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‘It’s just backwards thinking’: Manchester students on new SU approved pro-life society

‘Abolishing the ability for young people to choose how their life unfolds shouldn’t be encouraged’

Last month, a new pro-life society was established at the University of Manchester and it already has been met with backlash from students and an open letter calling for the society to be dissolved.

The committee is currently made up of just two male members, and has scheduled two events to invite students to find out more.

Its Instagram page, which was created in January, tells students how the society is officially established with the Students’ Union and the committee share their objectives, which are “to create a pro-life culture on campus, to engage students on life issues and promote respect for the dignity of human life from conception.”

Students have since branded the new society “backwards”, and publicly shared their frustrations saying “they’re going to advocate for nothing that actually improves the lives of women and children across the globe.”

One student told The Tab Manchester: “To me it’s just backwards thinking misogyny built out of insecurity and the desire for these men to feel like they have power over a female body. The university needs to consider the implications of this society.”

On the 12th of February, an anonymous petition was created and sent to University of Manchester Students’ Union asking it to dissolve the society and has since gained over 15,500 signatures.

The petition was a started by a student who outlined their reason for doing so as they are “deeply troubled by the potential harm that could be caused by our university’s Pro-Life Society.”

One comment on the petition said “radical and dangerous, outdated beliefs like this have no place in such a modern university.

“The right to abortion is a RIGHT for a reason and has been for decades. Get these old fashioned, misogynistic, sexist beliefs out of this and every other university!”

Another student told The Manchester Tab they believed that the society is “encouraging a dangerous point of view among students.”

The student added: “Let’s be honest, [students] are having sex and not always safely, and if it is safely then  pregnancy can still happen.

“It’s all well and good to be pro-life for yourself but by abolishing the ability for young people to choose how their life unfolds and make their OWN bodily decision shouldn’t be encouraged by three male uni students.”

Backlash amongst students has stemmed around the male dominated committee, with two men holding positions of president and treasurer. One comment said: “Two men telling women why they should be pro-life when they will never have to go through what a women does.”

Manchester Students’ Union published a statement saying that the Pro-Life Society was officially affiliated  on the 11th January 2024, following society registration guidelines.

The SU outlined that despite complaints and the petition gaining over 10,000 signatures, “it’s not possible to stop a society from affiliating for their legal views that are country to the views of other students.”

If are a student at the University of Manchester and feel you have been affected by any of the issues discussed, you can find support here.

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