Free Speech Is Under Fire on College Campuses

Caroline Wharton - 23 Dec 2022

Conversation leads to common ground; curbed speech leads to confusion and upheaval — and American universities are a case study in this as many college students refuse to engage others with opposing beliefs, choosing hostility or violence instead. While the freedom of speech is a right under the First Amendment, it is also a benefit to society as dialogue helps draw us together; more and more, however, we see young students choosing division, instead.  

Students for Life of America (SFLA) New England Regional Coordinator Stephanie Luiz recently published an op-ed on this topic at National Review, entitled “The Harassment of Pro-Life College Students Is Getting Worse.” Her article focused on the frightening trend in higher education institutions for students to bully, rather than to debate. She wrote: 

“Political discourse is dying on college campuses. In 2021, more than 60 percent of undergraduates believed their campus climate inhibited students from voicing their beliefs, while 60 percent also expressed personal reluctance to discuss even one controversial topic. These should be harrowing figures for anyone who values open dialogue and objective truth, but they are especially troubling for pro-life students who participate in campus conversations to change hearts and minds at their schools.” 

(Click HERE to read two SFLA students’ op-ed at the Daily Wire about their own free speech being limited, entitled “Is Speech on Campus Really Free? How Pro-Life Views Are Stifled by Universities.”) 

Many members of the Pro-Life Generation suffered from free speech violations and bullyingthis year due to peacefully voicing their support for the preborn. From having urine thrownon them, to disgusting accusations lobbied, to property being stolen, or violent threats being made (like “I want to slam your face in the concrete”), it was a tough, first Post-Roe semester — yet our gritty, passionate students continued in their activism. Luiz discussed this in her article, including several, scary incidents which she had personally been exposed to while on different campuses.

She continued, “The pro-life movement’s messaging is effective so pro-abortion students would prefer to shut down the discussion before it can happen to ensure that they never have to admit that they’re wrong. This is often frustrating, but pro-life students would do well to see their peers’ rejection as an opportunity. Indeed, by peacefully persisting through protests and violence, students can make the case for free speech andlife and show those willing to be persuaded that open dialogue leads people to the pro-life position.” 

To read Luiz’s article in its entirety, click HERE

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