Anti-abortion society approved by Aberdeen University following legal action over ‘discrimination’

Eleanor Busby

An anti-abortion society has been given the green light by the University of Aberdeen after legal action was launched against the institution for alleged "unlawful discrimination".

The Aberdeen Life Ethics Society (ALES) has now been approved by the Aberdeen University Student Association (AUSA).

It had originally refused to affiliate the group - which it gives funding to.

It came ALES posted an image on its Facebook page which claimed that abortion had “replaced” slave trade as it “relied on dehumanisation”.

The application was previously rejected as AUSA had a pro-choice policy which backed legal access to abortion and called for “no platform” to be given to conflicting groups.

In April, the anti-abortion group announced plans to sue the institution and the student association for alleged “discriminatory treatment” against the society after funding was refused.

The AUSA’s pro-choice policy has now been suspended and the group has been approved.

A number of bans against anti-abortion groups have been recently lifted by university student unions amid concerns about free speech – despite strong opposition towards pro-life unions.

On the approval of the society at Aberdeen, a spokesperson for ALES said: “This is a long-awaited result to a seemingly endless battle, but we could not be more pleased to have won affiliation.”

They added: “The most important thing is that we’ve finally gotten what we’ve wanted for more than a year: the opportunity to speak out for life on campus.”

An AUSA spokesperson said: “We can confirm that an application to affiliate was received from Aberdeen Life and Ethics Society and was subsequently approved on the 13th of May. AUSA’s Pro-Choice policy remains under suspension and steps are being taken to ensure that AUSA can continue to be pro-choice.”

A University of Aberdeen spokesperson added: “The university is an inclusive community and recognises different beliefs, values and cultures. Student societies and clubs sit with the Aberdeen University Students’ Association.”