Exeter pro life society - controversies

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brjf
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#1
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#1
A recent petition called for the removal and shut down of the pro life society at the university of Exeter. Since it’s creation it’s gained over 10k signatures, while the Exeter Guild has released a statement, it refuses to remove the society and rightly so. What I don’t understand is how it’s been blown so out of proportion, that girls don’t feel ‘safe’ on campus while it exists. No idea how the existence of a society can infringe on womens’ safety when the committee haven’t expressed a hatred towards women. It’s almost like they’re using it as a way to suppress freedom of speech.



https://www.independent.co.uk/voices...38481.html?amp
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brjf
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#2
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#2
It should also be said that there’s a pro choice society, what logic are they following whereby they seem to think one position on the issue holds more ground than the other?
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StriderHort
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#3
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#3
*shrug* depends on the detail of their complaint I suppose. Pro life movements have used the 'We're just having a discourse and expressing views!' argument before while clearly harassing women at clinics and such. So I'd want to hear a bit more about what their society actually does before making my mind up.

I've never heard of a Pro Choice society or group causing trouble or making people feel uncomfortable, just because they are different sides of an argument does not mean they should be treated the same.
Last edited by StriderHort; 1 month ago
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londonmyst
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#4
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#4
I hope that they succeed at Exeter.
With a bit of luck all the anti-abortion, pro-abortion and religious student societies will be forced off all uni & other higher education owned or controlled premises.
I believe that half of all student societies not directly connected with academic courses or competitive sports teams representing the uni should have no presence within uni premises.

Many of my earliest childhood memories are of trying to get away from anti-abortion protesters and picket lines.
My mother and maternal grandmother disagree with abortion under any & all circumstances for religious reasons.
They fund anti-abortion groups and used to regularly attend abortion protests, often bringing me as a baby or young child.
While my father is pro-abortion, deafeningly loud and sits at the opposite extreme end of the spectrum to mother.
He unquestioningly supports the automatic right to abortion upon demand without any time limits for all pregnant British adults within the UK.
Abortion sought for any reason or no reason given, provided free of charge for with minimal delay/paperwork or questions.
None of them should be allowed to bring their activism or stances on abortion anywhere near a campus.
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L i b
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#5
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If you feel threatened by ideas that you don't agree with, the fault is inevitably and invariably with you.

The telling thing about the "protest" that the Independent has a video of is that it in no way is trying to convince anyone to change their minds. Trotting out tired slogans convinces no-one, and that's no accident. What they're trying to do is shut-down those who they disagree with rather than convince them.

It does rather amaze me the inability of so many people to have a calm and rational discussion about abortion. I appreciate it is emotionally charged, but more often than not it's a discussion about morality. It's a conversation about right and wrong, not an attempt to talk down someone who is either going off to terminate a pregnancy or to try to exact vengeance on an abortionist.
Last edited by L i b; 1 month ago
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Dupe Hunter
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#6
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#6
If they aren't actually bothering anyone then I really don't see the issue.
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brjf
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#7
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#7
(Original post by londonmyst)
I hope that they succeed at Exeter.
With a bit of luck all the anti-abortion, pro-abortion and religious student societies will be forced off all uni & other higher education owned or controlled premises.
I believe that half of all student societies not directly connected with academic courses or competitive sports teams representing the uni should have no presence within uni premises.

Many of my earliest childhood memories are of trying to get away from anti-abortion protesters and picket lines.
My mother and maternal grandmother disagree with abortion under any & all circumstances for religious reasons.
They fund anti-abortion groups and used to regularly attend abortion protests, often bringing me as a baby or young child.
While my father is pro-abortion, deafeningly loud and sits at the opposite extreme end of the spectrum to mother.
He unquestioningly supports the automatic right to abortion upon demand without any time limits for all pregnant British adults within the UK.
Abortion sought for any reason or no reason given, provided free of charge for with minimal delay/paperwork or questions.
None of them should be allowed to bring their activism or stances on abortion anywhere near a campus.
I’d agree with you in the sense that societies based off of ideas like these shouldn’t exist and should be based off of academic subjects, of course recreational societies are okay.
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brjf
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#8
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#8
(Original post by L i b)
If you feel threatened by ideas that you don't agree with, the fault is inevitably and invariably with you.

The telling thing about the "protest" that the Independent has a video of is that it in no way is trying to convince anyone to change their minds. Trotting out tired slogans convinces no-one, and that's no accident. What they're trying to do is shut-down those who they disagree with rather than convince them.

