Liverpool Guild of Students will officially be adopting a pro-choice position

This was the result of last week’s referendum


Last week it was reported that a referendum was being held to decide whether the Liverpool Guild of Students should officially adopt a pro-choice stance on abortions.

A total of 1,275 votes were cast by Liverpool students. There were 1,024 yes votes, 224 no votes and 27 abstentions; this meant the motion passed, and the Guild will now fully adopt a pro-choice position.

Lauren, a third year English Literature student told us what she thought of the decision: "I think it's important that the Guild offer their full support to women in need and adopting a pro-choice position is a significant part of that."

Matt, a third year Anatomy student also offered his support for the decision. He stated: "The thing about holding a pro-choice position is that this means whatever a student's beliefs, the Guild can support them. Being pro-choice is about supporting the pregnant woman's decision, whatever she chooses."

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Pro-life charity "Life" were banned from this year's Freshers' Fair

For obvious reasons, many pro-lifers are angered by the result of the referendum. Pro-life charity "Life" is accusing the Students' Union at the University of Liverpool of shutting down debate with its adoption of a pro-choice stance.

The charity's Head of Advocacy, Elizabeth Parsons, is an alumna of UoL. She told The Liverpool Tab "this result is not about providing people with choice", and that it "shuts down debate" at the university. She stated "students will feel that their only option will be to have an abortion". You can see the full statement from Ms Parsons below.

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"This result is not about providing people with choice. It inevitably shuts down debate at this wonderful and diverse university. In reality, this pro-choice stance will mean practical support services, such as those offered by Life, will not be promoted on campus and students will feel their only option will be to have an abortion.

"Our time at University should be about allowing students to explore the real world, to celebrate opinions and debate and allow every student to feel worthwhile. What does a vote like this say to the 224 students who voted against it? What does it offer for the students who might become pregnant and want support with their baby? What does it say to the Prolife society at the University?

"Life has visited a number of University Fresher’s Fairs over the last few years and the majority of responses are from students who are thrilled to see prolife views represented and the valuable services we offer, being promoted.

"If Liverpool University wishes to retain its mission of being ‘for the advancement of learning and ennoblement of life’, it has a duty to ensure that all students feel able to have discussions and debates that are free of intimidation, discrimination and fear. A vote like this goes against everything the university purports to stand for.

"In September last year the Office for Students declared that organisations such as Life should be able to “publicise its work and services to students” at universities. It however said it does not have the authority to regulate university student unions. We then wrote to the Universities Minister asking that this situation be corrected. The response was that the Government was helpless to deal with the unions. Student unions cannot be laws unto themselves where free speech is concerned. We continue to call on the Government to move urgently to correct this situation."