Prolife NZ on AUSA disaffiliation
Prolife New Zealand
29 August 2017
Prolife New Zealand (PLNZ) is disappointed that Auckland University students have chosen to undermine free speech. The Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) received a single, anonymous request to disaffiliate Prolife Auckland. The results today revealed the likely disaffiliation of Prolife Auckland. AUSA is still consulting their lawyers on the legality of the referendum question.
PLNZ believes that the university campus is the ideal place for robust debate and intellectual conversation. The negative outcome of the referendum undermines free speech, and removes the agency of women and other students on campus to come to their own conclusions.
PLNZ spokesperson, Mary-Anne Evers, said she considered the disaffiliation of Prolife Auckland as “essentially insinuating that the students on campus cannot decide for themselves what they think about abortion. It suggests they are not capable of coping with the material Prolife Auckland presents.”
Prolife New Zealand clubs based at Massey, Canterbury and Otago universities do not face the same repeated opposition facing Prolife Auckland. These campuses welcome debate and discussion of contentious issues. The president of ProChoice Otago offered a message of support to the Prolife Auckland earlier last week, saying “I fear that disaffiliation will close off the support for proper discussion and an official presence on campus, which will only further the divide and prejudice on both sides.”
Although disaffiliation will make it more difficult for Prolife Auckland to promote their cause, they are not deterred. Evers said “Prolife Auckland, just like all the other clubs around the country, will carry on their important work. It is essential to promote respectful discussion on the ethical issues surrounding abortion and to provide compassionate support for people touched by crisis pregnancy and abortion.”