Strathclyde’s SU have banned a Pro-Life group
It violates the university’s policy on safe spaces
Pro-life societies have been banned from Strathclyde due to concerns it would violate the safe space of students.
Strathclyde University’s student association has refused to allow anti-abortion supporters to set up an official group.
In a meeting, the Union said: “Anti-choice groups actively use intimidation and fear tactics to harass people entering abortion clinics.
“The establishment of anti-choice groups would directly contravene equal opportunities policy by giving them a platform to harass students. This in turn violates their safe space.
“Allowing an anti-choice group to form would be a barrier to freedom, equality and body autonomy for those with uteruses on campus therefore not only violate existing standing policy, but also act against the interests of a large amount of the student population.”
The association passed a blanket-motion banning “anti-choice” groups.
Pro-life students said that the move was a violation of their right to free speech under the European Convention of Human Rights.
Jamie McGowan, a pro-life student from Strathclyde, said: “It is deplorable that a modern university is incapable of facilitating debate on societal or medical issue such as abortion.
“Ironically, they will happily take positions on politics, but refuse to allow political debate and we feel this policy is a violation of freedom of speech.”
Chloe Lindsey, an English student, added: “The suppression of freedom of speech has no place in a university which claims to be liberal and forward-thinking.”
The move infuriated pro-life students further because they’d previously tried to access funding but were told they had to affiliate with the student association.
Raj Jayaraj, President of the Students’ Association, has said that the group could seek a university-wide referendum to overturn the ruling.
He added: “If a society’s beliefs contradict association policy then it is not allowed to affiliate. If a society representing the BNP came on campus then we would not allow them to affiliate.”
The row comes amid concerns that universities’ political correctness is stifling free speech.
In 2014, an abortion debate at Oxford University, organised by a pro-life pressure group, was cancelled after student activists complained about the all-male panel.
Last year, Cardiff University students tried to ban famous feminist Germaine Greer because she once said that a man who was castrated would not behave like a woman. More than 3000 people signed a petition arguing that she should not be allowed to deliver her lecture because her comments were transphobic.
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