An anti abortion group is taking legal action against Aberdeen University

The Aberdeen Life Ethics Society have accused the student union of censoring controversial societies.


An anti-abortion group at Aberdeen University has filed a lawsuit against the uni after it was refused affiliate status in October last year.

The "Aberdeen Life Ethics Society" (ALES) claims it has been discriminated against, and has criticised the University's "no-platforming" policy.

AUSA (Aberdeen University Students' Association) currently holds a pro-choice stance, backing free, safe and legal access to abortion. The refusal means the society won't have access "funding, facilitation or platform" to run events.

ALES claims multiple applications for affiliation were refused by the University and spent months "trying to resolve this problem through inefficient bureaucratic channels."

Lawyers for the society have accused the University of discrimination under the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act for not allowing the society affiliate status.

A spokesperson for the society said: "It was disconcerting to watch our fellow students affirm and uphold our legal disenfranchisement, but it serves as proof that student democracy at Aberdeen is broken, serving only to insulate students from dissenting opinions.

"At this point, all good faith avenues for resolution have been exhausted and ALES is now forced to turn to the legal system for restitution and vindication."

Alex Mason, a doctoral student and founder of the society, said: "Universities should foster free debate and discussion over important ethical issues like abortion.

"Unfortunately, there is a lot of social pressure on young people to conform to the pro-abortion viewpoint.

"For many of us, our pro-life beliefs were forged from our understanding of gestational science, as well as our Christian faith and the ability to express these beliefs must be protected."

Mason also went on to say that although the group does demonstrate near abortion clinics, they do not "hold up pictures of dead babies or yell and scream at women."

A spokesperson for AUSA said the group had been invited to reapply, "with the reassurance that the application would be treated in the same way as any other", but that ALES had not done so. They were unable to comment on legal action.

A spokesman for the University clarified that Aberdeen University itself does not oppose the groups membership in the union, saying: "The university is an inclusive community and recognises different beliefs, values and cultures.

"Student societies and clubs sit with the Aberdeen University Students' Association".

Earlier this year, a pro life society at Glasgow University overturned the decision to refuse them affiliate status after threatening legal action.

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