(Photo: Right to Life UK)

A “screaming pro-abortion mob” forced local police to provide an escort to a pro-life speaker at the University of Manchester who had to take transport to a different location because it was “not safe” to go directly to her accommodation.

For the second time this year, police had to be called to protect pro-life students from a barrage of abuse and physical intimidation by pro-abortion student protesters at the university after Madeline Page, CEO of the Alliance of Pro-life Students (APS), delivered a talk titled “Grill the pro-lifer”.

As Madeline left the talk with a police escort, a large mob of students followed her down the road screaming abuse at her, forcing her to change her taxi pick-up because it was “too dangerous”. The CEO of APS was not able to relax even after the event as earlier today, after the talk last night, she was accosted by a pro-choice student whose face was covered with a scarf and who shouted at her outside a university building. After calming the student down, Madeline was able to walk away.

A concerted “hate campaign”

Discussing the night before, Madeline said, “This was an opportunity for any student, whatever they think about abortion, to ask questions and for me to explain why I am pro-life. I gave 15 minutes of input followed by an hour of discussion. Before the event even started though, I knew there were going to be problems.”

She explained that there had been a concerted “hate campaign” about her before she had even arrived at the university, with one social media user describing her as a “f**king n*b head”.

The talk was scheduled for 7pm but the university had organised for the building to be cleared and staff advised to vacate the building two hours beforehand for their safety.

“By the time I arrived, there was already a group of protesters shouting and chanting. As soon as they saw me, I had a number of them screaming ‘f**k you’ and calling me a ‘c**t’. Police had to intervene to force the protesters to let me inside the building.”

While there was a lot of noise from outside the building, a student described the atmosphere inside as “respectful”, even while a number of pro-choice students asked questions.

However, when the event ended, police had to escort Madeline and those who attended the talk out of the back of the building before the mob could gather.

“The police were really helpful but the mob still did their best to intimidate those present,” Madeline said. “I was separated from the rest of the group and swarmed by students hurling verbal abuse. The police had to form a physical barrier between the mob and me for my protection.

“I had to change my pick-up location because the police advised that the initial one was not safe and it also would not have been safe to go directly to my hotel.

“I eventually found a corner location where the police could stop the pro-abortion students getting any closer to me. They left shortly afterwards because the mob realised this was making them look really bad.”

Threatened with rape

Inge, a first-year student at Manchester University, said this was almost as bad as the last time protesters had threatened and abused her and pro-life students at the university.

“It’s so concerning that they’ve whipped themselves up into such a frenzy that they won’t even listen to what their opposition has to say. They must have so little confidence in their own arguments that they have to scream down ours.”

At the end of February, the University of Manchester student pro-life group had to face a similar ordeal and were left “terrified” as they faced a barrage of spit, verbal abuse and threats – including rape threats – from a pro-choice crowd of up to 250 people as they tried to hold a pro-life talk.

On that occasion, a number of pro-life students were spat on, one of the female committee members received a rape threat, while a heavily pregnant pro-life 22-year-old woman had to be escorted home in a police van due to concerns for her safety. She said, “I really thought our lives were in danger.”

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said, “The pro-choice protesters at the University of Manchester have once again disgraced themselves and their university. It is astounding that the university apparently does so little in the face of the physical intimidation and vile verbal abuse that the pro-life students, and Madeline in particular, had to face.

“This was an opportunity for them to ‘grill the pro-lifer’, to ask her difficult questions and make her justify the pro-life position on abortion. They chose to squander that opportunity and hurl abuse instead. The University of Manchester must make suitable provision to ensure that this does not happen again.”

© Right to Life UK

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