The Duke University women’s center has canceled a discussion of student motherhood as “upsetting and not OK” because the sponsoring group, Duke Students for Life was holding a pro-life event elsewhere on campus. A spokesman for the center said the pictures at the “Week for Life” event were “traumatizing,” perhaps because he was under the impression that body parts of aborted babies were being shown. Actually the pictures featured various stages of fetal development, based on sonograms. The spokesman failed to indicate how far away pre-birth photos must be to justify holding a discussion of motherhood at the center. The center allows pro-choice speakers but not pro-life ones. The mission statement of the center by the way, in addition to firmly opposing “ableism” and “heterosexism” says: “We ascribe to a broadly defined, fluctuating and inclusive feminist ideology that welcomes discordant viewpoints from varied experiences.” Not too inclusive and not too discordant, though.
John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.