University of Michigan medical students walk out of white coat ceremony because of anti-abortion speaker

A group of University of Michigan medical students walked out of their white coat ceremony Sunday because a keynote speaker is anti-abortion.

Dr. Kristin Collier, who is an assistant professor of medicine, was selected to speak by a group of medical students, house officials, and faculty. After the walkout, she posted a tweet thanking those who have supported her.

The school released a statement Monday, saying, "The White Coat Ceremony is not a platform for discussion of controversial issues. Its focus will always be on welcoming students into the profession of medicine. Dr. Collier never planned to address a divisive topic as part of her remarks. However, the University of Michigan does not revoke an invitation to a speaker based on their personal beliefs."

Although Collier didn’t speak about her beliefs, she’s the second U of M employee to make headlines over anti-abortion views. Last week, head football coach Jim Harbaugh spoke at an anti-abortion event.

"Showing solidarity in your beliefs is good. You should always stand up for what’s right," said senior Ron Sachdeva.

Students and graduates at the school shared their opinions about what happened.

"I think people were pretty proud of the class for standing up for what they believe in and protesting a speaker they didn’t want," graduate Helena Li said. "It’s not something I would expect, but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me people would do that."

A spokesperson for U of M said Michigan Medicine would continue to offer high quality reproductive care for patients, including abortions.