Trouble before University of Buffalo Debate…

from Phil, our New York/New Jersey Regional Coordinator (May 24, 2012)

University of Buffalo Students for Life is holding an abortion debate Thursday evening, and it’s going to be fantastic.  The pro-aborts have not prepared well, and are not coordinating their arguments.  The professor on their panel even confessed to us in private that he doesn’t think the male student on their team is a competent debater.

There was some trouble, though.  A pro-abort white guy decided he would vandalize a poster, saying “Why does it take four white guys to make one woman’s decision?”  A photo was taken and shared dozens of times on Facebook among UB students.  It was causing such a stir that people not associated with the group were mentioning it to him while we walked on campus.

To remedy the fact that the debate panels were four guys (professor and student for each side), a philosophy PhD student named Catherine (who only just found out about the pro-life group) agreed to participate on the pro-life panel.  The pro-aborts were having trouble finding a woman (shocking, right?), so they proposed letting the protesters come on stage and share their views for a few minutes, but the pro-life panel refused to give them a platform.  Things got testy – the debate prep coach for the pro-aborts and the pro-abort philosophy student made a couple of sexist remarks (questioning the intelligence of Catherine, saying “chick”), and the debate coach told her she should be careful because if she takes part in the debate, people would probably send her hate mail, harass her and maybe slash her tires or follow her.

It was shocking he would say this, and the philosophy chair immediately called him out for trying to intimidate her out of participating.  It looked like it emboldened Catherine even more.

The pro-aborts finally got a female to agree to join their panel, but it appears the debate coach (who isn’t even a student or professor at UB, but a friend of the student atheist group) made comments online trying to get in touch with the protesters and coordinate something with them.