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Video: Students Walk Out During Anti-Abortion Doc Speech In US University

New Delhi: 

Students of the University of Michigan Medical School staged a walkout at the school’s White Coat Ceremony on Sunday after an anti-abortion doctor took to the stage as the event’s keynote speaker. A video of students walking out of the ceremony as soon as Dr Kristin Collier begins her speech has gone viral on social media. The White Coat Ceremony is a formal event in which students are presented with white coats to mark their entry into the field of medicine.

The clip was shared on Twitter with the note, “Incoming medical students walk out at University of Michigan’s white coat ceremony as the keynote speaker is openly anti-abortion.” It has got over 2.8 million views in less than 10 hours.

The walkout by students did not come as a surprise as over 340 students had signed a petition opposing the selection of Dr Kristin Collier as the keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony.

In addition to the incoming students, 72 community members including Michigan Medicine residents, physicians, graduate students and alumni had also signed the petition.

According to a report by The Michigan Daily, the petition was signed on the basis that Dr Collier has shared multiple anti-abortion views on social media and in interviews. “While we support the rights of freedom of speech and religion, an anti-choice speaker as a representative of the University of Michigan undermines the University’s position on abortion and supports the non-universal, theology-rooted platform to restrict abortion access, an essential part of medical care,” the petition reads.

It asked the university to select a speaker “whose values align with institutional policies, students, and the broader medical community.”

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A report by National Review, however, said Dr Marschall Runge, the school’s dean, did not agree to cancelling the invite, citing the “critical importance of diversity of personal thought and ideas, which is foundational to academic freedom and excellence.”

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