, then say whatever you want.

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    5. To my mind there must be a request for some valuable exchange in order for an interaction to rise to the level of solicitation. But quibbling about definitions is a weak form of argumentation and not particularly useful one way or the other. If you want to call political pamphleteering a form of solicitation that's fine with me. I'd maintain there exists a moral distinction between requests for money and advocacy nonetheless.

      I don't think people deserve a stage whenever and wherever they desire. Like I've said elsewhere in this thread, I think we are within our rights to regulate the context and manner of advocacy. However, I also believe the university should have a special place in society in this regard. Until there are pragmatic concerns, polite advocacy ought to be permitted throughout the campus. Whether the cause is socialist, pro-choice, anti-abortion, Christian, Islamic, pro-Palestine, pro-Israel, or whatever.

      Obviously we'd need to make prudential adjustments should protestors abuse this right or should too many people try to exercise it. That's ok. But, as things stand, simple pamphleteering, respectful of students (i.e. not handing out unwanted pamphlets), is good for everyone involved. At the very least it spurs conversation and results in political engagement.

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    6. I think its important for both men and women to advocate for abortion.

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  2. Arrested? She's trying to save your soul you asshole.

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  3. UW campus is a place for science. There's no place here for bogu Christian mythology.

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    1. Science tells us that living things come from other living things and that living things reproduce after their own kind. Ex. A dog will have a dog offspring and a cat will have a cat offspring. So naturally and scientifically speaking, human beings can only have human offspring. Now is is right for one human being to take the life of another human being? That is what abortion does. Abortion ends the life of the human being growing in the mother's womb.

      Because of science we know that human life begins at fertilization, when the sperm from the father meets the egg from the mother and join to become a zygote. This zygote begins as a single cell that grows and divides. It has everything it needs (DNA) to develop into a full adult given enough time. From the moment of fertization, the organism is a human being. It may be at different stages of development (zygote, embryo, fetus, infant, toddler, pre-teen, teen, adult, elderly) but it never ceases to be a human being. Sperm or egg on their own are simply human parts, but not human wholes (being).
      Sperm or egg or other cells of the body, may continue to grow and divide but they remain the same type of cell that they are. A human zygote however acts as a complete whole to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the definitive body, birth, childhood adolescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death. This coordinated behavior is the very hallmark of an organism.

      These are things we learn through science, not some Christian mythology.

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    2. I couldn't agree more with 3a.

      Thank you for putting it so elegantly.

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    3. The human body is capable of aborting a pregnancy in cases of trauma, insufficient nourishment, disease, etc. The zygote is in no way an independent organism.

      Given that we're no longer a hunter-gatherer society and time and money have become factors which can affect our ability to provide proper care to our offspring, could it not be argued that aborting a pregnancy for those reasons is just as valid?

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    4. 3.c (1 and 1.c here), there are several really good arguments for the right to choose, some of which I endorse (though I do think viability is good grounds for supporting a fetus' right to life). The key issue here, at least to my mind, is that we're able to discuss this sort of thing in a reasonable fashion.

      Shutting down a discussion, which is what OP seems to want, seeks to fortify a weak position with institutional force. There's no need to shut down any possibility of discussion when one has good reasons for their position. That urge towards censorship may well keep us from exploring good ideas and serves to reinforce the sense, among minority positions (e.g people who oppose all abortions), that they are not welcomed in society writ large. A sense of dislocation that we have traditionally opposed by expanding the franchise of political participation.

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    5. 3c here, fair enough 3d. There should always be freedom for discussion and advocacy for either side. What I'm against is people protesting and picketing with giant pictures and yelling. That's not a discussion, and if I ever took the time to try and have one with these people I doubt it would go well. I'm not sure what the lady in the OP was up to but I've yet to meet a "pro-life" advocate who was reasonable and open to arguing their point logically.

      As a side note, I've also never seen a pro-life advocate who was neither religious nor over the age of 30.

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    6. It sounds like we agree. I don't mind placing bounds on the context or manner of advocacy. (As I said in 1, I the university is an ideal context for free advocacy.) I do mind policing content.

