Anti-Abortion Should Be Anti-Censorship
Once in a while, I find myself agreeing with pro-choicers about something. Today is one of those days, thanks to an incredibly stupid incident from American University School of Law.
It all started with the leak of the Dobbs opinion. Law students began discussing it in a group chat. American University was once ranked the most liberal college in the United States, and while there are of course pro-life liberals, they were not plentiful in this group chat. Pro-abortion students expressed dismay, suggested that conservatives would next reverse Loving v. Virginia, and used a few profanities. A lonely Republican in the chat politely pushed back against the claim that conservatives are against civil rights, and was promptly told to “shut the f*** up.”
Was it the quality of discourse you’d hope to see from a top law school? No. But was it protected First Amendment speech? Absolutely yes.
If only it had ended there. But alas, our pro-life friend complained to the university administration. The other students in the chat soon received a message that they were under investigation for “harassment on the basis of political affiliation and religious beliefs.”
BEING PRO-LIFE IS NOT A RELIGIOUS BELIEF! STOP PLAYING INTO THEIR HANDS, WITH THEIR “THEOCRACY” NARRATIVE, BY CONFLATING YOUR CHURCH WITH A GIANT HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT! YOU ARE NOT HELPING, YOU TWERP!
Look, I get it. Abortion supporters censor us all the time; shouldn’t they get a taste of their own medicine? Especially when they’re spouting deliberate misinformation about things like ectopic pregnancy, the desire to just shut them up can be quite tempting.
But we have to be principled. We are right. We have science on our side. If the exchange of ideas is truly open, we can win. Stooping to their level by relying on censorship is unacceptable.
Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression got involved, and American University dropped the investigation six weeks later. But come on: there never should have been an investigation in the first place.
[Photo credit: Kristina Flour on Unsplash]
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