Students of Cardiff University were welcomed into the new semester by anti-abortion activists who had set up a demonstration outside their Students’ Union.
This is the fourth demonstration of this kind in recent weeks at the university. The protests have stemmed from a vote held by the university’s Students’ Union in November 2019, which declared the union to have an official pro-choice attitude towards abortion.
Protests have featured what is being labelled as “distressing and graphic” images and has prompted the creation of a pro-choice society within the students’ union along with the already existing anti-abortion society the university and 14 other universities have already.
It is thought that the Centre for Bioethical Reform UK (CBR UK) are behind the protests, after posting about them in an online Facebook group. CBR UK have denied any misconduct from their organisation and argue that universities have become a place where “everyone must hold the same view”, and that their displays are merely educational.
The president of Cardiff University’s Students’ Union, Jackie Yip, revealed there have been complaints about the protests from staff, students and local residents. She said the university is looking for support in preventing the displays from being continued. added: “This is not about suppressing freedom of speech. This is about calling out harassing behaviour.”
Cardiff University has acknowledged that the demonstrators have a right to perform peaceful protests and uphold free speech but indicated that there would be police involvement if the demonstrations resulted in any law-breaking.