It does rather amaze me the inability of so many people to have a calm and rational discussion about abortion. I appreciate it is emotionally charged, but more often than not it's a discussion about morality. It's a conversation about right and wrong, not an attempt to talk down someone who is either going off to terminate a pregnancy or to try to exact vengeance on an abortionist.
When they’re as overused as they are, words simply become platitudes, losing their meaning entirely.
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StriderHort
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#9
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#9
(Original post by L i b)
If you feel threatened by ideas that you don't agree with, the fault is inevitably and invariably with you.
Nambla?

So the problem lies with ME... not the paedophiles? :confused:
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brjf
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#10
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#10
(Original post by StriderHort)
Nambla?

So the problem lies with ME... not the paedophiles? :confused:
I think you know what he’s trying to say here, playing devils advocate helps no one
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StriderHort
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#11
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#11
(Original post by brjf)
I think you know what he’s trying to say here, playing devils advocate helps no one
They made a strong statement and I'm sure they can defend it themselves.

I didn't realise being 'helpful' was required, who is your thread helping?
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L i b
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#12
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#12
(Original post by StriderHort)
Nambla?

So the problem lies with ME... not the paedophiles? :confused:
I don't have a problem with people arguing about something like the cultural and legal implications of the age of consent or whatever. That's quite different from actually raping kids though.
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Napp
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#13
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#13
Students getting morally outraged over nothing in particular? Well colour me shocked.
Can't say i like the group or their politics, it being the height of sexism and generally rather odious but its quite clearly neither violent nor worthy of the attention being paid to it. Its an irrelevant, likely rather small, group of predominantly religious people and conservative types. Theyre making out like its the embodiment of bloody AQ :rolleyes: I mean, pick your fights..
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tazarooni89
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#14
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#14
(Original post by L i b)
It does rather amaze me the inability of so many people to have a calm and rational discussion about abortion. I appreciate it is emotionally charged, but more often than not it's a discussion about morality. It's a conversation about right and wrong, not an attempt to talk down someone who is either going off to terminate a pregnancy or to try to exact vengeance on an abortionist.
I think abortion is hard for some people to discuss rationally because they may have been personally involved in it (or may well be in future). You and I may be able to discuss it in a dispassionate, academic sort of manner, but for them it amounts to strangers commenting on what is probably one of the biggest personal decisions they've made in their lives.

Ultimately, we all like to portray ourselves as sensible, moral people; not just in front of others, but for ourselves too. We all want to be able to sleep at night with a clear conscience, so we're constantly coming up with ways to justify our choices and shield ourselves from any guilt. After attending the 12 week scan of my own unborn child though, seeing the live footage of it on the ultrasound screen as well as details such as its arms and legs, its hands and feet, its face, the size of its brain and the sound of its heartbeat etc. I can't imagine that any non-psychopathic person would be able to kill such a thing by literally ripping it to pieces and not naturally feel guilty about it.

People involved in abortion are therefore likely to be battling with all kinds of conflicting thoughts and emotions like this, as well as potentially feeling stupid or regretful in having conceived a child in the first place. They need a really robust narrative to explain to themselves why they did what they did in order to contain all those feelings and continue to think positively of themselves, instead of being ashamed of who they see in the mirror. When someone argues that abortion is immoral, no matter how rational they might be, it deconstructs that narrative which can result in extreme levels of dissonance, causing them to lash out and respond vehemently. In fact a person who does this more rationally and more successfully is likely to elicit even more anger from them.

