University of Michigan med students walked out of their white coat ceremony on Sunday.
They protested the selection of anti-abortion Dr. Kirsten Collier as the keynote speaker.
Dozens of students had signed a petition to remove him as speaker, but the university refused.
University of Michigan medical students walked out of their white coat ceremony Sunday when an anti-abortion professor was scheduled to give the keynote address.
More than 340 current and incoming students signed a petition before the event asking that Dr. Kristen Collier, an assistant professor at the school, not be the keynote speaker. Michigan Dailya student newspaper.
gave Application to remove Collier linked to posts in which she described abortion as “torturing my pre-born sisters” and said That “God is the creator of our biology” as he argued against abortion. In an interview with Collier also described himself as a “pro-life person”. pillarA Catholic news site, last month.
But Collier still spoke at the weekend ceremony — which marks the entrance of students into the medical field — and students walked out as he approached the stage.
Footage of the walkout was filmed and shared by Brandon Scorpio, who told Insider he came to watch a friend receive his white coat. A University of Michigan spokesperson also confirmed to Insider on Monday that the walkout took place.
The footage shows students wearing their white coats standing and leaving the room before Collier begins to speak.
The speech heard in this video is similar to a speech given by Collier. official The university’s video of the event, which cuts out or doesn’t show the audience during his speech. Her address did not mention abortion. National Review Reported
It is not clear how many students were present at the event, how many walked out and how many stayed. Medical school said The class of 2022 had 168 students.
In their petition, the students said Collier’s previous comments were “against principles of reproductive justice because abortion restrictions disproportionately affect women of color, other marginalized women, and others.”
“While we support the rights of freedom of speech and religion, an anti-choice speaker representing the University of Michigan undermines the university’s position on abortion and is unconscionable to restrict access to abortion. , supports a platform connected to theology, which is an essential part of medical care,” the petition said.
“This is not just a difference of opinion; through our demand we stand in solidarity against groups that seek to take away human rights and limit medical care,” he continued.
In a statement to Insider on Monday, the University of Michigan said, “The White Coat event is not a platform to discuss controversial issues.” It added: “Dr. Collier never planned to address a divisive topic as part of his remarks. However, the University of Michigan does not revoke invitations to speakers based on their personal beliefs.” Is.”
A spokeswoman said the university is committed to providing safe reproductive care, including abortion care. Roe v. by the US Supreme Court. Abortion is still legal in Michigan after Wade was overturned.
Scorpio, who posted the video, told Insider that he supported the student walkout, saying it was “a group of up-and-coming medical students standing together for what they believe in, against any potential Considering the risks, that’s admirable.”
“He is committed to the betterment of people as a whole,” he continued, “and his message by leading by example is a message of hope.”
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