The fundamental right to life

By Durham Students for Life

Following their controversial pro-life event on Tuesday 29th January 2019, Durham Students for Life wrote the following article to inform people of their cause. All views expressed here belong to the group Durham Students for Life.

Universities exist so that people can come together and discuss contravening opinions, and hope to improve the world with the knowledge gained. On Tuesday 29th January, Durham joined many other pro-life societies up and down the country to do just this.

Durham Students for Life was formed to explore life ethics, and to affirm the sanctity of human life for both born and pre-born people. Our message is not about shaming or blaming. It is about discussing the beauty of human life, its protection, and how we can practically support vulnerable women.

Many post-abortive women often suffer from Post-Abortion Stress

We held our event despite opposition. We defend the right to free speech, and in future look forward to constructive conversations with those who disagree with our opinions. The world only becomes a better place through listening, collaborating with, and seeking to understand one another. Sadly, we fear such dialogue may be difficult due to the belief of some that “there is no need for such debates or discussion” surrounding the effects of abortion.

On Tuesday night, we discussed the health of women and unborn babies. Plenty of studies show that many post-abortive women often suffer from Post-Abortion Stress, and sometimes even physical risks like infertility or hemorrhaging. An analysis of nearly fifteen years of published research found that “women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems…” (Priscilla Coleman, British Journal of Psychiatry, 2011).

From the earliest stages of fertilisation, the pre-born are distinct, living and whole human beings

Joelle Lucas, the President of Durham Students for Life said, “Having helped at pregnancy crisis centres, so many women echo the same cry: ‘I wish someone had told me what abortion is really like.’ Women deserve to know about such risks.”

“Women also deserve better than to be told abortion is the only way to be able to pursue a career or education. I worked at a Pregnancy Resource Center. Two years ago I met a young girl who was afraid of the consequences of having her child. After speaking to a counsellor she was able to imagine a world where she could have her baby and pursue her own goals. Her beautiful baby boy is now two, and she has continued to both receive help and support from the centre and has been able to pursue her own goals and be successful. Many women don’t want an abortion but feel alone and think it is their only option. We want to help those women feel supported so that they can have their babies and still be the successful women they were destined to be.”

Over 200,000 pre-born children are aborted in Great Britain every year.

Indeed, women often have an abortion because they feel they have no other choice. If this view goes unchallenged, our society will not prioritise the creation of other options for pregnant women. Surely the best way to cater for the needs of pregnant women is to provide them with greater help and support; to give them a broader range of choices than the one option, abortion, that they so often feel is the only legitimate one. On Tuesday night, it was said that many pro-abortion advocates are pushing for ‘at home abortions’, which leave women alone during a hugely traumatic event. How is this any better than “back alley” abortions? How is this caring for women’s’ health?

We believe that human rights should be protected. From the earliest stages of fertilisation, the pre-born are distinct, living and whole human beings. There is no important difference between ourselves and pre-born babies. We are all human, and we all deserve human rights.

In Britain, there is approximately a 20% chance that pregnancy will end in termination before the baby ever has the chance to see the sun, to smile, to see a fellow human face. In fact, around 200,000 pre-born children are aborted in Great Britain every year, with 197,533 abortions in England and Wales alone in 2017. 

All in all, our message on Tuesday night was one of love and compassion – for mother and baby

All in all, our message on Tuesday night was one of love and compassion – for mother and baby. Love does not stay silent when it sees the dangers of abortion, but speaks out in order to save lives, even when that involves personal sacrifice. Love tells people that they are valuable and important, and deserve to be given support through a diverse range of positive options. Love does not abandon others by letting them believe that their only option is to undergo the trauma of abortion. Love speaks the truth – the truth that it is vitally important to give women options that will enable them to flourish and give their babies the fundamental right to life.

Image by Avital Pinnick via flickr. 

2 thoughts on “The fundamental right to life

  • Clear presentation of the pro-life view. It suggests that the cries of “misogyny” and “control” are nothing but slanders. Thank you for publishing it.

  • Coleman’s study has been refuted and is methodologically flawed, therefore doesn’t actually show that women suffer repercussions to their mental health after an abortion. Shame that some students still haven’t learned to be critical in their reading.


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