In its second year of revived activity since the mid-1990s, UCT Students for Life Society has grown and become more established in the UCT community. Again, the total membership was approximately 100, and if the support received throughout the year from members and many non-members is anything to go by, the future looks very promising for UCT’s contribution to the pro-life struggle. Some of the year’s highlights included:
· We participated in the 1st February protest outside Parliament on the 7th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in SA.
- Orientation Week Activity. The O-Week stall was a point of contact with new members, and many students were educated and enlightened about the pro-life position. Students signed up and were able to decide to serve in the society in various areas, including research and working on the committee.
- A Forum at UCT Medical School themed “GRILL A PRO-LIFER” was presented by Dr Chris Warton, with support from Philip Rosenthal of the Health Professionals Defence Campaign and activist Jeanine McGill.
- Norma Trautmann from the Pregnancy Help Centre in Wynberg delivered a presentation on the work of the crisis pregnancy centre, and facilitated an experiential mini-workshop for those who attended the talk. We also obtained posters and pamphlets from them, which we gave to Student Health & Counselling Services.
- Social events, including a braai hosted at the Student YMCA. Members and other students got to chat and to know one another; some of them also won gift vouchers.
- Presentations at local student organisations and churches including the Student YMCA, Student Christian Fellowship, Kolbe Catholic Church, and Athlone Seminary.
- Submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health in response to the proposed ‘Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act Amendment Bill’, which aimed at killing more babies by making more hospitals and nurses join the killing. The submission included an outstanding oral & Powerpoint presentation to national Parliamentarians.
- Demonstration outside Parliament, in protest at Parliament’s unwillingness to allow open debate on the Amendment Bill.
- The ongoing campaign at UCT Medical School, where pamphlets were handed out and a poster displayed comparing the Nazi holocaust to the current abortion genocide. Reading material included articles such as, “Should medical students learn to kill?” and “Rights for unborn women”.
- A regular electronic newsletter was used throughout the year to inform, educate and keep in contact with over 150 students.
- The Health Professionals Conscientious Objection Register now has over 300 signatures. This lets medical students make a legally supported statement that they will not assist with abortions.
- Public advocacy training sessions on how to impact society were held through the year.