Kristin Collier: Michigan medical students walk out of induction ceremony to protest keynote speaker with anti-abortion views

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As Dr. Kristin Collier, an assistant professor of inside drugs on the college, started delivering her keynote speech, a number of dozen college students abruptly stood up and commenced submitting out of the auditorium, video shows. Some viewers members will also be seen leaving.

Earlier than Sunday’s White Coat Ceremony, through which incoming medical college students are cloaked with their first medical coats, some college students had petitioned the college to interchange Collier with one other speaker, citing her anti-abortion views.

“Whereas we help the rights of freedom of speech and faith, an anti-choice speaker as a consultant of the College of Michigan undermines the College’s place on abortion and helps the non-universal, theology-rooted platform to limit abortion entry, a vital a part of medical care,” the petition reads.

Medical scholar Elliott Brannon, who helped arrange the petition, advised CNN greater than 300 medical college students signed it. The walkout and petition had been principally organized by incoming medical college students with the help of present college students, Brannon mentioned.

“This isn’t merely a disagreement on private opinion,” the petition mentioned. “(T)hrough our demand, we’re standing up in solidarity in opposition to teams who’re attempting to remove human rights and prohibit medical care.”

Collier, who additionally directs the medical college’s program on well being, spirituality and faith, has beforehand expressed anti-abortion views, together with in a May 4 tweet.

“(H)olding on to a view of feminism the place one fights for the rights of all girls and ladies, particularly those that are most susceptible. I can not not lament the violence directed at my prenatal sisters within the act of abortion, executed within the identify of autonomy,” the tweet learn, later including, “Liberation that prices harmless lives is simply oppression that’s redistributed.”

The college advised CNN Collier was chosen to be the keynote speaker by members of the medical college’s Gold Humanism Honor Society. In an announcement, the college stood by the choice to maintain her because the occasion speaker.

“The White Coat Ceremony is just not a platform for dialogue of controversial points,” the assertion mentioned. “Its focus will at all times be on welcoming college students into the occupation of medication. Dr. Collier by no means deliberate to handle a divisive subject as a part of her remarks. Nonetheless, the College of Michigan doesn’t revoke an invite to a speaker primarily based on their private beliefs.”

The college additionally reiterated that its reproductive care nonetheless contains abortion.

Where state abortion bans stand amid legal challenges

“The College of Michigan and Michigan Drugs stay dedicated to offering prime quality, secure reproductive take care of sufferers, throughout all their reproductive well being wants. This contains abortion care,” the assertion mentioned.

Following the Supreme Court docket’s resolution to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion stays authorized in Michigan. Whereas the state had a 1931 abortion ban on the books, the restriction is briefly blocked by a state court docket.

CNN reached out to Collier for remark however has not obtained a response.

Collier mentioned through the ceremony that she was honored to be chosen to talk. Earlier than giving a speech to the brand new college students about learn how to survive and flourish within the medical area, she appeared to nod to the controversy.

“I wish to acknowledge the deep wounds our neighborhood has suffered over the previous a number of weeks,” she mentioned. “We’ve an excessive amount of work to do for therapeutic to happen and I hope that for immediately, for this time, we will give attention to what issues most, coming collectively to help our newly accepted college students and their households with a purpose of welcoming them into one of many biggest vocations that exists on this earth — the vocation of medication.”

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