I think this is why, if you provide a less rational argument in opposition to abortion (e.g. "I just think abortion is sinful because my religion says so, that's about it"), people aren't going to get quite as emotional about it, as it doesn't force them to contend with their own morality and self-image. It's also why you're likely to see a lot of people with little interest in actually convincing you that abortion is justified, who really just care about getting you to stop expressing your views on it so they don't have to hear them.
Last edited by tazarooni89; 4 weeks ago
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brjf
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#15
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#15
(Original post by L i b)
I don't have a problem with people arguing about something like the cultural and legal implications of the age of consent or whatever. That's quite different from actually raping kids though.
Absolutely, the fact that some women as well say men can’t have an opinion because they don’t have a uterus is also completely ludicrous. I’m religious myself but never argue from a religious point of view, I’m always debating from a moral perspective and also highlighting the historical and present genocidal history of abortion.
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Napp
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#16
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#16
(Original post by brjf)
Absolutely, the fact that some women as well say men can’t have an opinion because they don’t have a uterus is also completely ludicrous. I’m religious myself but never argue from a religious point of view, I’m always debating from a moral perspective and also highlighting the historical and present genocidal history of abortion.
Mild misuse of the term genocide there as they are not a people that people make a point of destroying...
Either way, im curious what you mean by 'the history' of it? Its a mere medical procedure, and not one any woman takes lightly (bar a tiny minority anyway) whose business is it of anyone else to impose their own moral standards on them and bludgeon them to boot on something that is undoubtedly a thoroughly unpleasant decision theyre forced to make in the first place?
Of the people i know who have had said procedure, none of them have taken it lightly and it near enough destroyed them both. Now considering this is usually the last option available to them why would anyone support destroying the mother in this? Whilst my sample of two is somewhat limited, if supposed moral crusaders had their way both of these women would likely have killed themselves if forced to take these unwanted and rape babies to term. What exactly is moral about that?
After all the random line drawn, by some, at incest and rape, is nothing more than an arbitrary line to make them feel better about denying women bodily autonomy is it. You can either acknowledge (support isnt really required in this) that said women have the right to not carry a baby or you dont. Carving out quaint little exceptions is nothing more than a lazy cop out from where im sitting.

As an aside though, how can you argue from a moral perspective and not have religion influence it given these morals almost universally stem from religious ideas...?
Last edited by Napp; 4 weeks ago
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Napp
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#17
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#17
(Original post by tazarooni89)
I think abortion is hard for some people to discuss rationally because they may have been personally involved in it (or may well be in future). You and I may be able to discuss it in a dispassionate, academic sort of manner, but for them it amounts to strangers commenting on what is probably one of the biggest personal decisions they've made in their lives.

Ultimately, we all like to portray ourselves as sensible, moral people; not just in front of others, but for ourselves too. We all want to be able to sleep at night with a clear conscience, so we're constantly coming up with ways to justify our choices and shield ourselves from any guilt. After attending the 12 week scan of my own unborn child though, seeing the live footage of it on the ultrasound screen as well as details such as its arms and legs, its hands and feet, its face, the size of its brain and the sound of its heartbeat etc. I can't imagine that any non-psychopathic person would be able to kill such a thing by literally ripping it to pieces and not naturally feel guilty about it.

People involved in abortion are therefore likely to be battling with all kinds of conflicting thoughts and emotions like this, as well as potentially feeling stupid or regretful in having conceived a child in the first place. They need a really robust narrative to explain to themselves why they did what they did in order to contain all those feelings and continue to think positively of themselves, instead of being ashamed of who they see in the mirror. When someone argues that abortion is immoral, no matter how rational they might be, it deconstructs that narrative which can result in extreme levels of dissonance, causing them to lash out and respond vehemently. In fact a person who does this more rationally and more successfully is likely to elicit even more anger from them.

I think this is why, if you provide a less rational argument in opposition to abortion (e.g. "I just think abortion is sinful because my religion says so, that's about it"), people aren't going to get quite as emotional about it, as it doesn't force them to contend with their own morality and self-image. It's also why you're likely to see a lot of people with little interest in actually convincing you that abortion is justified, who really just care about getting you to stop expressing your views on it so they don't have to hear them.
In fairness, if someone has just been raped and has been left with no other option but to terminate the pregnancy having some anti-abortionist troglodyte screeching at them that theyre evil, a murderer, think of the babies and other such nonsense who wouldnt be upset?
As noted to the other user, no one really ends up in such a position unless something has gone very wrong and no one takes such a decision lightly. Being bludgeoned by some, almost universally, religious ideologue who knows nothing on the topic or that persons reason for having to seek this procedure is nothing more than an unnecessary level of trauma being inflicted upon them.

Whilst theres all that free speech blah blah blah stuff, i still see no reason why protestors who picket clinics and harass/assault people going there (be they patients or doctors) shouldnt be jailed for the harm theyre causing.
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Napp
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Dupe Hunter)
If they aren't actually bothering anyone then I really don't see the issue.
They are though, well, both camps are, isnt that the whole point of protests? To bother as many people as possible
(Original post by londonmyst)
I hope that they succeed at Exeter.
With a bit of luck all the anti-abortion, pro-abortion and religious student societies will be forced off all uni & other higher education owned or controlled premises.
I believe that half of all student societies not directly connected with academic courses or competitive sports teams representing the uni should have no presence within uni premises.

