Opinion: Real Choice, Not LifeChoice

Proponents of the controversial new anti-abortion club on campus, LifeChoice, were up in arms at the colourful reception their society received.

Claiming free speech, Anna Fernon and Louisa Bonaventura decried the petition that is trying to stop the club affiliating with Arc, the student organisation.

“I ask all students, irrespective of whether you support the values of the club, to support free speech on campus,” Anna Fernon wrote in a letter published in this issue of Tharunka.

Let me make this as clear as possible. The issue of LifeChoice’s affiliation with Arc has nothing to do with free speech. It has everything to do with funding.

No one is arguing that those who hold the discriminatory views of some in LifeChoice should be locked away or silenced; they only point out that they believe it would be against the aims of inclusion and tolerance for Arc to fund a club with the sole aim of restricting the choice of women.

But that’s not what LifeChoice is about, is it? According to their executive, it’s about engaging in rational discussion about controversial issues. A discussion considers arguments and comments to reach an outcome. For LifeChoice, the outcome is predetermined, the discussion a shallow farce.

Fernon told Tharunka reporter Renee Griffin that members with pro-choice views were not welcome to join the club, only to attend events.

LifeChoice, as a club, already has a predetermined view; “our group aims to uphold the right of innocent human beings to life, since the inviolability of the personal dignity of the human person extends to the unborn,” Anna Fernon wrote to us.

On the LifeChoice online blog, a recent entry argues against the approval of anti-abortion drug RU486; another argues against a new book by bioethicist Peter Singer that points out restricting abortions would force women to seek illegal abortions from unsafe providers. There are no articles about pro-choice arguments.

The claim that the club provides a space for “reasonable and informed discussion” characterises the club as an empty shell for interested students holding a variety of views to use as a space for debate.

This is not the case. The club and its executive hold a singular view that abortion is morally objectionable and completely unsafe.

The most depressing part of this debacle is that it seems the LifeChoice executive don’t realise the enormous logical flaw in their “inclusion and discussion” argument, but then again, if logic was their strong suit, they probably wouldn’t be running an anti-abortion society.

When it comes to Arc funding, what’s the difference between LifeChoice and a myriad of other clubs whose views on abortion would mirror those held by LifeChoice? One thing: these other societies, the majority religious organisations, allow students to enjoy the company of likeminded individuals without specifically aiming to disenfranchise or target one group and push one agenda.

LifeChoice has one sole purpose; the restriction of abortion for women, even extending to cases of incest or rape, views that are so outlandish and marginal that few religious denominations insist on them.

The issue of Arc’s affiliation of LifeChoice has almost nothing to do with “censorship of a nascent society,” nor is it evidence of “resistance to openness or discussion.”

It has nothing to do with “[the] free communication of ideas and opinions,” as an article on the LifeChoice website claims.

If Arc decides to affiliate LifeChoice, they are subsidising what is so obviously a PR front of the Catholic Church, manned by its moronic sycophants, intent on presenting a one-sided argument against abortion and restricting individual choice.

Kylar Loussikian
[twitname]kloussikian[/twitname] [relatedPosts]

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  1. As a student, I find this article to be a total embrassment.

    Clearly the author doesn't understand how discussion works in the adult world.

    LifeChoice has never claimed to be a plaform for expressing pro-choice views, but obviously espouses pro-life values. But this doesn't preclude discussion: in fact, discussion is only possible if you have two opposing sides. LifeChoice is about providing one perspective, and by writing articles, hosting speakers, etc which promote their view, that's exactly what they are doing. They critique pro-choice views. If you disagree with them, you can comment on their online forums, or turn up in person to their O-week and semester events and argue with them.

    I don't understand how otherwise this whole discussion thing would work. Without a pronounced view point and dissent, life would just be monologuing.

    In light of this complete and utter failure to engage with this basic fact of rational discourse, this statement "it seems the LifeChoice executive don’t realise the enormous logical flaw in their “inclusion and discussion” argument" is sooooo ironic.

    Clearly Kylar Loussikian doesn't realise the enormous logical flaw in his "discussion is two-sided, except when it comes to hearing your side" argument.

    I don't see Kylar attacking the campus Greens, or Muslims, or Linux users support society, for failing to espouse contrary opinions. I mean, I'm utterly shocked that Labour refuses to invite Tony Abbot to speak on the pros of his potential priministership.

    And so the whole house of cards which is this sloppy opinion piece collaspes under a gentle breeze of logic.

    Of course, the writer here lost all credibility when he indulged in his closet conspiracist, and blamed this on the Vatican. I mean, this is an editor of the UNSW student mag? no wonder its so trashy.

  2. I completely agree Kylar. It's sick that these people espouse their ethical opinions, while not also promoting mine and yours. It's seems to endemic- check out these pages: http://greens.org.au/ not a single libertarian or conservative argument! I am shocked and appalled. Thank god we have writers of your journalistic and intellectual calibre to address this blatant masonic conspiracy!

  3. I didn't say anything about LifeChoice existing or not; do as you like. I'm talking about funding for the Club. SSAF is clearly intended not to flow to clubs that engage in niche political or social crusades (which LifeChoice is). Also, you can't have rules against people joining who have pro-choice views, as this Club clearly has, but you don't even go to UNSW, so I guess you couldn't have known.

  4. "I ask all students, irrespective of whether you support the values of the club, to support free speech on campus".

    What a joke, this club isn't about free speech, it's limiting the freedom of choice's available to all students at UNSW.

    I think a good uni body should fund any student club, even if they do have anti-abortion views (such as the catholic clubs), but LifeChoices isn't a student club, it's and anti-abortion lobby group and they shouldn't get a cent of student funding (especially while engaging in debates that serve to alienate and discriminate against people on campus).

  5. Limiting the freedom of choices available? How so?

  6. Even the presence of an anti-abortion society places the pressure of "judgement" upon students who may seek one.

    As a guy I'm lucky enough not to feel the judgement of an entire group, or religion, of people upon me when I choose to masturbate, or wear a condom, I don't understand why women are made to feel guilty for choosing to use contraception.

  7. I don't personally see this group as limiting my freedom. I mean it's fucked up sure but I think that may be exaggerating

  8. is lifeweek from lifechoices??

  9. LifeWeek is a pro-life campaign by catholic societies on campus whereas LifeChoices is a club specifically aiming to promote pro-life discussion (judging from the slim expanse of articles on their website). Other than their shared pro-life stance, LifeWeek campaign and the LifeChoices club are unrelated.

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