Pro-life groups are blossoming across UK universities despite attempts from students’ unions to marginalise them.
According to the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS), there are now fourteen official pro-life societies, up from eight last year.
Madeline Page, CEO of APS, said she is hopeful that the number will continue to grow, “in line with the continued growth of the pro-life movement in the UK”.
Page highlighted the “opposition and unlawful behaviour” pro-life groups have suffered on campus.
Aberdeen Life Ethics Society was told last year it could no longer affiliate with the student body – making it ineligible for grants and unable to use campus facilities.
But after a 13-month battle, including the threat of legal action, the society was reinstated to the students’ union earlier this year.
Alex Mason, who founded the society, said the group was still facing opposition, with some students threatening to throw milkshakes over them at the Freshers’ Fayre.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission maintains that universities have a legal duty to uphold free speech.
A spokesman commented: “Universities must be a bastion of free speech providing open, inclusive forums for learning and debate.
“We know that abortion rights are a highly contested issue, and universities also have to consider equality obligations, but preventing pro-life societies from affiliating with student unions may go against a university’s obligation to protect freedom of speech on campus.”