An anti-abortion student society has been successfully affiliated with the Tasmania University Union (TUU) at last night’s Societies Council meeting.
LifeChoice is a student based group that promotes “the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, through reasonable and informed discussion on the issues of abortion and euthanasia in Australian society.”
LifeChoice already has an established presence at seven other higher education institutions around the country.
President of LifeChoice Tasmania, Naomi Spinks, says the society will be an advocate for pregnant and parenting students on campus.
“We believe that a woman should never have to choose between her child and her education. We believe that all human life is precious and should be protected,” Spinks said.
Vice-President of the UTas Women’s Collective, Saffire Grant, said she is disappointed to see the group affiliated.
“The UTas Women’s Collective is pro-choice. Women deserve access to safe abortions,” Grant said.
President of the UTas Liberal Students, Clark Cooley also weighed in on the discussion and welcomed the chance for students to debate freely on campus.
“We respect everyone’s right to free speech and the freedom to debate this important issue,” Cooley said.
President of the UTas Labor Society, Stephen Cronin, who is also the Vice-President of the Societies Council, detailed Labor’s view on the topic.
“Tasmanian Labor believes that women are entitled to reproductive health services, and that these services should be provided by the public health system without requiring interstate travel,” Cronin said.
A minimum of five UTas students have joined the society in order for it to gain affiliation.
As the society met all the criteria to be eligible for affiliation, the TUU could not decline the request. The society is not currently receiving any TUU funding.