Proposal to ban Newcastle anti-abortion society defeated

Life Society will remain an NUSU affiliated group

The Newcastle University Student Council voted against abolishing an anti-abortion society on Thursday last week.

A motion was put to the Council that Life Society should be ‘de-ratified’ as an official NUSU society on the grounds that their message may cause emotional hurt to young women at the university.

The motion was defeated by a vote of 63% to 35% with 2% abstaining. Life Society therefore remains a registered and funded society.

Secretary of the Life Society, Emma Morrison, told the Tab: “When we heard about the proposed motion we were obviously all very disappointed and quite stressed.

“However, we weren’t surprised as every pro-life student society in the country has come across these kind of motions so we were all expecting something like this to come up at some point.”

A lively debate at the Council saw many opponents of the motion promoting the principle of free speech, with some saying that although they did not agree with the society’s views, they believed they should still have the right to voice their opinion on campus.

Some of those supporting the motion argued that the society was campaigning for women to have their freedom of choice removed, and were concerned that women would feel unwelcome at the Union if it continued to fund the society.

Commenting on the motion being quashed, Emma said: “We’re all really relieved, it has been a really stressful week for us putting together our defence and having this looming over us on top of having all our normal uni work.

“We’re really glad that the council has voted to uphold the value of freedom of speech on campus which we, and the majority of people in wider society, believe is an absolutely vital aspect of an academic environment like university”.

The Life Society was ratified last year and currently has approximately 20 members.