Medical students walk out of University of Michigan induction ceremony to protest pro-life doctor

A recent viral video on Twitter showed dozens of University of Michigan medical students walking out of their induction ceremony as Dr. Kristin Collier, an openly pro-life assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS), took to the stage to address the new students.

As of Monday morning, the video now has 10 million views, showing the exodus of students and some parents getting up to leave at Hill Auditorium on Sunday as Dr. Collier began speaking.

The protest comes after a petition for Dr. Collier to be removed as keynote speaker was denied. According to reports from Michigan Daily, over 340 current and incoming medical students signed a petition opposing the selection of Dr. Collier as the keynote speaker for the event because of her pro-life views, which she has expressed publicly on social media.

“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. “This is not simply a disagreement on personal opinion; through our demand we are standing up in solidarity against groups who are trying to take away human rights and restrict medical care.”

Their petition request was denied by the school’s dean, Dr. Marschall Runge, who emphasized the “critical importance of diversity of personal thought and ideas, which is foundational to academic freedom and excellence.”

A spokeswoman for Michigan Medicine, Mary Masson, gave comment to the Michigan Daily, “The University of Michigan does not revoke an invitation to a speaker based on their personal beliefs,” Masson wrote. “However, the White Coat Ceremony will not be used as a forum to air personal political or religious beliefs; it will focus on welcoming students into the profession of medicine.”

During Collier’s speech, she made no mention of abortion or Roe v. Wade, but simply gave students encouragement and advice on what to expect when they begin their careers.

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