By Alfie Neville-Jones, News Investigations Editor
The Bristol University Intersectional Feminist Society (IFemSoc) have started a petition for Bristol Students’ Union to take action on the existence of Bristol Pro-Life Feminist Society.
The petition, at the time of publishing standing at over 450 signatures, calls for the ‘regulation and removal of a pro-life society at Bristol.’
In an open letter, Bristol IFemSoc and the Bristol Women’s Network claim that the Pro-Life Feminist Society violates a number of SU codes of conduct ‘as it promotes the harassment of people considering or planning to have abortions.’
The open letter from IFemSoc reads ‘For too long existence of such a group has been ignored by the SU and we believe now it is time for action’.
Bristol IFemSoc and Women’s Network have also called for funding, accreditation, and Freshers’ fair privileges to be stripped from the Pro-Life Feminist Society.
In a statement, Ifrah Farooq, Bristol SU Union Affairs Officer, said:
‘The Pro-Life Feminist Society affiliated to the SU in February 2019 and were approved as they met the conditions for becoming an affiliated group. As a registered charity, we are required to follow legal requirements to uphold freedom of speech which can determine some decision-making in this area.
‘All groups must abide by our Code of Conduct. A breach in the Code of Conduct can result in disciplinary action being taken, including a group being suspended or disaffiliated.
‘If a student believes a group has breached the Code of Conduct then they can submit a complaint to the SU with details of the incident and the resolution they desire.’
Since Freshers’ fairs began nationwide, debate has been sparked as to whether pro-life societies should be allowed to operate at universities. Oxford University and the University of Exeter have received criticism for rejecting calls from their students to shut down their respective ‘pro-life’ societies.
Epigram approached The University of Bristol’s IFemSoc as well as the Women’s Network for comment, but both declined to comment.
Featured Image: Epigram / Patrick Sullivan
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