University of Alabama administration has removed Bama Students for Life’s pro-life display last week without any notification to the group after they claimed that some students found the display “offensive.” Bama Students for Life is working with Alliance Defending Freedom to resolve the issue.
The display, which featured several abortion-related facts, pictures of women who have died as a result of having an abortion, and two small pictures of aborted babies, was among numerous other student group displays. Claire Chretien, president of Bama Students for Life, captured a school official on video claiming that university policy allows her to remove displays that have “offensive or graphic material.”
“Students have a right to express the truth about abortion’s harmful effects on the defenseless humans it kills and their mothers. Bama Students for Life will continue to stand against this censorship and we are optimistic that The University of Alabama will help us right this wrong,” stated Chretien.
“Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not arenas for censoring particular viewpoints just because someone feels offended,” said Alliance Defending Freedom’s Matt Sharp. “We support Bama Students for Life and look forward to continuing to working with them to ensure that their constitutional freedoms are protected.” See Alliance Defending Freedom’s press release.
On January 17th, Bama Students for Life placed the display in a display case it reserved in a hallway of the Ferguson Student Center. When the club’s president and another member of the club went to check on the display Wednesday morning, they found that the university had removed it. They went to the center’s event coordinator to ask what happened. As recorded on video, the coordinator told the students that she removed the display after receiving complaints that its content was offensive.
“This incident is yet another all-too-common example of university administrations attempting to silence speech with which they or others disagree,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, which honored Bama Students for Life as its 2014 Group of the Year. “Bama Students for Life deserves to have its rights protected, and we look forward to the university righting this wrong.”