Last week, Youth Protecting Youth, a pro-life student organization at the University of Victoria lost their status as an official student club. The University of Victoria Student Society revoked their status in response to claims that the club was harassing women. The ‘harassment’ consisted of posting pro-life posters around campus.

This action was taken in response to a complaint from the University of Victoria Women’s Center that “YPY’s identity and actions as a pro-life organization inherently discriminates against women.”

The offending ads, created by the pro-life group Feminists for Life read, “Abortion advocates pit women against our children. But lack of emotional or financial support is the real enemy. Feminists for Life believes that women should not feel forced to sacrifice our children for an education or a career.”

Youth Protecting Youth has since enlisted the help of British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, and rightly so. Just because someone doesn’t like what another person has to say, doesn’t give that person license to prohibit expression. Claiming the right to do so in the name of some metaphysical concept of ‘harassment’ sets the tone for future censorship. Who knows what the Student Society will call harassment next?

The issue here isn’t abortion-it’s whether individuals should be able to express their views on a controversial topic. Regardless of individual views on the matter, it stands to reason that campus censorship is unfair and dangerous. The sort of content-based proscription can only chip away at civil liberties in the future.

Indeed, the president of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said, “[This] means that the very civil, moderate pro-life YPY club at UVic doesn’t even have to get out of bed in the morning to discriminate against women; it means that no matter how mild, moderate, and circumscribed its advocacy, it discriminates against women. There is no appeal to reason here, but a weird evocation of a kind of secular flavour of sacrilege.”

One can only imagine what the response of the Student Society would be if their existence was contingent on keeping their pro-choice views to themselves.

The individuals in Youth Protecting Youth, just like anyone else, have the right to express their point of view. Even the “pro-choice nuts” at the BC Civil Liberties Association see that. It’s a pity that the Student Society doesn’t as well.