A petition has been started to ban Liverpool pro-life society

The Guild President has released a statement

abortion Kat LGOS liverpool petition pro-life sexual health The Guild

The petition is called “The pro-life society is a violation of womens rights and should be banned”.

The petition has been started by a fourth year History and Spanish student Katriana Ciccotto. The petition description reads:

“As a female student, I feel completely betrayed, insulted and neglected by the Guild’s recent approval of the pro-life society.

“This is a society that is founded on the sole basis that women should oblige to their beliefs. One that denies a woman the right to her own body. These are not religious ideas, they are misogynistic and hateful.

“Whilst I understand and the Guild’s policy towards freedom of speech, misogyny does not come under this category. Surely the Guild would undoubtedly disapprove of a society that promoted racism, homophobia or any other form of hate speech? Why is this different?

“If the Guild want to maintain the idea that they represent their students, they should have the moral obligation to ban this pro-life group.

Please ‘thumbs up’ if you agree.”

The petition already has over 20 upvotes, which is all that is needed for the Guild to assess it and take action upon the request.

Katrina was inspired to start the petition after talking to Guild Vice-President Yasmin Gasimova: “So many of my friends told me I was overreacting and that I should just ‘leave them be’, but I couldn’t morally do that.

“I rang Yasmin in frustration as soon as I heard the news, and she was really supportive and suggested I submitted a change-it. As much as I wanted to personally contact the president of the new the society and have it out with them, this was the more logical step. I submitted the petition in a huge wave of anger, but it’s so relieving and hopeful to see how much support its got, and how quickly. It was so reassuring to find out that I wasn’t the only one who felt so let down by the guild”.

Guild President Sean Turner released a statement saying: “Liverpool Guild of Students is home to over 210 student-led societies, covering a wide range of beliefs, interests and activities. We recognise that our members will not always agree with every society, and that there can be disagreement between different groups. We are committed to facilitating respectful, inclusive debate.

As with all Guild societies, this new group will have to follow our Code of Conduct, which seeks to create an environment where everyone is treated with dignity, fairness and respect. Before approving this society, we met with them to ensure they understood the Guild’s commitment to ensuring that students are only signposted to non-judgemental, non-directional, confidential advice and support services. The society committee confirmed that they would not be offering pregnancy advice to students, nor signposting them to agencies who seek to advise on pregnancy”.

Beth Meadows, a History student and president of Help the Homeless Society said:

“I think the approval of the society is a very disappointing and unsettling. The fact that it has the potential to damage the mental health and well being of students (women, men, trans and non-binary people who may have been affected by abortion) is enough reason for it be not exist. Everyone I have spoken to is outraged and upset by it already.”

Some students, however, are defending the right for the society to exist. Max, a History student at the University, said: “I’d firmly say I am pro choice however if the last few months have proved anything it’s that you can’t stop intolerable or disagreeable opinions by refusing to engage them. 

“Similarly, a pro-life society needs to be equally willing to engage in campus debate. There’s no point a society involved in a contentious issue existing then avoiding free debate on the issue. Part of their raison d’etre is the right to express oneself freely”

If you are a member of the Pro-Life Society, affiliated to them, or have a strong opinion about this news story and would like to speak out, please message The Tab Liverpool facebook page or email [email protected]

Any student seeking advice on pregnancy or sexual health can contact Sexual Health Liverpool (http://www.sexualhealthliverpool.co.uk), and under25s can speak to Brook Liverpool (0151 207 4000). Both provide non-judgemental, non-directive support and advice.