Lisa Klassen wrote the following essay at the request of the editor of The Titanium, her school’s newspaper. But The Titanium was not allowed to print it, even if accompanied by an opposing view. It is reprinted here with permission.

Ever since I started wearing a sweater that says, “Abortion is Mean,” I have received many comments both good and bad. On Oct. 23, I was called down to the office and told that I was not allowed to wear this sweater to school. I believe strongly that abortion is murder and I will stand up for what I believe in.

I know that not everyone has the same beliefs. Just because I wear this sweater does not mean that everyone has to believe the same things as I. I am a Christian and the Christian faith believes that life begins at the moment of conception and no one has the right to take that life. By wearing this sweater, I am telling the world what I think. You may not agree with me, but that is no reason to tell me that I have to stop expressing my opinion.

Section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. By wearing this sweater, I am expressing my thoughts, opinions and beliefs. To force me to stop wearing this sweater is a violation of my rights.

When I bought this sweater my goal was not to offend anyone or force my beliefs. I simply wanted to make it clear to the world what I believe. Every day over 4,400 babies are killed in North America because people think abortion is okay. One of the millions of babies that has been aborted could have discovered the cure for cancer, or been the next president, or been your best friend. I apologize to anyone that I have offended and if you still have a problem with my sweater, please come and talk to me about it. I don’t mean to offend anyone but I am not going to stop wearing my sweater. You will not silence my message, you will not mock my God and you will stop killing my generation!