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More than 70% of pro-life students feel unable to share their views in lectures or seminars

12 February 2021
One in four UK pro life students threatened abused alarmed or distressed for being pro life at university

A disturbing new poll from the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) shows more than 70% of pro-life students have faced situations in lectures or seminars where they are unable to share their pro-life views.

Nearly a quarter of those polled have been threatened, abused, alarmed or distressed by another student or academic because they belong to a pro-life society.

Meanwhile one in three have seen events cancelled due to ‘de-platforming’ of speakers with a pro-life viewpoint and 65% have witnessed another student being discriminated against for holding pro-life views.

The results have been submitted to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights who are conducting an inquiry on freedom of expression.

“These statistics are alarming yet confirm what we already know – pro-life students are being marginalised and silenced at universities. Institutional policies which refuse to allow certain topics to be discussed don’t just damage free speech – they destroy a culture of tolerance and respect on campus, ruining the chance for all students to engage with people of diverse opinions and understandings.”
Madeline Page Alliance of Pro-Life Students

Pro-life stu­dent groups under pressure

According to APS, the results of this new poll echo trends already seen at universities across the UK, where there’s been attempts to stop pro-life groups from taking part in campus life.

Pro-life groups in Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Strathclyde have struggled to be officially recognised as student societies.

Responding to the new survey, Peri Dalkic, President of the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society said her group had faced online abuse.

Miss Page continued:

“With advancements in our scientific understanding of life before birth, making support for abortion harder and harder to justify, an increasing number of students are joining pro-life societies every year. Since 2012, the number of pro-life societies at universities has increased from 4 to 16, doubling from 8 to 16 in just 18 months. These societies advocate for a better future by giving practical and material help to mothers in need, while also presenting their views amongst the student body. Discrediting them and shutting them out from campus life is unjust, uncalled for and damaging. It is wrong to make students feel unwelcome simply for having an opinion. We need to reinstate a vibrant culture of learning, discussion and mutual respect at universities across the UK.”
Madeline Page APS

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