Pro-life group banned from university freshers’ fayre
Thu, 11 Sep 2014
A pro-life group has been banned from attending the freshers’ fayre at Dundee University.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has held a stall at the event for many years where it has distributed literature on its issues.
But this year the organisers, Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA), unanimously voted to refuse SPUC access.
Clare McGraw, secretary for SPUC in Dundee, described the decision by DUSA as “sad and disappointing”.
She said: “They say they want to listen to both sides of the debate but by denying us access they are silencing one side.”
The president of DUSA, Iain MacKinnon, said that SPUC “actively campaign for a number of causes directly in conflict with DUSA’s constitution”.
SPUC lobby politicians on pro-life issues and have opposed same-sex marriage.
Douglas Schrieber, one of the vice presidents of DUSA, said that the decision was also made because “highly offensive” foetal models and literature were displayed at a previous SPUC stall.
McGraw responded: “The foetal models that they are objecting to are the same as those used in schools to educate pupils about human development, and this has not caused problems.”
A local Roman Catholic Church leader also criticised the decision by DUSA.
Bishop of Dunkeld Stephen Robson said: “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 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.”
Speaking for SPUC Scotland, Rachel Kidd said: “DUSA makes a great deal of noise about being fair and unprejudiced towards groups with differing views.
“SPUC’s effectiveness in communicating the pro-life message on campus seems to have provoked DUSA to treat SPUC in an unfair and biased way.”
Earlier this year, the University of Alabama apologised for removing a student group’s pro-life display without talking to them first.