B.C. student union agrees to fund anti-abortion group

January 2013

A B.C. university student union will recognize and fund an anti-abortion group that threatened to sue for discrimination if it wasn’t granted official club status.

The Kwantlen Student Association board granted Wednesday full club status to Protectores Vitae, a group of Kwantlen Polytechnic University students who want to discuss “bio-ethics” issues around abortion. The vote was a reversal of its Nov. 9 decision to deny recognition because the group’s philosophy conflicts with the student government’s pro-choice position.

Oliver Capko of Protectores Vitae declined the KSA’s offer of “recognized group“ status, an unfunded category given to political and religious groups.

Mr. Capko has dropped plans for a lawsuit. The first-year agriculture student said, “I’ve been working on it for the whole semester, to get this club going, so it’s really nice to see that it’s coming to reality.”

Chairman Christopher Girodat said the board wanted to avoid legal action and will revise its policies on how groups are categorized and funded.

“There really was no appetite to spend student fees on litigation over this issue,” he said. “We’d indicated from the beginning that he was more than welcome to express his views on campus, and then unfortunately it looks like it came down to funding.”