April 3, 2017
Students for Reproductive Justice
The Canadian Federation of Students denounces the violent actions taking place on campuses across the country by anti-choice groups who seek to control women and trans folks’ right to access reproductive health services. We have a proud history of being at the forefront of building a culture of consent on post-secondary campuses. The principle of “Consent is Mandatory” is not only about consent for sexual activity, but about a basic respect for bodily autonomy. The Federation is unapologetically pro-choice and committed to protecting human rights and fighting for accessible sexual and reproductive health education across Canada.
The Federation acknowledges and commends the student activists who are organizing to fight against anti-choicers on their campuses. These students are often using their bodies to protect their campus communities from the graphic imagery anti-choice groups are bringing onto campuses, while administrations remain silent. As anti-choice groups seek to spread misinformation that can be traumatizing for students, our student activists have come together to create pro-choice campaign materials and open spaces for decompression and healing.
Here are a few ways you can organize against anti-choice groups on your campus:
- Pass a motion at your students’ union council that resolves that the students’ union take a pro-choice stance in all decisions it makes in relation to women and trans spectrum peoples’ reproductive rights. Here’s a Sample Motion.
- Start a reproductive justice coalition on your campus to begin to educate students on your campus about the pro-choice position, as well as the key argument made by anti-choice groups and the misinformation these arguments rely on. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada provides brief backgrounders on both positions, available here. Action Canada has a number of educational resources and fact sheets as well, which can be found here.
- Support students who are doing this work at Ryerson by signing the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective’s petition calling on President Lachemi to implement the demands of the Collective. If there are ways students across the country can support the work you’re doing, let the Federation know and we’ll be happy to share them.
- If anti-choice groups do appear on your campus:
- Organize a counter action, physically blocking the graphic and violent imagery these groups bring onto campus.
- Send out communication to students and the campus community about where anti-choice organizers are, recommending alternative routes for people to take.
- Hand out information to students passing by that debunks the misinformation spread by anti-choice groups.
- Provide a decompression space for members of the campus community to debrief and support one another.
If you need support in organizing a campaign on your campus, get in touch with us.