Pro-life club’s legitimacy questioned

Student accuses Queen’s Alive group of presenting inaccurate information about abortions

Queen’s Alive’s poster at their Mac-Corry booth.
Image by: Mishal Omar
Queen’s Alive’s poster at their Mac-Corry booth.

A Queen’s student said she was “shocked” about the information presented by anti-abortion club Queen’s Alive, after the club set up a booth in Mackintosh-Corry Hall.

Raven Adamson said she was asked to answer questions about her knowledge on abortion in Canada by members of the club last month. While being questioned, she said club members began presenting their anti-abortion opinions to her as facts.

“They told me that, in fact, a woman could get an abortion up until the day before a baby was due — they repeated that to me multiple times,” said Adamson, ArtSci ’18.

Adamson said that she spoke to her T.A. after this incident, who denied the claim was true.

According to the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health, abortions are highly uncommon after 20 weeks of pregnancy and are most often performed to protect the woman’s health or in the case of serious fetal abnormalities. There are few hospitals and clinics that perform abortions upon request past 20 weeks.

“I was just blown away because I thought Queen’s was a legitimate university, and that if you have a club and you’re doing surveys you don’t pressure an opinion if you want a relatively objective survey,” Adamson said.

She added that Queen’s Alive gave her the impression they were surveying students and gathering data.

“They were disagreeing with my answers; it made me incredibly uncomfortable; it was not an unbiased survey experience; it just turned into an argument,” she said.

“It just shocked me. It’s Queen’s University, there should be some accountability, some credibility within clubs and groups and especially when they’re doing public surveys and claiming to be med students — where is that information coming from; is there bias there? I would really like to know.”

Club President Christine Helferty said the purpose of Queen’s Alive is to affirm the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

“Our club’s opinion on abortion is that essentially, we believe that all human beings deserve human rights, and that would include human beings from the moment of conception all the way until the moment of their natural death,” said Helferty, Nurs ’16.

“We are against abortion and ideally, way down the line, it would be illegal in Canada.”

Helferty said the club doesn’t think it would make sense to make abortion illegal “right now”, adding that the club’s purpose is to ask students questions — through a questionnaire — to learn about people’s beliefs and have a discussion based on their answers.

“What we want to do is educate people that human life does indeed begin at the moment of conception and see if they also believe if that human life is equal to all other human life, which we value as having human rights.”

Although the club’s stance on abortion remains the same in cases of rape as well as when the pregnant person may be too young or unable to afford to raise a child, Helferty said she does empathize with these women and believes society needs to support them.

“We sincerely do not seek to insult women or diminish their pain with pregnancy or devalue their experience of any of those things,” she said.

“We just seek to have equal human rights for all human beings and we believe that society — if it became educated — would also believe that.”



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