Executive Statement 2021-03-17

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Statement Of The Executive Committee

March 17 2021

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The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) Executive unequivocally condemns an upcoming virtual event organized by the uOttawa Students for Life and the National Campus Life Network.

The UOSU revoked club status from UO Students for Life (UOSFL) in early 2020 on the grounds that the UOSFL violated the commitment to equity enshrined in the UOSU’s Clubs Code and Constitution. This decision remains in effect today. Therefore, the UOSU has no affiliation with the UOSFL.

We are speaking out in light of recent media attention given to this group and this event. And let us be clear: it is the choice of those capable of pregnancy, and their choice alone, to decide whether or not to parent, adopt or have an abortion. Further, comparing abortion to the Holocaust, as the National Campus Life Network has done, is not only wrong and deeply offensive, but it trivializes the atrocities faced by the Jewish people during the Holocaust and their struggles to this day.

We have watched in horror over the past few days as the UO Students for Life (UOSFL) have attempted to bully members of our community who oppose their discriminatory agenda. While we respect everyone’s right to freedom of expression, the open airing of views that seek to erode a person’s right to choose are a danger to women, trans men, non-binary folks and other people capable of pregnancy, both on campus and beyond.
 
The use of the University of Ottawa’s name by this group is a matter for the University of Ottawa. We urge the University to assess whether the use of the University’s name by this group, particularly in light of the recent comments by the National Campus Life Network, is appropriate.