      Abortion isn't really a live issue for me so I'm not familiar with those in the movement. I did have the good fortune of attending a lecture given by Hadley Arkes on natural rights a number of years ago. Apparently Arkes is something of a major figure in America's pro life movement. The talk gave me a lot to think about on the abortion issue. (Though I think the claim of a fetus' right to life can be reconciled with abortion. I.e. by something like Judith Jarvis Thomson's violinist analogy.) The point being the Arkes' advocacy is philosophical in nature (as would be the advocacy of the Catholic church, for instance).

      I wouldn't say pro-life advocates refuse to engage in reasoned argument. Some probably do, but that seems true of activists in general. Same with the age thing. Old protesters are relatively rare. There are definitely old abortion protesters at Parliament Hill. But that's a pretty small sample size :)

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    7. 3.a. nailed it. Abortion = Murder due to science.

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    8. Hey 3c, that's a good question and I want to try to explain why those would not be valid reasons to abort a pregnancy.

      It's true that in some cases the body is not capable of maintaining pregnancy due to the health of the mother, trauma etc. but that is not the same as abortion. Abortion deliberately ends the life of the child. The reasons you mentioned where the body naturally aborts the child happens as a natural response, similar to your arm getting bruised if it gets hit by an accelerating baseball.
      But with abortion, the intent is to end the life of the child as way to deal with the inconvenience that the pregnancy (and life after pregnancy) brings.

      I am in no way saying that the issues women struggle with which lead them to make the decision to chose to abort their babies aren't important. Circumstances are real and extremely difficult and even unimaginable at times, but I don't think that any of those reasons justify ending the life of another human being.

      Let's take the issue of money as an example. Money plays a huge factor in parents' ability to provide care for their children. Imagine that a couple has 3 kids, the oldest is 13, the middle one is 5 and the youngest is just 2 months old. The dad suddenly loses his job, which provided most of the family's income. The family struggles to make ends meet. It would be easier to deal with the job loss if they didn't have 3 kids to take care of. Or taking care of 1 or 2 children would at leasbt be more manageable than 3. Would it be justified in that case, if the parents kill their youngest so that they can take care of the older children better?

      Should we have the right to kill other human beings when life gets difficult and complicated?

      To address the first point that you made, the zygote is an independent organism in that it is neither the mother nor the father. But you are correct in saying that the zygote is dependent on the mother. It gets nourishment and shelter from the mother and if it is taken out of the environment it's supposed to be in (uterus) then it will certainly die. But just because it's completely dependent on the mother, it doesn't mean that it's not a human being. After all, even a newborn or even a toddler will surely die if not given the proper nourishment and shelter. As we get older, our level of dependency for our parents decreases. To say that abortion is ok because the fetus depends on the mother is like saying that it's ok for bigger and older people to kill those younger than them. Furthermore, parents have the responsibility of caring for their children that strangers don't. Failure in doing so, is a criminal offence (child neglect).

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    9. I guess its all technicalities and how you look at it, but to me murdering a child and killing a clump of cells and unformed organs is not the same thing. Aside from the inconvenience and trauma, I don't see the difference between ending a pregnancy early in the process and the millions of potential lives I end every time I masterbate. While I don't think it should be used as a form of contraception, I'm happy its part of the repertoir of options in case of a mistake.

      As for natural termination of pregnancy vs abortion, I still think they're different sides of the same coin. We live in a time where money and time are just as or more important than nutrition and strength of the mother to a child's future. These are social constructs we've created and it doesn't surprise me one bit that there are man-made solutions where these things are insufficient.

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    10. @3h: Independent is not the same as "different"

      As an aside, I'm not that impassioned about this debate, but what gets to me is the stigma that "pro-life" creates for people who choose an abortion. There is not really stigma going the other way and I think its wrong. Hell, I think being a negligent and incapable parent is a far worse crime than having an abortion.

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  4. Tell Turnkey! If they aren't a legitimate vendor we will have them removed. If they are a vendor and are acting "crazy", we can talk to them about their methods.

    If they're being completely appropriate and have paid to be there, that's life!

