The Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins University compared pro-life students to white supremacists and denied them official club status at the school.
“They were denied status because the students on the student council felt being pro-life violates their harassment policy,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.
Hawkins told Fox News the student group, called Voice for Life, is searching for an attorney and they plan on fighting the ban.
The SGA at Johns Hopkins voted March 12 to deny Voice for Life the right to become an official student club. That vote was affirmed on March 24 by the SGA’s senate.
SGA representatives did not return calls seeking comment.
“We were pretty shocked when the students showed their bias toward the pro-life students,” Hawkins said.
According to emails obtained by Fox News, members of the SGA compared the pro-life students to white supremacists.
“And this is why we don’t approve groups like Voice for Life,” one SGA member wrote, linking to an article about a white supremacist group at Towson University.
Hawkins said the comparison was particularly offensive to African-American members of the pro-life group.
“To compare pro-lifers with white supremacists – it’s unreal,” she said.
Another SGA member said they objected to pro-life displays at Johns Hopkins, saying she “felt personally violated, targeted and attacked at a place where we previously felt safe and free to live our lives.”
An SGA senator said “we have the right to protect our students from things that are uncomfortable. Why should people have to defend their beliefs on their way to class?”
Andrew Guernsey, a student at Johns Hopkins and president of Voice for Life, said they simply want to exercise their right to free speech and association.
“It is inconsistent with the JHU’s motto ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ for the SGA to try to hide its students – many future doctors and nurses – from the truth about abortion and how it hurts women, families and most of all, innocent preborn babies,” he said.
And that’s the problem, according to another private email from an SGA senator.
“If their sole and fundamental purpose is to stop students from having abortions, that’s not what we need,” the senator wrote. “I understand people’s right to freedom of speech, but this is a private university, and as such, we have the right to protect our students from things that are uncomfortable.”
Hawkins said the emails are proof that the senators violated their own constitution.
“They strive to create free speech and free expression on campus and they’ve openly violated it,” she told Fox News. “
Hawkins conceded that on private university campuses – free speech is not necessarily free.
“Sadly, this happens time and time again on private university campuses,” she said. “They feel like they don’t have to uphold freedom of speech.”
Ironically, she said, on the same day their group was denied status, the student lawmakers approved status for a pro-Palestinian group.
“That group actually has a history of violence on other campuses along with anti-Semitism,” she said.