Friday, October 13, 2017

Shouldn’t pro-life students have the same free speech rights as millionaire athletes?

The uproar over Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to leave the Colts-49ers game after some NFL players took a knee during the national anthem again highlights the intense cultural debate over free speech that seems of utmost importance to the media and activists. Yet not all “speech” is treated as equal in coverage and attention.

Over the last few weeks, the free speech rights of students on college campuses have been violated as peaceful chalk messages from students have been destroyed, flyers pulled down and permits for new pro-life groups and speakers slow walked through the approval process to prevent voices from being heard. If you haven’t heard about the college blockade taking place even this week, perhaps it is because the students whose voices are being forcibly silenced favor life over abortion. And while they may not get the attention that millionaire athletes can garner, their points of view are no less valid.

Pro-life students represent a growing majority who want to have the same free speech rights as other groups.

For the past 11 years, Students for Life has been on the forefront of the campus free speech movement, witnessing a rising tide of opposition to those who do not agree with the dictates of a politically correct worldview. As national opinion on abortion has shifted toward the pro-life viewpoint over the past few years, I mistakenly thought that -- apart from some aging, hostile school administrators -- most of the drama was behind us.

But then the 2016 election happened. And now, pro-abortion forces, fearing the withdrawal of taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood, pro-life Supreme Court appointments, and a barrage of pro-life legislation and regulations, are doing everything they can to silence a growing pro-life majority and fight back against the voices of the very people they claim to represent.

As the New Yorker observed this week: “In the half century between the elections of Governor Reagan and President Trump, the left and the right would appear to have switched sides, the left fighting against free speech and the right fighting for it.”

And on college campuses, a polluted political environment is turning ugly. A recent poll even shows that 20 percent of students now support using violence to prevent controversial speakers from being heard on campus.

Just as heated debates over slavery, civil rights, and women’s rights swept through the culture as conversations and confrontations debated the value of all lives, no matter the race, creed, color or gender, so to a rigorous debate over the value of preborn life must be heard. Students on college campuses deserve the same respect as millionaire athletes in expressing and sharing their points of view, for without a right to life, no other debate can truly engaged.


1 comment:

Bird of Paradise said...

The NFL is commiting suicide with its irresponsible decision to take to their knee during the national Anthem just becuase of one over paid fool who is now unemlpoyed