Earlier today, the University of Strathclyde Student’s Association (USSA) banned anti-choice groups from affiliating and receiving funding as part of student associations. The anti-choice group claims that this is an assault to their freedom of expression, while the USSA maintains their position that anti-choice groups actively use intimidation and fear tactics to communicate their message.
At Abortion Rights, we welcome the democratic decision of USSA because we want to emphasise the protection of university students. We believe that it is important to make sure that the campuses are kept pro-choice in accordance to the law in Scotland where abortion is legal. While we fully recognise and support people’s freedom of speech and opinion, it is also very important for young people to be given access to factual information about abortion. It is also unacceptable for any group to wilfully spread lies and misinformation to a student body. One in three woman will have an abortion by the time she is 45, which means that many students at the university will have had an abortion. We believe that it is important to safeguard people’s university experience and make sure that campuses are kept pro-choice.
Abortion Rights chair Kerry Abel says: “We at Abortion Rights are passionate about safe and legal abortions, we are also dedicated to spreading true facts about abortion so that people can make educated decisions themselves, rather than be pressured into a situation out of fear or shame. The sad reality is that some of these organisations target young people to spread incorrect and harmful information.”
Anti-choice organisations have in the past mislead people about the consequences of abortion – such as inferring that abortion cause breast cancer or depression – neither of which hold up to scrutiny.