Earlier this year, the University of Birmingham Guild of Students approved the formation of a pro-life society. Our formation had mixed reactions: supportive messages; rolling; and a flurry of media coverage. Whatever your stance, you should care about our existence, and we’ll try to explain why.
Who are we
Religious nut jobs? Balding old men determined to control women’s bodies? Simply plain ignorant?
In fact, we’re just a broke group of students who care about life. Life matters, and we want to promote the protection of life from conception to natural death. This means we’re openly and unapologetically opposed to abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide – and killing humans in general. Our most talked about topic is abortion. This is because, in our country, the most dangerous place for human life is in the uterus. Its the single most pressing pro-life issue.
We’re non-sectarian (a fancy way of saying we’re not political or religious). Currently female-heavy, but not by design, we’d love everyone to get involved regardless of gender, religion or political orientation. Lads, if you’ve heard ‘no uterus, no opinion’ we’ll supply a fluffy toy uterus so you too can be opposed to murdering children. Our core committee is two medics and a philosophy student, so we’re in a great position to defend and promote pro-life views.
Our logo stems from the photography of Dr Russell Sacco, capturing an aborted child’s feet (10 weeks gestation, the legal limit being 24 weeks in the Uk)
Tiny, heartbreaking, and undeniably human- It’s a silent but profound refutation of any notion that children in utero are a mere clump of cells or a parasite. The truth is obvious – that is a human. This ‘choice’ is the choice to end a baby’s life.
Gone but not forgotten, since this historic image was taken in 1970, that baby has become ingrained into the hearts of pro-life people worldwide. In becoming our logo, we believe this captures the core of what we want to say.
What do we want?
We want to break the silence. University is supposed to be a really exciting place for hearing ideas and sparring points. Anyone who can be civil is welcome.
Our fundraising is for charities supporting pregnant or parenting students. This term we are raising funds for Maternity Action. They do great work with supporting pregnancy and parenting of young children, and they push for laws and rights that aim to stop pregnancy from being the end of a career or the ruining of a young life. This is part of our goal to promote a pro-life culture and campus for pregnant and parenting students.
Crisis pregnancies are scary. In a world telling you ‘you can’t, you won’t cope, this will ruin your life’ we’re here to tell you that you can. We’re all behind you, there’s help; let us show you your options. For those struggling with trauma after abortion, we’re sorry this has happened, we’re on your side.
We’re on mums side; we’re on baby’s side; we’re on the side of life. Life’s value is not diminished by down syndrome, disability, poverty or difficult family circumstances. These are not valid reasons to end a child’s life, as people from these backgrounds would tell you.
There’s been a real confusion between choice and freedom. Trapped animals chewing off their limbs, while technically a choice, is not an expression of freedom. It is an expression of deep desperation and panic. So let’s stop shrugging our shoulders and saying ‘well, it was their choice’. It’s time to address the real problems.
What do we not want?
We’re not about harassment, shaming or condemnation. We are pro-woman and pro-baby, any misogyny or harassment at our events will be reported to the university and result in a ban from our society. This is because while we believe in abortion a baby is murdered, we understand that mum is not aware of this. She’s been told it’s not really a baby, and is often pressured, or believes she has no choice. The main point here is that we are about healing post-abortion, and preventing abortions, not pointing fingers and screeching.
We won’t show gory images or videos of abortions. This does harm to the Pro-Life cause and traumatises the post-abortive parents we want to support. We vet everyone who speaks at our events, and work closely with the Guild. A lot of the opposition to us seems to stem from a misunderstanding about how we want to conduct ourselves as a society. We’ve no associations or outside funding; we are here to be constructive and calm. Life and death are not things to be laughed at, or swept under the rug. With this attitude we’re striding forward into our first year on campus.
Why do we matter to you, fellow Bournbrook reader?
One in four pregnancies end in abortion in the UK, with 218,581 being performed in 2018; so it has probably affected someone close to you.
Did you know that the UK is one of the worst places in Europe for paid parental leave and affordable quality child-care according to the UN? Offering this ‘choice’ of abortion has created some hideous rhetoric- it was their choice to be a parent, so stop complaining!
In the last fifteen years as many as six bills have been attempted to be passed through Parliament to legalise euthanasia, so if you haven’t made your mind up on the issue you had better do so soon. The earlier you seriously consider these issues the more opportunity you have to influence their outcome, before they become a reality and we end up like the Dutch, with 1 in 33 of us dying under a doctors syringe.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights earlier this year condemned a stifling of controversy on university campuses. We’re so lucky to have free speech and really pride ourselves on a culture of healthy debate in England- yet pro-life societies have been banned in universities around the country, or prevented from appearing at freshers fairs. We’re not violent, not harassing anyone, not giving a platform for hate speech, and not doing anything wrong!
So come along, join the discussion and protect our freedom of speech on campus!
Photo by Russell Sacco.