Challenge Weekly Newspaper, owned by a legal entity that was incorporated in 1975 and registered with the Charities Commission as a charity on 30 June 2008, runs a story on its front page this week “Prolife elated with win: University [Prolife] club survives expulsion bid.”
A student-run prolife group is celebrating a vote by its peers at the University of Auckland not to disaffiliate the club.
Prolife Auckland won the vote 227 to 125 at a special general meeting attended by a large and noisy crowd on July 18 and club president Amy Bowers is pleased with the result for a number of reasons.
“We had support from many students who are not members of our club and have no intention of joining. But clearly they recognised that freedom of expression is a right worth protecting for everyone, in particular in a university setting where academic freedom must be paramount.”
After a single anonymous complaint regarding the club’s ‘Right To Know’ pamphlets that were distributed around campus, the Auckland University Student Association (AUAS) executive put forward a motion to deny ProLife Auckland the right to exist as an affiliated club.
“The club ran this campaign in May which promoted a women’s right to know the facts when faced with a crisis pregnancy, which included the health risks of abortion and full statistics. Ironically, this attempt to shut us down has given us the chance to reach a far wider audience with our message, and that’s the whole reason that we exist as a club,” says Ms Blowers.
Prolife Auckland’s sister club at Wellington’s Victoria University is also thrilled with the result.
“Freedom of speech is a vitally important right in a society that truly claims to be open, free and democratic,” says LifeChoice Victoria president Mary-Ane Evers.
“University is the perfect place for discussion of controversial issues. Student Associations should encourage free and frank discussion and not shy away from these topics.”
Celebration has continued throughout the wider prolife community in New Zealand.
Right to Life spokesperson Ken Orr was delighted at the resounding victory for the right to free speech upheld by the students. “We congratulate the members of Prolife for its defence of free speech…” said Mr Orr.”The battle for recognition of the inalienable right to life of every human being from conception to natural death will be won or lost in our universities.”
Source: Challenge Weekly. July 23, 2012, Vol. 70 Iss. 27, p.1.