Rise in UK university pro-life societies leave abortion activists alarmed

10 January 2020

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Pro-abortion campaigners appear alarmed at the recent rise of pro-life university groups across the United Kingdom. Student led group and SPUC collaborator, the Alliance of Pro-life Students (APS) which “encourage a culture of life by inspiring and equipping students to bring the culture of life into universities” have recently been assisting pro-life university groups. Madeline Page, APS Chief Executive said: “Our societies remain autonomous and students are welcome to run their society as they see as most appropriate to their university’s setting.”

In 2018, only eight university pro-life societies existed in the UK. This number has increased considerably over the past year with 14 pro-life societies now present on UK campuses. Five of these are in Scotland.

Alarmed pro-abortion activists took to social media to express their anxieties after hearing of the surge. In response, one pro-abortion group took to Facebook calling for the enforcement of more censorship zones to suppress the pro-life message.

The 2019 fight for pro-life societies

2019 saw multiple pro-life university societies across the UK gain the right to officially affiliate. As reported by SPUC, a number of student groups had to consider legal action to gain this right.

Notably, Glasgow Students for Life won their right to officially affiliate in 2019 after their Student’s Union was forced to admit that refusing the group breached equality law. Glasgow Students for Life has since flourished at the university and recently raised money for the Alma Mater Fund which supports pregnant and parenting students as part of their pro-life efforts.

Strathclyde Students for Life, Aberdeen Life Ethics Society and Nottingham Students for Life are amongst other pro-life groups which successfully affiliated in 2019.

Changing attitudes

The appetite for pro-life student groups reflects the shifting public attitude towards abortion in the United Kingdom and the shrill tone of pro-abortionists and their attempts to censor pro-lifers seem to be backfiring.

Despite a lack of media coverage for the pro-life movement in the UK, most people are not in favour of the extreme positions pushed by abortion advocates.

A 2017 ComRes poll revealed that a large majority of 72% of the public oppose decriminalising abortion. A similar ComRes poll in the same year found that only 1% favoured increasing the limit up until birth, (albeit, tragically, abortion up to birth is already lawful for disabled babies and in certain other circumstances) and that women in particular supported more restrictions than there are at present. 

2019 saw over 5000 people attend the London March For Life, whilst recent pro-life demonstrations in Northern Ireland attracted over 20,000 people. SPUC’s pro-life youth conference is also expected to attract a record number of attendees in 2020.