Pro-lifers win recognition at Johns Hopkins

April 10, 2013

A campus judiciary committee at Johns Hopkins University granted official recognition to a pro-life student group, overturning the student senate’s previous decision.

The Student Government Associate Senate denied recognition to Voices For Life last month due to concerns that the group’s anti-abortion activism constituted harassment. One student government representative even made an association between VFL and a white supremacist group in an email leaked to other students.

But many people — including some student leaders, and free speech experts at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education–maintained that the university would be guilty of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination if it refused to recognize the group.

On Tuesday, the SGA Judiciary Committee agreed unanimously.

“We, the Judiciary Committee of the Student Government Association (SGA), unanimously hold to overturn the decision of the SGA Senate to deny official group status to Voice For Life (VFL),” wrote the committee members. “Effective immediately, VFL will be granted newly recognized group status.”

VFL will now be allowed to use the JHU logo, hold official events, and utilize campus resources.

VFL President Andrew Guernsey praised the committee for making the right call, and said that he hoped the decision would inspire pro-life groups on other campuses.

“We hope that our story of rising above discriminatory opposition can inspire pro-life students around the country to courageously take a stand for life at their own college campuses,” he wrote in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation

Schools: Johns Hopkins University Cases: Johns Hopkins University: Viewpoint-Based Rejection of Pro-Life Group