A group of students is seeking to have a pro-life group at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom disbanded, and the pro-life students said they have been receiving death threats.
Pro-abortion students at the school have been fighting the formation of the Exeter Students for Life group, likening the groups existence to hate speech. In a Change.org petition posted by George Adamson, Lauren Gollop, and Isobel Maddocks, the pro-abortion students claimed that the pro-life group represents an attack on women’s rights and that all pro-life groups lead to women’s deaths. It reads:
This is a direct result of those who wish to perpetuate the fallacy that no woman really wants an abortion, or that to have an abortion is comparable to murder. Not only is the existence of a society based around a single issue intellectually reductive, it will undoubtedly exacerbate the pre-existing stigmas around abortion, such as shame and self-loathing. Its existence undermines the complexity of each individual woman’s experience.
This dangerous ideology is one that must be exposed to the opposition, not sponsored by our student union, and we believe that those who so strongly believe it should express it in other society’s [sic] – such as the Debating Soc or the Christian Soc.
They further called on the Student Guild not to allow the pro-life group to continue, due to its “backwards and sinister” views.
Meanwhile, Devon Live reported that Exeter Students for Life have been receiving death threats and that the group is calling for the university to take action. Alireza-Ghazi Torbati, president of Exeter Students for Life, said they are trying to take a stand for preborn children and help those affected by abortion.
“We aim to equip pro-life students to advocate for the pro-life position and to provide a space to discuss the issue respectfully and sensitively. We also aim to support prospective and current student parents, as well as those who may be suffering post-abortive trauma,” she said, adding that the threats against their group are threats against free speech:
The UK has traditionally been a bastion of free speech, but in recent years that has been eroded and the trend has been reflected in over 100 of our universities. Pro-life groups in particular have been targeted and faced attempted censorship for valid beliefs held by many across the world. Our student group should enjoy the same rights as every other student group on campus, free of discrimination or harassment.
The death threats made against members of our society are completely unacceptable and deeply disturbing. We have contacted the university. We would like them to take immediate action on this. Exeter University must be a marketplace for free thinking, which is what universities are designed to be. As George Orwell said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.”
Abortion activists have increasingly taken to harassing and attacking pro-lifers, particularly young pro-lifers. A group of students praying peacefully outside an abortion facility faced violence, shouts of “Hail Satan,” and more. Pro-abortion violence has also been occurring with alarming frequency, despite claims from abortion activists that it doesn’t exist. These violent acts show that Exeter Students for Life, as well as other pro-life activists, are right to take death threats seriously, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
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