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Nottingham pro-life group wins affiliation after legal action threat

23 July 2019

A pro-life group at Nottingham University has been granted affiliation by the Student’s Union (SU), after an initial decision preventing the society from being affiliated was reversed.

The reversal came after the NSFL threatened legal action and the SU changed its mind after lawyers acting for the pro-life society reminded the Union of its responsibilities to not discriminate on the grounds of belief.

NSFL’s application rejected twice before being agreed

Back in June, the Nottingham Students’ For Life (NSFL) were told they couldn’t become an official society because the SU did not agree with its pro-life stance.

NSFL appealed the decision but the Societies council rejected their appeal a second time by a majority vote. But now, the pro-life group can expect the same benefits of affiliation as other groups.

NSFL will promote culture of life on campus

In a Facebook post following the decision, the NSFL said: “The [Student] Union’s decision to affiliate us comes following the threat of legal action to the Students’ Union. [Our lawyers] reminded the Union that their decision to reject us not only went against their own policies but against their legal obligation to not discriminate against us on the grounds of belief.

Affiliation is important for societies at universities because it permits them to use university premises for their events and can mean they are entitled to funding.

The NSFL concluded: “We have officially been granted the status of an affiliated society with the Union! We are delighted to have received affiliation and are looking forward to being able to promote a culture of life on campus.”

Being pro-life is a legitimate view

CARE’s Communications Manager, James Mildred said: “Universities should be places where free speech is guaranteed.

“But there is a disturbing trend of pro-life groups being forced to go the extra mile to be awarded the same privileges as other societies.

“Being pro-life does not mean you belong to some sort of fringe or cult.

“It is a legitimate, life-affirming view to hold, and university student unions need to learn lessons from what has happened at Nottingham University.”

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A pro-life group at Aberdeen University had a very similar experience, read more here

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