By: Ana Staskevich, Staff Writer, and Onosholema Ogoigbe, News Team Member
On July 11, SFU Lifeline members gave a presentation at the SFSS Board Of Directors meeting concerning the Board’s plans to assert its pro-choice stance. According to SFU Lifeline vice president Lily Moric, the presentation was given to address concerns they had about the possibility of the SFSS removing their club status. They referenced a previous Peak news article reporting the SFSS’ discussion on adopting a pro-choice stance as a society.
During that discussion, SFSS president Giovanni HoSang stated the importance of the board actively enforcing a pro-choice stance through policymaking.
According to the SFSS’ club directory, SFU Lifeline’s mandate is “[advocating] for pre-born children whose human rights are violated by abortion.”
At the meeting, SFU Lifeline confirmed their stance on abortion with vice president Lily Moric stating that “as a club we take the manadate that abortion should be illegal [ . . . ] in every case”
SFU Lifeline expressed concern about the SFSS asserting their pro-choice stance through further policymaking, which is currently set out by the Women’s Centre’s mandate.
Members expressed concern that if this policy is emphasized, campus will be made a less safe environment for women, citing harassment that some of their members had faced because of their pro-life view. They highlighted one of their recent welcome meetings where signs they described as offensive and vulgar had been set up in the room as an example of why campus would be less safe.
In the presentation, SFU Lifeline president Lois Umali clarified that they are not a religiously affiliated club. The presentation emphasized that the 2012 Genocide Awareness Project, which showcased enlarged images of aborted fetuses and had been previously brought up as a concern by board members, no longer represented how SFU Lifeline operates as a club.
SFU Lifeline instead introduced a new project that they are working on called the Bloody Sexism Project, which features a banner with the quote, “92% of Canadians disagree with sex selective abortion; what’s your opinion?” According to SFU Lifeline, this banner is meant to incite dialogue, with members attempting to engage with the opinions of students who walk past.
During the question period after the presentation, Osob Mohamed, health sciences representative, inquired about SFU Lifeline’s views regarding the legal status of abortion. Mohamed referenced a Supreme Court decision in R. v. Morgentaler, 1988.
“A right to abortion was in the Charter. . . [the Supreme Court Judges decided] that it is a fundamental part of the Canadian institution and [making it illegal] violates the security of the person,” Mohamed stated, basing her words off of the court decision.
In response, Moric stated that they would question what the charter considers a human life.
“The sort of purity of the personhood of the fetus is also being challenged,” Moric said. “Just because it can’t speak. But their personhood is being challenged if we’re saying that abortion directly kills that fetus.”
No resolution was reached as the discussion came to an end. The discussion was cut short by at-large representative and acting chair Rayhaan Khan due to shortage of time.