March 08, 2005

A Sad Time for Humanity in the Union

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The students of the union you will note recently voted in Motion 4 in the Spring 2005 Referendum. “Abortion: The Right to Choose” enshrines the pro-choice position in the union, condemning pro-life organisations such as Life, replacing the unions previous “no-policy” policy. All in all, the union has voted to be pro-choice and not “neutral”. This severely upsets me because of what it means.

Some Humans are No Longer Humans

The pro-life position is that the unborn are full human beings and as such are worthy of the same protection that is applied to other human beings under the law, that is that the killing of an innocent human being is a serious wrong and should not be permitted. the student body, in voting for this motion has effectively decided that the unborn is not a human and therefore worthy of protection. They have decided to exalt the rite of the mother to choose and to decide for herself whether or not to have an abortion over the rite of her unborn to life. I feel that this is a sad day for human rights in the union.

that's my view

Rich Cowan


I am prepared to defend the humanity of the unborn in further posts, but have not done so in this article for 2 reasons, 1). it is primarily a comment on the referendum, and 2). to keep it short. If lots of people ask or challenge me to do so, I will in a follow-up article.

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  1. In fact, the union has decided that the opinion that the unborn is not a human is as valid as the argument that the unborn is a human. It's a welfare issue and means that the union is able to dispense information on both sides of the argument to people who go to it needing help.

    Also it should be noted that 'they' as referred to in your piece are 'the students of the University of Warwick's Students Union'. It was a democratic vote that decided it. If you feel so strongly about the issue, how much of a role did you play in the 'against' campaign?

    08 Mar 2005, 20:00

  2. In Reply to Christopher Doidge

    In fact, the union has decided that the opinion that the unborn is not a human is as valid as the argument that the unborn is a human. (emphasis in original)

    Incorrect. This was the view behind the “No Policy” policy, that permitted any views to be expressed, provided they were handled sensitively. You need to read the motion, with an understanding of the positions of both sides. To quote the motion document, in the “This Union Resolves:

    1. That this Union fully supports a woman's right to choose an abortion, free from outside pressure.

    If that is not pro-choice, then please explain to me what is.
    You seem to be confused about what the two positions are on this issue. Pro-choice holds that the most important issue in the controversy is the right of the woman to choose what she does. All other concerns are secondary. The Pro-life position is that the life of the unborn is the most important issue and that all other concerns are secondary. These two positions are mutually exclusive, the only “neutral” position available is complete silence, which the Union has voted against.
    You seem to feel the need to highlight in bold the word opinion, as if to indicate that the opinion has no basis in fact. I am fully prepared to dispute this, but I suspect that the reply would break the comment limit. Suffice to say that it is not merely an “opinion” but a demonstrable fact that the unborn is human. Also you comment that this is a welfare issue. The most pressing need in welfare is for people seeking advice to be told the truth, not differing opinions, but the truth. Any other form of welfare provision is just plain unhelpful.
    As for your comments on democracy in the union, read more carefully. I am not attacking the procedure that passed this motion. I support the procedure. Rather I feel that it is a shame that the motion passed. And in regard to your comments on my involvement, there are two things you should note. 1) I am a final year student with less than 6 weeks to go to my finals. As such I have little time for involvement in Union Politics, and 2) I was not aware of this motion until voting was under way and felt that the existing “No” argument was good.

    08 Mar 2005, 23:43

  3. But on the other hand surely you can acknowledge that by having the referendum some good has come of it as students have thought about the issues involved.
    This is an arguement where there's no right or wrong answer, I'm sure you could make a lengthy, compelling arguement for your case, and those that disagree could do otherwise. It's been debated many times before, we're not going to settle it on Warwick Blogs. So it comes down to a matter of opinion.
    The majority opinion is what matters at a Union like ours, and it's not what you believe is right. But at least the majority of those voting will (hopefully) of read the motions for and against, be more informed of the issues, and are now able to hold an informed opinion on the subject.
    I happen to disagree with you but would likely have voted to abstain on this motion (I didn't vote, as I'm a third year student with little time for student politics) as I don't really believe there's any reason for the union to have a stance on this issue. Lets focus our resources on things that either directly effect the majority of us (tuition fees) or on internal matters where we can really make a difference.

    09 Mar 2005, 00:06

  4. Bob cratchet

    I think that having a pro-choice policy does make a difference to roughly 50% of the population.