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  5. Welcome to the future where we all just cover our ears and scream when we see opposing views. Honestly OP if that is your genuine thought, you probably don't belong at a university or any location of higher learning.

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    1. this guy is a butthurt christian.

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    2. We don't have any evidence that 5 is a "butthurt christian" but we do have evidence that 5.a is an idiot.
      Only idiots would assume that someone is a "butthurt" christian male from an anonymous comment that didn't mention any of that, you might as well conclude from this comment that "he's" wearing flip flops right now.

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    3. 5 here. 5.a. I`m an atheist. You sir are probably a collectivist idiot for grouping me as such.

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    4. Butthurt christian is butthurt.

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  6. This again proves that liberals are just intolerant authoritarianists.

    ps: I am not a Christian

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    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy95hbGiBmI&feature=share

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    2. #NotAllLiberals

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  7. If she's not a student, she is considered as a trespasser and you can call the campus police. I have done that to the people who go around passing "I'm deaf" cards asking for donations.

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  8. The presence of Christian, racist, and homophobic students on OMGUW is disturbing.

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    1. The world must seem a strange and fearful place to you.

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    2. You're making me horny.

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    3. Well if you're looking to hate fuck a malicious racist with a homophobic streak who happens to be a Christian chauvinist...

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    4. 8 is a hopeless faggot who does not know he is a hater.

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  9. Any sort of canvassing in the SLC is forbidden if prior approval isn't sought. She definitely didn't have approval, if you see her again, contact the Turnkey desk immediately, or police services.

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  10. OP here. There was no woman at SLC. I made it up. I'm in high school. You guys are idiots. Fight some more.

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    1. Even if you are telling the truth, what's the difference. This is a question love to debate and would be doing so even without your post.

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  11. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. [If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but] in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

    I'd say it is moral to unplug the violinist. Same goes for useless unformed masses of cells.

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    1. If a famous violinist was crashing at your place and would die if you kicked him out, it is moral to kick him out. Not so much for your child. You have a responsibility for your children.

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    2. 12 weak argument. If you open your legs you consent to carrying for 9 months. The only way to get out of this is if you didn't or couldn't consent to the sex. If you are mentally capable to have sex, you are capable of understanding possible consequences.

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    3. 12b, "if you open your legs you consent to carrying for 9 months."

      No. Consenting to sex is not the same thing as consenting to a pregnancy. Sure, pregnancy is a possible consequence of sex. But if you're mentally capable of understanding that, then you're also mentally capable of choosing to abort the pregnancy, and understanding THOSE consequences, too. In both cases, you've consented to having something done to your body.

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    4. Except that the violinist is not your child. But he could be your brother. Still unplug?

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  12. Why do we call parasites children just because they happen to be human?

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  13. I don't think that two perceived wrongs (anti-abortion and being arrested) make a right and are justifiable if the two go hand in hand. I would say for sure it's a contraversial issue. If your judgment is that her judgement is wrong and deserves punishment for it, what if your judgment that her judgment is wrong is wrong in itself? Would you be comfortable being arrested for your beliefs? I believe we should respect diversity regardless of whether we believe that or not. It is not likely that this woman is going to literally physically harm someone having an abortion in my opinion. I think (personally) that abortion is a personal choice and sometimes people think that it's saving a person from trauma if they DON'T have an abortion. However there is also trauma to having a child conceived by rape or any otherwise unexpected situation. I'm on the fence on this one. At least Harper won't re-open the anti-abortion debate and everyone has a right to stand up for what they see as the correct option.

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  14. Or male (if the person was a male)

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  15. That violinist argument is disturbing, opinionated, and seriously, what is with the abortion fantasies associated with a famous violinist? I don't think that it is morally right to drag musicians into a moral debate about abortion or not and discriminate against them because they are musicians and have poor health. How rude.

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    1. Why not? I say if that you have abortions, then you're a shitty violinist. Simple as that.

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    2. The violinist argument comes from Judith Jarvis Thomson, and was used in court in part of attempting to break down an understanding f the legal permissibility of abortions. Look her up.

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