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Over 40 faculty members from Catholic college demand apology after screening of pro-life film 'Unplanned' causes 'furor and fear' on campus

'I regret that people in our community have experienced anxiety, stress, and frustration as a function of this event'

Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

More than 40 faculty members from King's University College in Canada demanded a formal apology after pro-life film "Unplanned" was screened on the campus of the London, Ontario, school earlier this month, CBC News reported.

King's University College is a Catholic institution but emphasizes "social justice," according to its website.

What are the details?

A three-page faculty letter complained that the movie — about Abby Johnson's transformation from a Planned Parenthood clinic director to an anti-abortion activist — caused "furor and fear" on campus, the outlet said.

The letter added that the Rev. Michael Bechard — the college's director of campus ministry — endorsed the movie, which is "of great concern to the viability of our institution as we work to recruit and maintain excellent students, staff and faculty," the outlet said.

The letter also notes Bechard's comments to CBC News that "Unplanned" is "really consistent with our general ethic of life at King's" — a point that faculty members said wasn't true and that rather the school's purpose is to "engage in the open pursuit of truth."

"Women who have exercised their rights to reproductive care risk being stigmatized and traumatized by the ideological position presented both in the film and in the Director's statement," the letter added, according the outlet, adding that faculty wanted Bechard to apologize.

CBC News said dozens rallied during the movie's screening and carried posters that read "Trust Women" and "I am a woman not a womb":

The faculty members also wanted the school's Principal David Malloy to assure the college community that the "Unplanned" event doesn't reflect the school's values, the outlet said.

'I take responsibility'

"I regret that people in our community have experienced anxiety, stress and frustration as a function of this event," Malloy said later in a statement, CBC News reported. "As principal I take responsibility for this and will strive to create a more open format for future events."

He didn't note anything about a Bechard apology — but he did blame the media, the outlet said.

"There was some confusion generated in the media between where King's stands and where Campus Ministry stands on issues such as abortion," Malloy wrote, according to CBC News. "The presentation of the film and the belief of life beginning at conception is the stance of Campus Ministry and not of King's as a whole ... King's does not have a position on abortion."

Anything else?

When "Unplanned" was screened in select Canadian theaters last July, protests ensued across the country, the outlet said.

Amid the outcry, death threats were sent to a pair of theater owners — one of whom decided against showing the movie for fear of his safety.

Twitter suspended the movie's account on its opening weekend without explanation, and the film's Twitter followers inexplicably plunged to under 200 after the suspension when over 200,000 had been amassed. Both the follower count and suspension were soon reversed, but the damage was done.

Last April, it was pointed out that Google labeled "Unplanned" as a "drama/propaganda." A Google spokesperson told Fox News that its "Knowledge Graph" analyzed web content regarding the movie, and that a large volume of it described "Unplanned" as propaganda and created the label.

"When we're made aware of disputed facts in our Knowledge Graph, we work to fix the issues, as we've done in this case," the spokesperson told Fox News, which reported that Google updated its search results so that "propaganda" no longer appeared.

Here's the "Unplanned" trailer:

youtu.be

(H/T: The College Fix)

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