Time to welcome the pro-lifers

Whether pro-life, pro-choice, or on the fence – let’s embrace the plurality of views, says Jacob Diamond.


Freshers’ week is almost upon us and as Roar! has been so speedy to inform you, yet another society has found its way on to King’s campuses…. The pro-lifers have come (cue exaggerated eye-roll)!

What a rollercoaster of a time freshers will have signing to that society’s mailing list and enduring that inevitable boat-load of pro-life propaganda in their inboxes the next day.

Yet instead of doing the usual, and adolescently indulge myself in my own brand of militant atheism, or logics as it’s also known, I am instead beginning to think that proliferating pro-lifery may not be such a bad thing after all.

Why? What I bemoan more than a stupid view is an unchallenged one. The student version of pro-choice is speedily becoming the latter. The student population stereotypically assumes issues like abortion have an easy answer and are clearly well resolved on the pro-choice side of the argument. A plurality of views should be promoted rather than suppressed, as KCLSU seems to be tending towards.

The argument boils down to disagreement as to when a foetus is worthy of personhood – an ethical problem that inevitably results in arbitrary opinions. But of course neither side of the debate will see it that way. Certainly the rhetoric from both sides is extraordinarily self-assured.

So when I hear that our own students’ union tries to pass a motion to “actively condemn any pro-life movements that may operate on campus”, I uncomfortably anticipate I may have to start being more active in student politics.

I would usually admit to being pro-choice. I would now say I have pro-choice instincts, so for me it is weird to find myself being pushed over to the other side of the fence by a movement I once credited with the intellectual and moral upper-hand. It is very important to recognise that any conclusion on the issue of abortion is utterly subjective and uncertain.

I pride myself on having a bold, controversial opinion about most things so sitting on the fence in this case has been rather uncomfortable. And so it should be. Ultra-scepticism is uncomfortable, but with issues as subjective as these, you can find some reassurance in the knowledge that you now occupy the intellectually superior position.

Let’s just hope this new society is up to generating the debate!


  1. anon

    17 August, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    No uterus, no opinion.

    • Niamh O'Connell

      4 October, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Perhaps its slightly insulting to suggest that men shouldn’t or are incapable of considering the moral, legal, practical aspects of abortion. Considering this approach more generally; it’s insulting to suggest thoughtful people of any gender, race, sexuality etc., are unqualified to consider situations that don’t affect them directly…

      How many men fought for votes for women? Or how many white people spoke out against slavery? Or more recently, how many straight people fought for gay marriage?

      I wonder if you consider these people unqualified to hold their opinions.

      • Sam Cleal

        6 October, 2013 at 2:24 am

        Actually, I think men shouldn’t be leading the debate on this one, at all. This article is very problematic, and I really don’t feel like “proliferating pro-lifery” is anything but bad: of course, the pro-life’s society’s right to exist is incontrovertible if we are to truly commit to free-speech. But the author is wrong in saying pro-life claims to “solve” a problem easily and not treat it with the subjective approach it requires. In fact, I’m not even sure what his point is. Is this a joke article? The debate over the right to be allowed to choose is not a delightful logic puzzle for intellectual superiors! What debate is there to be had other than do women deserve bodily autonomy?

        And this isn’t just about when the foetus is a person, it’s about the person carrying it, who should feel no pressure to decide either way when feeling uncertain about pregnancy, and, further, should be supported in whatever decision is made. Surely pro-choice IS the most open-minded option. And it’s really where you should sit if you don’t even have to face this decision ever. That’s as far as I feel able to comment.

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