Anti-abortion club not welcome at Auckland University

  • 29/08/2017
Auckland University
ProLife Auckland had faced the ban several times since its inception in 2010. Photo credit: Newshub.

Auckland University students have voted to abolish an anti-abortion club from its student association.

About 2700 students participated in a week-long online referendum, which asked whether the Auckland University Student's Association (AUSA) should disaffiliate the ProLife Club.

About 1600 students voted in favour of the motion.

In a post on the ProLife Facebook page, co-president Jelena Middleton says it was expressing legitimate views about abortion, peacefully, and the AUSA was punishing them because it didn't agree with these views.

She called the disaffiliation "unjust and legally dubious".

"What makes this even more frightening is that it is happening at one of this country's largest universities - which should be a place where diversity of thought is not only tolerated, but also actively fostered and protected."

Disaffiliation from AUSA entails that ProLife Auckland will be financially penalised by having to pay more for rooms and resources controlled by AUSA now than they would have before when they were an affiliated club, Ms Middleton said.

She said the referendum wasn't transparent as it was enacted by an anonymous person and the wording was vague.

ProLife would be seeking legal advice, she said.

Auckland Students for Choice spokeswoman Justine Rose, however, told Fairfax that ProLife Auckland is an embarrassment to the students' association.

The referendum spoke to the wider issues of women's rights to choose, she said.

ProLife Auckland had faced the ban several times since its inception in 2010.

Family First NZ national director Bob McCoskrie says the AUSA decision is a "disturbing continuation of attempts by both the state and now tertiary institutions to shut down free speech, debate and views".