Student protest after Manchester Pro-Life Society held ‘grill the pro-lifer’ talk on campus

The CEO of the Alliance of Pro-life, Madeline Page, spoke to students at the university last week

A “grill the pro-lifer” event hosted on campus by Manchester Pro-Life Society was met with student protestors last week.

CEO of the Alliance of Pro-life students, Madeline Page, spoke to students about how anti-abortion arguments stand against scrutiny.

The event was met with students who protested against the event and Madeline’s presence on campus.

Held in the Zochonis Building, police escorted the pro-life speaker inside the Zochonis Building as protestors gathered outside.

The Pro-Life Society advertised the event on its Instagram page, with comments on the post since being restricted by the account.

Madeline told The Catholic Herald that “three pro-choice students attended and were perfectly respectful” but that police had also escorted her out after the talk had finished.

Another protestor reportedly told the pro-lifer that she was “not welcome on campus” when she returned to the university the next day.

Created by University of Manchester student, Hannah, the “Stop Manchester Pro-Life Society” Instagram account warned pro-choice protestors ahead of Madeline’s talk that she would be visiting the university with a documentary team and advised those attending to wear a mask and to not engage with press or camera crew.

The incident comes a month after an earlier protest against the SU approval of the Manchester Pro-life society earlier this year, which saw a physical fight break out between pro-life and pro-choice students. The protest on the last day of February was sparked after the Students’ Union released a statement explaining that the Pro-Life Society had followed society registration guidelines. It also quoted legislation that requires Students’ Unions to comply with new freedom of speech.

Manchester students previously shared their frustrations over the society and branded it as “backwards thinking”, with one commenter writing that “radical and dangerous, outdated beliefs like this have no place in such a modern university.”

An anonymous petition was also set up against the society, which has now garnered over 19,000 signatures. Following the SU announcement, the student shared an update to the petition page, thanking people for their continued support. They also wrote that the petition is “in no way calling for any harassment or intimidation of the members/committee of the Pro-Life Society personally.”

Originally set up with just two male committee members, the Pro-Life Society recruited two new female members, one of which later dropped out.

University of Manchester Students’ Union, Manchester Pro-Life Society and Madeline Page were contacted for comment. 

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Featured image via @manchesterprolife