O-week started out both miserable and dark, and not just because of the rain: before everyone had even started manning their stalls the LifeChoice stall had already been vandalised. Stickers were plastered over the stall that said “My Body My Choice” and chalking done in front of the stall with the writing “ProLifeChoice” written. This is just a mild act against LifeChoice but continuous attempts to have the stall shut down by left-wing groups have plagued the club. These groups refuse to even consider a viewpoint outside of their own and learn why people on the other side hold their view, and the fact that they’d rather shut it down shows the weak philosophical underpinning of their own views. This was followed by an article from Pulp that claimed there were pictures of aborted foetuses on the stall – a claim they conveniently didn’t have any evidence for. Which is kind of odd, since allegations like this that could easily have been proved had no proof other than an ideologically-inclined person’s claims.
For those unaware, LifeChoice is a pro-life club, which believes in the dignity of human life and advocates for people to find alternatives to abortion and euthanasia. But this difference in views is too much for some people. It faced criticism from the get-go with a split board to first get affiliation to the union and groups focused on ensuring they never got started. This contributed to the censuring of then Board Director Tom Raue as a result of speaking out against it. Every O-week there seems to be issues from the left for the sheer fact LifeChoice exists. Despite not running anything controversial since their pamphlets in 2013 against RU486, which even then weren’t that controversial, it popped up again in 2015 with current USU honorary secretary Shannen Potter saying she’d fight to have LifeChoice disaffiliated from the C&S program if she were elected to union board. This is generally all the issues that LifeChoice has, but rarely the momentum against them lasts more than a few days. But there seemed to be a renewed focus from all sides of the left at the start of this semester.
Honi Soit published an article on February 27 saying that ideology should be moved out of the science room. Despite the fact that the lecturer in question was giving a lecture on their own expertise in the area and the article was filled with nothing but ideology and unwillingness to challenge their own beliefs, instead again they wanted to ban opposing viewpoints. University is about challenging our views and developing a more rounded idea of the world, but instead the left use it as a way to get further and further wrapped up in their bubble. Their calls to end ideological viewpoints in the classroom aren’t called for in the humanities because they support their view.
We saw at the last SRC meeting the women’s collective representatives stating that they’ll do all in their power to get Life Choice deregistered.
This is followed by claims that the society is anti-women. What they’ve never bothered to understand is why roughly half the membership list is female, and the current president and previous presidents have been female. Rather, to claim it’s anti-women is to try and demonise them, and avoid actually engaging with the ideas being promoted.
None of these people calling for LifeChoice to be deregistered try to even understand the other side. They ignore the logical view that, if life begins at conception, then rights must be bestowed at some point, and if that’s the case then the being clearly has the right to life. Instead they frame it as anti-women and refuse to look at the actual reasoning behind their position. They draw on nothing but attacking people who hold a contrary view as sexist, and would rather stifle any attempt at freedom of expression than actually debate. If they succeed in their quest to disaffiliate LifeChoice, the implications for freedom of speech on campus are concerning.