UNC-Wilmington feminists abort free speech

When a new Women’s Resource Center was established at my university (UNC-Wilmington), I was concerned that it would serve as more of a resource for feminist professors than for female students. I also suspected that the center would try to advance a “pro-choice” agenda with little tolerance for the views of pro-life advocates.

Those suspicions were confirmed during recent visit to the center’s web site. I noticed that the center claimed a dedication to education and advocacy on a variety of issues facing women of “all backgrounds, beliefs, and orientations.” It also claimed an interest in working with many community-based organizations and in maintaining “clear lines of communication” between the students and “any organizations involved.” Despite all that, the site gives contact information for the “pro-choice” Planned Parenthood, while Life Line, a “pro-life” center, is conspicuously not mentioned.

I contacted the site’s manager with a simple request for the center to add Life Line’s contact information near that of Planned Parenthood, and I was directed to Dr. Kathleen Berkeley. Berkeley had pushed for the establishment of the Women’s Resource Center and is in charge of the Center until its first official director assumes her duties in July. After a few days of deliberation and meeting with the dean, Berkeley denied my request, stating “the addition of Life Line Pregnancy Center would duplicate information provided by Planned Parenthood.”

Of course, there is no “non-duplication requirement” for organizations posting information on the center’s web site. For example, the site features two community organizations offering rape crisis counseling — and no reasonable person could object to that kind of “duplication.” Surely, if someone built a second domestic violence shelter in town, the center wouldn’t deny a request to list it for “duplication.” Not only is this supposed “non-duplication” standard non-existent and unworkable, but it is also utterly inapplicable to the case at hand.

The differences between Life Line and Planned Parenthood are far greater than their similarities. The decision to keep Life Line’s information away from students is yet another silly episode revealing the fundamental dishonesty of the university’s so-called commitment to diversity. It is no accident that the university library has Planned Parenthood’s response to Bernard Nathanson’s Silent Scream and a book by Berkeley referring to the Silent Scream as “grisly sensationalism” — but not Silent Scream itself. The university appears to prefer students reading reviews offered from one perspective than looking at the original — there’s a risk the students might come up with a different opinion.

The problem with higher education today is not that people are unaware that the diversity movement is dishonest. It’s that among those people with reasonable objections to the diversity agenda, there are too few willing to do something about it. Administrators at public universities simply have no right to take money from taxpayers and use it to advance their own political causes while systematically suppressing the views of their opponents.

I hope everyone reading this article will “duplicate” my efforts to expand the marketplace of ideas at their local university. If your tax dollars are being used to support a one-sided view on the issue of abortion, respectfully ask for information on the other side to be included. If you are denied, take your case before the court of public opinion or, if necessary, a court of law. After all, the right to free speech is older than the “right to choose.” And censorship is decidedly “anti-choice.”