By Dave Andrusko
The College Fix describes its mission as “working with college-aged writers with the purpose of identifying and supporting young people who seek to improve campus journalism, explore careers in the media, and commit themselves to the principles of a free society.” Most importantly for us, it is a passionately pro-life site.
If you’ve been on many college campuses these days, you know with some exceptions they extremely hostile to pro-lifers, or, more specifically, pro-life clubs. So my antennae went up when I saw the headline “Med school approves pro-life group over objections from pro-abortion students.” The subhead read “Pro-abortion future doctors tried to shut down pro-life peers.”
The university confirmed that it has approved Medical Students for Life.
I was impressed by Ryan Lindner-Tamu’s account which began “A new chapter of the student organization Medical Students for Life will be allowed at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine after university administrators overrode resistance from the student government association and others on campus.”
According to Ms. Magazine, “The student government said it ‘was dangerous to establish an organization notorious for disseminating medical misinformation’ and Medical Students for Choice told the administration the club ‘contradicts what we are taught in our curriculum and … could directly put patients in our community at risk as students are on rotations and enter residency.’”
Too often that would be enough for the administration to fold. And certainly they would deny approval were they to read this from a student who went under the pseudonym “Sarah” right?
“As a medical student, I feel betrayed by the administration’s decision,” the student said. “They have allowed a group to form under a national organization that will disseminate misinformation to patients.”
Medical Students for Life wrote a 10-page rebuttal to address accusation against the club. But, of course, as Lindner-Tamu wrote, “The problems faced by Medical Students for Life are nothing new.”
“Across the country, abortion supporters often attempt and succeed in infringing upon the free speech of pro-life students, but Students for Life of America holds a firm line that pro-life speech is free speech,” spokeswoman Caroline Wharton said in an email to The Fix.
“Our student groups and our legal counsel don’t back down when necessary to protect their First Amendment rights,” she said. “After all, if our voice is silenced, how can we speak up for the voiceless in the womb?”
“The University and College administration met with students on both sides of this issue, explaining the guidelines and sharing their reasons for the decision to approve this new club, while assuring the students that all medical information is monitored by faculty,” according to a statement provided to MedPage Today. “Both the Dean of Students and the Dean of the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine are in support of this decision, along with the University President.”
Excellent news. A hardy round of applause for the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and its commitment to freedom of speech.