Anti-abortion group granted university affiliation after legal battle

Aberdeen University Students’ Association implemented its pro-choice policy in 2017. (Getty)

A student anti-abortion group has been granted affiliation at the University of Aberdeen after a legal battle over “unlawful discrimination”.

Aberdeen Life Ethics Society (ALES) said its attempts to be an official society were repeatedly rejected by the Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) due to the association’s ‘pro-choice’ policy.

The society said they received an email from AUSA in October 2018 denying them affiliation.

They began legal action after months of “repeated efforts to resolve this problem through internal bureaucratic channels”.

The ALES said that both the university and AUSA were in breach of the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998 by restricting free speech of religion.

The successful affiliation means that they are now considered a university society and can access funding for events, use meeting rooms, and a stall at freshers fair.

Alex Mason, a PHD student and member of the Aberdeen Life Ethics society, said: "From the beginning, all we wanted was a chance to exercise our right to speak freely on campus in defence of life.

“While it was frustrating to be censored by AUSA for several months, we are pleased to finally have the ability to form our society and engage our fellow students on these important ethical issues.”

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.”

In a previous Facebook post the ALES has compared abortion to the slave trade.

The post claims abortion "dehumanises the weak and vulnerable", calling it a "debasement of human value".

It also says: "Abortion may currently enjoy protection by the legal system, but the same can be said of a great many other immoral practices over the last few hundred years."