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Pro-life students’ freedom of speech under ‘constant attack’ at UK universities, report claims

There is disagreement amongst university students about the role of pro-life societies (PA)

A pro-life student activist body claims that undergraduates are enduring “constant attacks on free speech” in the UK, with similar criticisms being voiced in Canada.

The Alliance of Pro-Life Students, (APS) which is run by students and recent graduates, has claimed there was an attempt ‘de-ratify’ a pro-life society at Newcastle University. The motion, which did not succeed, also called for Newcastle Students’ Union “to actively work to prevent any anti-abortion groups on campus.”

At Cardiff University, a petition has been launched calling for the disbanding of its pro-life organisation. It has gathered 232 signatures to date.

In a recent Huffington Post article, John Carpay, a Canadian lawyer and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, (JCCF), cites the University of Toronto, which allegedly denied registered club status to a pro-life group, and the University of Windsor, reported to have ignored the vandalising and obstruction of a pro-life display of pink and blue flags.

Carpay said: “Hypocrisy threatens to destroy one of higher education’s most cherished and long-standing virtues: the free exchange of ideas,” and criticised “the on-going censorship of controversial speech on campus.”