Students at the University of Cardiff in Wales have voted down a motion that would have made the Students’ Union officially pro-choice and effectively banned pro-life activities.
Clauses within the motion included preventing “affiliated societies and groups from taking part in anti-choice protests or rallies outside of abortion clinics and under the banner of the student’s union,” with another part saying:
“Any information about abortion or contraception disseminated, distributed or presented in union or university buildings must be unbiased and not shame those who choose to have abortions, and must be academically referenced.”
The motion would have also committed the Students’ Union to campaigning against protests outside abortion clinics and opposing “any restrictions to abortion or contraceptive rights being passed through Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales.”
Opponents blasted the motion for threatening free speech and freedom of religion. Jonathan O’Connell, president of Cardiff Students for Life, said: “This motion simply cannot be allowed to pass. The university environment has long been a bastion of free speech, which the proposed motion seeks to attack.
“There are huge implications in enforcing a single ideology or political viewpoint across the whole student populace; not least of all it restricts students’ freedom of expression as well as directly limiting the religious freedom of certain student groups.
“Declaring the university officially pro-choice is akin to declaring the university affiliated with a single political party, which obviously in the 21st century would be totally unthinkable.”
Last night, the motion was safely defeated, however, with the “Keep Cardiff Uni Free” Facebook page stating that it had been rejected by an overwhelming show of hands, with no official count necessary.
The motion was the latest in a series of assaults on the pro-life movement on British campuses. Earlier this month, a debate on abortion at Oxford University had to be cancelled following pressure and threats from the university’s women’s campaign.
The debate, which would have been featured journalists Tim Stanley and Brendan O’Neill debating the motion “This house believes abortion culture harms us all”, had to be cancelled after angry feminists set up a Facebook page threatening to disrupt the event.
In September, Dundee University’s Students’ Association banned the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) from a freshers’ event, despite the organisation having previously attended, while Oxford University Students’ Union banned anti-abortion group Life from advertising at the university.
Pro-life groups are not the only ones who are under attack from student unions. Breitbart London reported yesterday that students at the University of East Anglia had stopped a speaker meeting going ahead because it would have featured a representative from UKIP.
The Students’ Union said that allowing the event to go ahead may have “breached its equal opportunities policy”, “caused fear or alarm to members of the student body”, and even caused a “breach of the peace”.