Liverpool Pro-Life society speak out: ‘This is how each of us began our lives’
They don’t think their society is misogynistic
The Liverpool University Pro-Life Society has released an exclusive statement with The Tab Liverpool defending their society after a petition surfaced earlier this week asking the Liverpool Guild of Students to ban them.
Having been officially approved by the Guild, the society’s Facebook page became a centre of debate after they posted a status asking people to “Join us to defend every innocent life from conception until natural death!”. FemSoc quickly condemned the group and the Guild were forced to release a statement defending their position. A petition was then set up by a fourth year History and Spanish student Katriana
The petition said: “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.
“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.”
In their statement to The Tab Liverpool, the Pro-Life society say that they established the society because they felt there was “a need for a forum in which students can discuss life ethics openly”. They say that they “aim to represent the very many women who regret their abortions and who are tragically and unfairly silenced, sometimes even by other women” and to “be a voice of support for women who want to be mothers while at university”.
They have also said that while they recognise that abortion is legal in the UK, it is also a “country where we are allowed to peacefully and lawfully oppose abortion and all other practices which violate the dignity of the human person and seek to intentionally shorten any human life”.
The full statement can be read below:
Liverpool University Pro-life society was established to put forward the pro-life argument on campus because we believe that there is a need for a forum in which students can discuss life ethics openly. Our stated objectives within the society are: To inform the student body of specific pro-life issues currently debated in British politics and around the world, to help students find reliable information on moral health issues relating to human sexuality and to offer a friendly environment to facilitate networking of pro-life students on campus.
As evidenced by the petition against us, some students passionately disagree with our position.
Surely the purpose of university is to learn about different ideas, even (and perhaps, especially) those with which we disagree? We, as a society, have confidence in our beliefs. Justifying them in the face of opposing views will only strengthen our position.
Many people still believe that the embryo at the earliest stages is just a ball of cells despite the fact that it has been known for many years that the heart starts to beat at 21 days and new research from the University of Oxford suggests that it might begin to beat as early as 16 days, at which point it is unlikely the mother will even be aware of her pregnancy. Every embryology textbook defines the embryo at the earliest stages of development as a distinct, human being. This is how each of us began our lives.
Some people this week have claimed that our Pro-Life society is misogynistic. We find it difficult to see where this claim comes from. The founder and president of the society is herself a woman and the society has never expressed any hatred for women. On the contrary, among the many concerns of pro-lifers is the fact that unborn baby girls are targeted through abortion. This is one of the subjects we would like to host on campus and we hope students will engage in fruitful and respectful discussion on the matter.
We aim to represent the very many women who regret their abortions and who are tragically and unfairly silenced, sometimes even by other women. If our pro-life society is to be banned, is it any surprise that we rarely (if ever) hear these stories?
We also wish to be a voice of support for women who want to be mothers while at university – many students are told that they are unable to both be a student and pregnant/a mother at the same time, which is not empowering to women.
We understand that many people feel passionate about the provision of abortion (and other issues with which a pro-life society would concern itself) and that we live in a society where abortion is allowed under British law, according to certain conditions laid out in the Abortion Act 1967. However, we also live in a country where we are allowed to peacefully and lawfully oppose abortion and all other practices which violate the dignity of the human person and seek to intentionally shorten any human life. Liverpool University Pro-life Society asks our detractors to grant us the courtesy in respecting our right as students to continue our work as a society.
Sincerely, The President of Liverpool University Pro-life Society