    This policy is vital to this Union. It means we can support a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion or not, something that is her right, not the right of some narrow minded fuckwit of a pro-life christian fundamentalist (emphasis on the MENTALIST part of that)

    09 Mar 2005, 10:47

  5. Jeb Reargarden

    I'm with bob on this one.
    We all know that the pro-life lobby are a load of right-wing nutjobs anyway, so i dont think we need listen to their hill-billy rantings.
    I'm glad the union has finally declaired itself to have the same opinion as the rest of the country (right wing a**holes and religious wack-jobs aside), that a womans right to choose and (equally as important) the free access to UNBIASED advice are more important than pleasing wankers like 'Mr' Cowan here.

    And the best argument – hitlers mum nearly had him aborted, maybe if she'd lived in a more liberal environment, with access to unbiased (and non jundgeMENTAL) advice, she would have gone through with it! Maybe you want another hitler, but I dont!

    …which leads me on to: The Catholic 'Church' where were they when millions of Jews were murdered (maybe 'Mr' Cowan doesn't define this as murder, i dont know)?
    el Pope didn't even say a word! Looks like the credentials of religous nut-jobs vis. murder aren't all that watertight after all…

    Don't like it?
    visit my blog a**face

    09 Mar 2005, 13:09

  6. Arthur Pusey-Hamilton

    I find your attacks on christianity both offensive and blasphemous! Those true believers amongst us are simply trying to show the rest of you the light. The Bible says that women must obey men and that they are inferior, therefore it is true, because the Bible is truly the word of God and hence is completely true, no matter how many versions it has been through or how many changes Kings have made to it. Those of you who don't follow it's ways will burn in hell for all eternity. All we want is to save you people from your own sin.

    As for the way the church has turned a blind eye to priests who abuse young boys, well, it's best not to draw attention to these things in my opinion. Those priests work hard to save the souls of sinners, and so we shouldn't be so quick to judge them. My own priest was very close to me when I was growing up and I have come out very well because of it. Besides, most people who accuse priests are simply doing the work of the devil.

    While I'm here, I thought I'd draw attention also to the way Catholic schools are not allowing children to collect for Comic Relief because they may support abortions. I applaud this brave move of my fellow believers. We should prevent money being given to charities more often if they are doing things we don't approve of with the money.

    09 Mar 2005, 13:51

  7. Looks like you caused some upraor here! hehe…

    I am a Christian, and think that that should be allowed. However, I also believe in a woman's right to chose abortion. There can be so many reasons for having an abortion that the outside world does not know about. What if a girl is raped and becomes pregnant? Shall she be forced to carry the child of her rapist for 9 months? What if there are medical issues where having a baby directly endangers the life or quality of life for the mother? What if the mother is no more than a child herself?

    I do not think that having an abortion is something a woman will do without thinking about it first, and there are psychological dangers to having an abortion, which the doctors will inform about, but sometimes those dangers are less than those of carrying the child… And in the end: who are we to judge? From what I remember no 'sin' is greater than another, and we will all be held accountable one day, and it is up to God, not us, to judge each individual…

    So until then: live by the golden rule and love your neighbour as yourself

    09 Mar 2005, 18:27

  8. I'm heartily amused by another suggestion from the pro-life lobby here that there is such a thing as 'truth'. Truth is an entirely subjective opinion. The suggestion that the greatest form of welfare is to be told the 'truth' is absolutely ridiculous and is probably one of the greatest reasons for growing atheism in this country. And it is most certainly not objective fact that the unborn is human. What, for instance, is a 'human'? Isn't it a constructed image of what we portray ourselves to be? Some may believe otherwise, but they are not necessarily correct, just as I am not stating fact. There is no such thing as objective fact, and hasn't been since the Enlightenment, which happened a very long time ago.

    09 Mar 2005, 22:09

  9. Chris,

    Is that true?

    09 Mar 2005, 23:11

  10. The Enlightenment was about daring to free yourself from constructed ways of thinking through the use of reason. Sapere Aude! (possibly spelt wrong!). They did not say that there was such a thing as an objective fact. It was more about daring to make yourself mature enough to think for yourself. Free your mind in a way. Dare to use reason. (I can recomment Kant's "What is Enlightenment?"... Although hard to read…

    09 Mar 2005, 23:52

  11. The enlightment was all about finding the truth through reason, it was postmodern deconstrunctionalism that first abandoned the search for truth then stopped believing in it altogether. A statement that truth does not exist is nonsense as it requires that the statement itself is true. You can say that in your opinion you don't think truth exists but we who still believe in it can dismiss your opinion as a corruption of 20th century philosphy and not very relevant on our search for the truth ;)

    14 May 2005, 18:09

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