University of Manchester

Pro-life charity rejected from Manchester’s Freshers’ fair because it is not the ‘correct platform’

Life wants to spread awareness and help students with unplanned pregnancies

The University of Manchester's Student Union has rejected the Life charity from having a stall in their Freshers' fair this year. Warwick and Liverpool's University Unions have also removed Life from their fairs.

Manchester Union said they "did not think the fair is the correct platform for Life" and ignored further questions on why this is.

Life is a pro-life charity, which has helped to support thousands of pregnant women across the country for over forty years. In response to their rejection of a freshers' stall, Life's Director of Education, Anne Scanlan, wrote a letter to the Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the Office for Students.

Scanlan said Life's "main intention behind having a stall at freshers fairs is to make students aware that we are there to support them if they are affected by an unplanned pregnancy and need help."

Life does not show shocking images in their stalls. They only provide positive, educational images of pregnancies as well as, foetal models to reflect the different stages.

Scanlan argues that university unions are discriminating against Life because they do not agree with the pro-life view and in doing so, are preventing the freedom of expression on their campuses.

In fact, the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights found, earlier this year, that "the discussion of unpopular and controversial ideas was being stifled on campuses across the country." Universities do not "intellectually challenge provocative speakers, debates have simply been shut down or shouted over."

Life even had at least two confrontations with university unions during last year's Freshers' Week. Unions carried out threats to make Life leave campus if they did not remove their foetal models from the stall.

Free speech is frequently being impeded by student unions and rather than interfering, universities are removing themselves and refusing any responsibility for the situation.