Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Update about the meeting at CUSA

I am home from the Carleton University Student Association Council meeting. I left at 10:00 pm just as they were starting the Debate section. I was there for the Question Period. I couldn't stay later because I have to wake up in the morning.

However, I can predict that the motion will pass.

Basically, any group that seeks to promote the illegality of abortion, passes information to that effect, and generally acts towards taking away a woman's right to abortion will not be funded.

However, President Shawn Menard told me that if the motion passes, so long as a club does not advocate criminalizing abortion, it can promote the following:

* The dignity of the Unborn Child;
* The theology of the Unborn Christ;
* The legal protection of unborn victims of crime;
* The equality of the unborn child, and Charter Rights for the unborn child;
* The elimination of discrimination of the unborn child based on the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which prohibits discrimination based on birth status;
* Encouraging others to love the unborn child;

He also said at another time that it would be okay for a group to advocate the immorality of abortion, so long as it did not touch on the legality.

A CUSA-funded club could also disseminate information about things such as partial birth abortion, so long as it did not take a stance on the legality of abortion.

I noted that CUSA co-opted the term "pro-life" to mean any action that leads to the birthing on the baby. This is precisely why we must call the debate the "Fetal Rights" debate.

It was also precious that when I asked the question to the president, he looked agape as I talked of the possibility of a club seeking Charter Rights for unborn children.

There were about 150 people there, and overall, it was a good discussion. People were very quiet overall. During the proceedings, you could almost hear a pin drop. But the meeting was long, and people began to leave. I wish I could have stayed for the debate. I know some others were there, so I'm hoping they will report on it.

Basically, this motion was aimed at GAP. Some women said they were harrassed after the October debate on abortion. Why not just say ban harrassing actions and leave it at that?

Also: CUSA would allow debates on abortion, so long as it was CUSA framing the debate. It reminds me of the old theological debates that were held between Catholics and Jews, where the Catholics would frame the debate. Naturally we would know the outcome ahead of time.

The Womyn's [sic] representative Kate McIntyre said that the reason why the issue of unborn rights was irrelevant to this debate is because unborn children are not students at Carleton, and CUSA protects the rights of students. (I thought that was hilarious).

Another precious moment was when a student got up to ask whether a club could promote the banning of abortion based on gender selection. There was a very long, silent pause. You could have heard a pin drop. Neither Shawn Menard nor Kate McIntyre didn't know how to answer that one. Menard finally said as long as you don't tell women what to do with their bodies, fine. (Is that a no?)

There are Club Commissioners at CUSA, and they determine if a club is discriminatory or not.

Kate McIntyre spoke in favour of the motion saying that there was a lot of support from the student body. However, that's not representative. She failed to say there was also a lot of opposition.

That's it for now.

If there's a silver lining in this, if a pro-life group wants to be funded next semester, it will have to take the angle of Unborn Rights, not abortion, which is what I've been advocating all along. I think it will help change many people's minds on this, if they run with the notion of unborn rights and unborn dignity. I hope they do so.


Deborah Gyapong was also at the meeting.