From the National Post:
Gilary Massa, vice-president external of the York Federation of Students, said student clubs will be free to discuss abortion in student space, as long as they do it "within a pro-choice realm," and that all clubs will be investigated to ensure compliance.
"You have to recognize that a woman has a choice over her own body," Ms. Massa said. "We think that these pro-life, these anti-choice groups, they're sexist in nature ... The way that they speak about women who decide to have abortions is demoralizing. They call them murderers, all of them do ... Is this an issue of free speech? No, this is an issue of women's rights."
The school's administration condemned the decision as contrary to its academic mission....
Ms. Massa said the new policy would not apply to religious groups that may be opposed to abortion on doctrinal grounds. Rather, it was focused on groups, whether student or external, "whose sole purpose is to provide the anti-choice side."
"What is happening is anti-choice groups coming on to campus under the guise of debates or through student clubs, to promote anti-choice sentiments, and then student unions responding to it, and then receiving very organized backlash ... A lot of these groups are funded and organized under a larger organization," Ms. Massa said ....
The situation at York came to a crisis in March, when a speaker ... came to debate abortion with a member of the school's Free-thinkers, Skeptics and Atheists club.
The York Federation of Students (YFS) executive, fearing the effects of gruesome imagery and hostile argument, hastily voted to cancel the event, which prompted the administration to publicly declare its support for free speech and provide an alternate venue....
Meanwhile, similar controversies are unfolding across Canada, with anti-abortion groups at Capilano College, the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, Lakehead University and Carleton University stripped of official club status and funding, at least once by fiat of a single member of student council. Some clubs have regained status, while others appealed their cases to human rights commissions.....
The Canadian Federation of Students has issued a resolution supporting such moves: "Be it resolved that member locals [of the CFS] that refuse to allow anti-choice organizations access to their resources and space be supported. And further, be it resolved that a pro-choice organization kit be created that may include materials such as a fact sheet, buttons, contact information for local pro-choice organizations and research on anti-choice organizations and the conservative think-tanks that fund them[.]" According to the story (which was published last week), the proposed York policy was to have been voted on this past weekend; Ms. Massa was "confident that it'll pass." For a view in support, see this letter from the student rights co-ordinator of the Continuing Education Students' Association of Ryerson, Toronto: "Anti-choice groups actively attack women's autonomy over their own bodies and lives. This is flagrant sexism. And sexism is not a mere 'thought crime' as the editorial asserts, but rather is a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code because it is a serious and systemic problem that has consistently subjugated women all throughout history. I commend the YFS for upholding the rights of students on the York campus and women everywhere by taking a stand against sexism and hate speech."
Finally, from Michael Payton, a pro-choice student who participated in the debate mentioned above: "I think it's outrageous that they do this when students are away for the summer and when they can't really do anything about it .... This isn't the right of the student government to be deciding what students are allowed to hear.... When the YFS says they believe in free speech, they believe in free speech for them, for the positions they hold, not for freedom of speech for positions they disagree with."
I should note that the Canadian model of student government seems to be that a student union (in this instance, "Local 68, Canadian Federation of Students") is selected by the students, and apparently views itself as a private organization, much as unions are in America. But it exercises what in America would be seen as student government authority, controlling access to property provided by a public university.
Two years ago, much the same was done at Carleton University, also in Ontario. Thanks to Nicholas Nugent for the pointer.
UPDATE: Mark Steyn reports that Gilary Massa is a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, and a Google search (thanks to Bill Poser) suggests the same. This strikes me as odd, given that it appears that traditional Islam generally condemns abortion (some Islamic sites I checked seem to echo this). While some strands apparently do not brand early-term abortion a crime against Islamic law, they still condemn it as presumptively improper. Still, of course Ms. Massa is entitled to hold religious views that are contrary to those of mainstream traditional Islam (assuming I've correctly grasped the traditional Islamic view) and consistent with mainstream traditional Islam in other ways.