On August 29, Campaign Life Coalition Youth urged the Toronto Catholic District School Board to encourage all high schools to show the pro-life movie Unplanned, an idea endorsed by the Student Achievement and Well-Being, Catholic Education, and Human Resources standing subcommittee.
Emily Price, co-coordinator of CLCY, and Shania Nigli, a CLC summer student, advocated for the showing of Unplanned, a film depicting the pro-life conversion of Abby Johnson from abortion worker to pro-life advocate.
Nigli said, “this movie will help start a pro-life conversation within the classroom, and encourage students to stand firm in their Catholic conviction.”
Nigli added if Catholic high school students saw the movie’s “unwavering testament to the sanctity of life” it would instil in its views “the need for us to stand up as pro-life Christians.” By seeing “the horror of abortion,” Nigli said, students would “be ready to become the next generation of pro-life warriors.”
Price said some people might not view the content of the movie, which includes a graphic depiction of abortion, as not suitable for students. Price reminded trustees that school-aged teenagers are allowed to procure abortions so it only makes sense that they should be allowed to see what is involved in one. “If someone is old enough to get an abortion, then they should be old enough to view a movie about abortion,” Price said, “so that they’re properly informed.”
Price said that permitting Unplanned to be shown in schools was an “opportunity” for trustees to “encourage critical thinking” among students, as well as live out their Catholic faith by becoming activated to do something about abortion.
Trustee Michael Del Grande said high schools should be encouraged to show the movie and that parents who objected to the content would be free to have their children opt-out. He said that the subcommittee’s job was to “look at things through the Catholic lens” and that providing the opportunity for students to think about abortion and live out their pro-life beliefs was fulfilling that mission.
The motion to have staff look at how to bring Unplannedto TCDSB high schools was passed unanimously by Del Grande, Teresa Lubinski, and Gary Tanuan.