Many of my earliest childhood memories are of trying to get away from anti-abortion protesters and picket lines.
My mother and maternal grandmother disagree with abortion under any & all circumstances for religious reasons.
They fund anti-abortion groups and used to regularly attend abortion protests, often bringing me as a baby or young child.
While my father is pro-abortion, deafeningly loud and sits at the opposite extreme end of the spectrum to mother.
He unquestioningly supports the automatic right to abortion upon demand without any time limits for all pregnant British adults within the UK.
Abortion sought for any reason or no reason given, provided free of charge for with minimal delay/paperwork or questions.
None of them should be allowed to bring their activism or stances on abortion anywhere near a campus.
Whilst you make a good point it does run into the inevitable problem that most of these things (especially something like abortion) would innately be tied to subjects such as politics, sociology, medicine and so on.
Interesting story though, i cant imagine it would have been a particularly pleasant experience but certainly a noteable one
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tazarooni89
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Napp)
In fairness, if someone has just been raped and has been left with no other option but to terminate the pregnancy having some anti-abortionist troglodyte screeching at them that theyre evil, a murderer, think of the babies and other such nonsense who wouldnt be upset?
As noted to the other user, no one really ends up in such a position unless something has gone very wrong and no one takes such a decision lightly. Being bludgeoned by some, almost universally, religious ideologue who knows nothing on the topic or that persons reason for having to seek this procedure is nothing more than an unnecessary level of trauma being inflicted upon them.

Whilst theres all that free speech blah blah blah stuff, i still see no reason why protestors who picket clinics and harass/assault people going there (be they patients or doctors) shouldnt be jailed for the harm theyre causing.
I’m not really talking about the people screaming at others for being evil murderers and hanging around abortion clinics waiting to harass people without knowing anything about people’s individual circumstances. That sort of person would annoy anyone really.

I’m talking more about people who just want to debate the issue of abortion in an impartial and academic/philosophical manner. Even they seem to elicit a lot of vitriol for concluding abortion is generally immoral - even more so, the more successfully they argue their point. Similarly for a university’s pro-life society or anyone else publicly expressing views against abortion, regardless of how peacefully they do it.

I think that’s the question that Lib was asking, as to why many people can’t seem to debate abortion in a calm and rational manner. Some of it may be down to zeal on the pro-life side (obviously because it’s very emotionally jarring to live in a society where what you perceive to be the equivalent of murdering babies is happening on a daily basis), but I think it is mainly down to cognitive dissonance on the pro-choice side, as explained in my previous post.


I mean it’s hardly groundbreaking news to point out that people are not 100% rational. People go to great lengths of irrationality to preserve their self-image, knowing perfectly well that on some level they’re not being honest with themselves, but plastering over the cracks in their reasoning, hoping nobody will uncover them and getting upset when they do. I’ve heard smokers trying frantically to explain why smoking isn’t really that unhealthy, or people wearing designer labels they can barely afford moving mountains to explain why it actually is good value for money. Everyone recognises the element of “well you would say that…”.
Last edited by tazarooni89; 4 weeks ago
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brjf
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Napp)
Mild misuse of the term genocide there as they are not a people that people make a point of destroying...
Either way, im curious what you mean by 'the history' of it? Its a mere medical procedure, and not one any woman takes lightly (bar a tiny minority anyway) whose business is it of anyone else to impose their own moral standards on them and bludgeon them to boot on something that is undoubtedly a thoroughly unpleasant decision theyre forced to make in the first place?
Of the people i know who have had said procedure, none of them have taken it lightly and it near enough destroyed them both. Now considering this is usually the last option available to them why would anyone support destroying the mother in this? Whilst my sample of two is somewhat limited, if supposed moral crusaders had their way both of these women would likely have killed themselves if forced to take these unwanted and rape babies to term. What exactly is moral about that?
After all the random line drawn, by some, at incest and rape, is nothing more than an arbitrary line to make them feel better about denying women bodily autonomy is it. You can either acknowledge (support isnt really required in this) that said women have the right to not carry a baby or you dont. Carving out quaint little exceptions is nothing more than a lazy cop out from where im sitting.

As an aside though, how can you argue from a moral perspective and not have religion influence it given these morals almost universally stem from religious ideas...?
If we look at the way in which it was used in America during the period of segregation, look at the history of planned parenthood there’s a lot of bad history there. On top of that the use of abortion in practically eliminating those with Down’s syndrome.
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