Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Open Letter to AUSA Regarding Auckland ProLife

To the Auckland University Student's Association and any concerned parties,

I am writing to express my concern with respect to the re-affiliation of the group 'Auckland ProLife'. I do not think it is appropriate to have groups like this affiliated with AUSA. Firstly, because they are strident opponents of the bodily autonomy and reproductive rights of women. The UN released an official policy document in 2011 relating to the right to physical and mental health. Here is what it said about abortion. "Criminal laws penalizing and restricting induced abortion are the paradigmatic examples of impermissible barriers to the realization of women’s right to health and must be eliminated. These laws infringe women’s dignity and autonomy by severely restricting decision-making by women in respect of their sexual and reproductive health." Women have the right to control their own bodies and they should to be able to exercise their rights without fear, guilt, shame or punishment. ProLife then it seems is a group who seeks to reduce or prevent access to something that is widely considered to be a human right. This alone should be sufficient grounds to sever ties with them, but alas I shall continue.

In the past they have distributed misleading and false information regarding abortion. One almost laughable example I can recall from 2011 was a flier that was distributed in many lecture theatres and on notice-boards around campus that had a picture of a toddler on it and a message along the lines of 'Am I a child or a choice?'. This is an egregious example of emotional baiting trying to mislead people. Any intelligent person knows there is a difference between a foetus and a toddler, so to try to conflate the two, or to imply that people who are pro-choice want to 'abort' toddlers is dishonest and deceitful. They have also previously tried to mislead students by referring to the nonexistent, debunked, so called 'post-abortion syndrome'.

The tactics employed by ProLife around campus are also objectionable. They are known to film the re-affiliation process, meaning that they have a record of those who speak out against them. This is one of many examples of their attempts to intimidate those who oppose them. Their actions have made many students feel unsafe simply being around them, let alone speaking out publically. In addition to actively intimidating people who disagree with them, their presence on campus (especially their posters) creates a hostile atmosphere for all women, including those who don't directly engage with them in any capacity. What they are doing is basically sexual harassment, and is most certainly discrimination on the grounds of sex, which is a violation of the Human Rights Act (which includes discrimination based on pregnancy). The AUSA should prioritise the safety of students (whether it be physical or psychological) over the affiliation of a group like this. The fact that this behaviour carries on unabated is a serious cause for concern.

ProLife do not make any effort to do anything to prevent pregnancy. They do not provide information on contraception and healthy relationships which are the most effective forms of abortion prevention. Instead they exist to harass women for their personal choices.

Finally, the most serious reason I think they should be at the very least de-affiliated from AUSA is because they are a hate group. The imagery and language they use to promote their agenda is violent and obscene. One fine example of this is an article on their website from January 2011 entitled "Is NZ's Down Syndrome Screening Program an act of Genocide?". They also frequently compare abortion to murder, explicitly implying that women who get abortions are murderers. This is no light insult, it is a serious accusation and one that causes untold emotional damage to many women. In fact on several occasions members of the ProLife group have verbally harassed women on campus, calling them names ranging from murderer to evil. Such hate-speech contributed greatly to a student's suicide.

Let it be known, ProLife Auckland is a hate group that spreads misinformation and deceit.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, Shred. I just tried to visit your main site, but I'm not invited. Pretty please? ;)

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  2. I don't quite know what you mean?

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  3. When I tried to visit your site titled "Shreddakj", a page told me that my access was denied; I had to be invited first.

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  4. Oh. Well, that's that then.

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  5. KJ I did see you mentioned that ProLife Auckland ‘have distributed misleading and false information regarding abortion’ and ‘have verbally harassed woman on campus, calling them names ranging from murders to evil’.

    I would have to strongly tell you that what you have said is a big, fat lie. You see I have heard of these sorts of accusations being thrown around, but yet no-one to this day has proven to me they actually do this and as being part of this group I would know that they wouldn’t even think about misleading or harassing any woman or person.

    Please by all means show me misleading information, show me they harass woman, show me anything that makes them a threat on campus, something that has been thrown around by strangely enough never been proven

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