Just weeks after a ban on anti-choice groups at Strathclyde University was repealed, Strathclyde University's Students' Union has passed a motion ensuring that anti-choice groups will not be granted affiliation with the Union.
This comes after anti-choice organisation Strathclyde Students for Life (SSfL) made a legal complaint against the Union in March 2018 for its long-standing policy against anti-choice groups, claiming that disallowing their group a platform violated the 2010 Equality Act.
Now, however, the Union has passed a motion that does not ban the organisation, but rather disallows it from being affiliated with the Union, meaning that the Union will not have to promote or fund the anti-choice group.
Strathclyde Students’ Union have confirmed to The Glasgow Guardian that a motion was presented in the second Student Parliament session (November 27) that asked that "the Union will not promote, fund or be affiliated to anti-abortion/pro-life propaganda or propagandising activities".
This motion was presented to Parliament – which was passed after being discussed and voted on by students in attendance.
Just last week, University of Glasgow's Student Representative Council (GUSRC) voted overwhelmingly to not affiliate the University's own anti-choice society, Glasgow Students for Life (GSL). GSL have claimed that their non-affiliate status amounts to censorship, however the SRC have made it clear that non-affiliate status does not stop GSL from meeting or speaking on campus.
A spokesperson for Strathclyde's Students' Union has told The Glasgow Guardian:
"We are aware that this is a sensitive and emotive issue for many people. However, this is an example of our democracy in action at Strath Union. We encourage healthy debate and Parliament is open to all students to challenge decisions and be part of our Union.
"The welfare of students remains the Union’s number one priority and you can trust the Union as a safe space where everyone is welcome. As per the policy decided by our members, Strath Union will continue to support access to safe abortion and support the bodily autonomy of our students. We will continue to provide accurate and up-to-date information relating to abortions should a student seek it."
The Glasgow Guardian fully supports the decision of both Strathclyde University's Students' Union and Glasgow University's SRC. We strongly encourage our readers to show support for the Union and SRC respectively.