The students’ union at Dundee University in Scotland has caused controversy by banning a pro-life group from its Freshers’ Fair. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) was told it could not have a stall at the fair, where various societies and groups advertise themselves to students, due to their “highly offensive” campaign material.
According to the Dundee Courier, the group have had a stall at the fair every year since 2005, but were not present last year due to lack of space. However, the students’ union has now voted for an outright ban on the group.
The union maintains that the ban applies only to SPUC, and it will be happy to host different pro-life groups, however pro-life campaigners have reacted with dismay.
The Catholic Bishop of Dunkeld, Stephen Robson, criticised the move, saying: “It is a pity that the many young and intelligent members of DUSA cannot see that there are many sides to the debate about the origins and beginnings of human life.
“It is sad that in our modern democracy, which believes in the importance of the freedom of speech, something as noble as the struggle for the protection of innocent and vulnerable unborn human life in the womb cannot even be discussed.”
Rachel Kidd, Field Officer at SPUC Scotland said: “By banning a pro-life information stall which offers factual information on the development of the unborn child and real help to women who may find themselves in a crisis pregnancy situation, they are clearly not acting in the best interests of their students.
“If the DUSA wants to uphold people’s freedom of choice, then it makes no sense that they would only offer one choice and one perspective on the issue of abortion.”
In April, Breitbart London reported that the students’ union at Wales’s Cardiff University voted to ban pro-life demonstations on campus despite widespread opposition. The vote failed however, after it emerged that not enough people attended the meeting to make it valid.
Philip Campbell, director of communications for the Alliance of Pro-Life Students, told Breitbart London: “Universities should be places of free, open and honest debate. Unfortunately however we have seen recently many university unions trying to stifle any debate on life issues.
“Dundee union is just another example of this growing intolerance. Why are the Dundee Union scared of their students hearing something they might not agree with?”