Dozens of University of Michigan medical school students staged a walkout in the middle of their white coat ceremony this weekend, shortly after the keynote speaker, a renowned anti-abortion physician, began his speech.
Video from the annual ceremony held at the Hill Auditorium of the Michigan Institute shows Dr. Kristin Collier, an assistant professor of medicine at the university and a self-proclaimed anti-abortion practitioner, as students in white coats begin their speech on the podium. imprisoned in And other guests were starting to leave the building.
Medical school students had previously petitioned the school’s dean, Dr. Marschal Runge, that Dr. Collier, who is also the director of the university’s program on health, spirituality and religion, be removed from the ceremony. He cited his comments as “contrary to the principles of reproductive justice”.
“While we support free speech and religious rights, an anti-choice speaker as representative of the University of Michigan undermines the university’s position on abortion and supports a non-universal, theology-based platform to prohibit abortion. Does. Access to abortion, an essential part of health care,” reads the letter.
“We demand that UM stand in solidarity with us and select a speaker whose values align with institutional policies, students, and the medical community at large.”
The letter also included anonymous quotes from students who had attended the protest, many of whom noted that Dr. Collier’s election made him “seriously doubt whether the school would continue to advocate for reproductive rights.”
“I already fear that I choose to go to school in a state where I may very well lose my right to a safe abortion, and Dr. Collier’s decision to be the UMMS keynote speaker makes it even more frightening. gives.” One student was cited in the petition letter.
Another student wrote, “I attend UMMS in large part because of its progressive approach to health care and education, and choosing Dr. Collier as the keynote speaker makes me question my decision.”
However, the request failed. Dr. Runge wrote a letter in response to the “positive and negative feedback” he received after appointing Collier as the keynote speaker, noting that academic freedom did not allow any individual students to have a say in their personal views. Qualification reduced.
“The White Coat Ceremony is not a forum for discussing controversial issues, and Dr. Collier never planned to address a divisive topic as part of his remarks,” Dr. Runge started. “Our values speak to respecting the critical importance of individual views and diversity of views, which is fundamental to academic freedom and excellence. We will not rule out a speaker because they have different personal views than others ,” he concluded, adding that a forum on “the importance of diversity of thought” was being planned in the medical school, which would be given soon. Learn more details.
Shortly after the white coat ceremony ended and protesting students entered the building, Dr. Collier explicitly addressed the controversy surrounding his initial address in an unquoted tweet posted on Sunday, which read: “[estoy] Really grateful for the support, emails, messages, prayers and letters I have received from around the world regarding today’s event. I feel very supported by this. And to my team who have supported me every day through this: I love you.”
During his speech, which was preceded by 168 medical students receiving their white coats and reciting the White Coat Pledge, Dr. Collier again pointed to the tussle before his speech. However, it did not directly address the request for delisting.
“I want to acknowledge the deep wounds that our community has suffered in recent weeks,” Collier said, starting his speech, which did not address the issue of abortion. “We have a lot of work to do to heal, and I hope that for today, this time, we can focus on what is most important: to support our newly admitted students and their families with the goal of welcoming them. To come together for one of the most important businesses that exist on this earth”.
In Michigan, patients seeking an abortion should receive state-directed counseling, which includes information designed to prevent the person from continuing the procedure. According to the Guttmacher Institute, they must wait 24 hours before having an abortion.
Although abortion is legal in the state of Michigan, since the termination of Roe vs. Wade Last month, abortion advocates worried that the procedure could become a felony due to a 1931 law that would ban almost all cases in which the procedure is performed.
In April, Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Dr. Sarah Wallet filed a lawsuit to block the 1931 law from taking effect in the state. In May, the Michigan Claims Court granted a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.
According to Michigan Radio, the 1931 law cannot take effect until it is decided. However, Michigan Right to Life, the Michigan Catholic Convention and two prosecutors have asked the appeals court to overturn that injunction, effectively stalling the proceedings.