Pro-choice Goldsmiths students challenge anti-abortionism

Goldsmiths, University of London's Richard Hoggart Building

Goldsmiths, University of London’s Richard Hoggart Building

Goldsmiths students launched a counter-demonstration at the end of September against anti-abortion campaigners who demonstrated next to the college’s campus in New Cross.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) handed out antiabortion flyers with slogans such as “abortion is about a child not a choice” on 25th September on Dixon Road, between the Richard Hoggart building and the library.

Members of Goldsmiths Students’ Union (GSU) responded by creating makeshift pro-choice placards and following the antiabortion group down New Cross Road.

They also handed out Abortion Rights leaflets and made clear to passers-by that the SPUC campaigners were not affiliated to Goldsmiths.

Karis Handson, one of GSU’s women’s officers, said that the SPUC’s material was “offensive and potentially distressing to students due to its moralistic and sensationalist language and judgemental framing of women who have chosen to have abortions”.

Later in the day SPUC published a blog post condemning the union’s response.

It said: “What began as some simple leafleting ended with us being followed by a group of 15 aggressive pro-abortion students”.

The SPUC also claimed they were smeared by the student union’s newspaper, The Leopard. The group said that they had been situated on public footpaths off-campus and “harassed” by members of the union’s feminist society.

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 2 (07/10/2013)