Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of talking with representatives from a group called Abortion Rights, which is a national campaign to protect women’s rights to safe, legal abortions. This is such important work, as women deserve autonomy over their own bodies, and no law should prevent them from accessing medical procedures carried out by trained professionals. Abortions still happen regardless of the law, and even though pro-choice movements are often demonised for allowing abortions to be carried out, the alternative means women are often placed in much more difficult circumstances.
The importance of this campaign became clear to me when I, along with many members and allies of Women’s Association, attended a counter-protest with Abortion Rights in Birmingham a few months ago. There was a March for Life in the centre of Birmingham, so we went along with placards and banners and protested next to where they were holding their event. Not only did we have many members of the public walk up to us and congratulate us for our efforts, but we showed the pro-life marchers that there is resistance to their movement and we won’t keep quiet when women’s rights are being threatened.
Abortion Rights are teaming up with the NUS to hold a training afternoon in London on the 7th August, open to Sabbatical/Women’s Officers, or otherwise relevant representatives from all universities across the country. It is a great opportunity to learn about the sort of tactics used by pro-life activists on campuses, and how to deal with any pro-life/anti-abortion activity on or near campus. There will be two workshops running on how to win the argument against pro-life activists, and abortion media skills.
Hope to see some of you there!
Alexandra Binnie, Birmingham University Women’s Officer
This article was originally published on Birmingham University officer blog