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Dozens of faculty at Catholic college upset over screening of pro-life film

They worry it will  hinder their efforts at recruiting ‘excellent’ students, faculty

Dozens of professors at a Canadian Catholic college are upset over the school’s screening of an anti-abortion, pro-life film, claiming that the movie may frighten top-rated students and faculty from applying to or working at the school.

The campus ministry at King’s University College in Ontario screened the film “Unplanned” earlier this month, LifeSiteNews reports. That movie depicts the story of former Planned Parenthood clinic manager Abby Johnson, who became a vocal pro-life advocate after having a conversion experience about abortion. The movie was a financial success when it was released last March.

Last week, following the screening, over 40 faculty members sent a letter to the college’s principal, David Malloy. The letter slammed the movie as a “polemical film,” one that functions as “anti-abortion propaganda that incorporates graphic and inaccurate depictions of abortion.”

The letter also criticized the school’s director of campus ministry, who in media interviews appeared to “spea[k] on behalf of King’s University College,” telling media outlets that the college “support[s] life as a Catholic institution from conception until natural death.” The faculty letter said that the college does not take an official position on the abortion debate. Further, it claimed that the director’s statements to media contributed to a dangerous environment to women on campus:

In speaking to the media, the Director of Campus Ministry stated, “I hope it sends a message to women that we are concerned about unborn children.” This position is hostile to women. Abortion is a safe and legal health service for women in Canada and is accessed by approximately one-quarter of child-bearing women. Women who have exercised their rights to reproductive care risk being stigmatized and traumatized by the ideological position presented both in the film and in the Director’s statement.

Malloy sent a letter following the controversy in which he affirmed the college’s non-stance on abortion. “The presentation of the film and the belief of life beginning at conception is the stance of Campus Ministry and not of King’s as a whole. King’s employees, faculty and students do not need to prescribe to the tenets of the Catholic Church. King’s does not have a position on abortion,” he wrote.

Read the story here, the faculty’s letter here, and Malloy’s response here.

MORE: Universities block movie that tells ‘untold story’ of Roe v. Wade from filming on campus

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