An anti-abortion group has been banned from becoming an official club at one of Scotland’s oldest universities.

The student association at Aberdeen University has prevented a pro-life society from affiliating - which means the group cannot access funding to help run events.

Aberdeen University Students’ Association (Ausa) currently has a pro-choice policy which backs “free, safe and legal access to abortion”.

Under the policy, the association has agreed not to offer any “funding, facilitation or platform” to groups that offer different advice on the issue.

However, the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society has challenged the ban and accused the student association of censorship.

Last week, it emerged that the Students’ Representative Council at Glasgow University had ruled against the affiliation of a pro-life group.

In October, a similar ban on anti-abortion groups at Strathclyde University was lifted after a long-running battle.

The row comes at a time when there is growing concern universities are becoming too politically correct.

Earlier this year, Westminster’s joint committee on human rights highlighted serious concerns over barriers to free speech in universities.

A committee report recommended groups or individuals holding “unpopular opinions which are within the law” should not be shut down or subjected to “undue additional scrutiny” by student unions.

Alex Mason, a spokesman for the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society, said the future of free speech at the university was “hanging in the balance”.

He said: “Ausa is the latest in a long list of students’ associations which selectively repress the freedom of speech of certain students and societies.

“Ausa’s willingness to censor dissenting speech, even though such speech is protected by UK and EU laws, should be chilling to any fair-minded student who believes the free exchange of ideas is essential to a university’s ethos.

“The pro-life position is admittedly an unpopular minority opinion on this campus, but it is fully protected by law. The right to speak freely must be equally applied to all.”

Lawson Ogubie, president of Ausa, said: "We operate under a pro-choice policy as democratically carried forward by members of the student council.

"The policy states that Ausa is a pro-choice institution and will always stand in solidarity with people seeking free, safe, and legal access to abortion, contraceptives, and reproductive health care.

"Students are encouraged to challenge or submit policy changes as is their democratic right as members of our students’ association."

Ausa's pro-choice policy, agreed in November 2017, states: “Council believes ... that fundamentally access to abortion is an issue of bodily autonomy, and that Ausa needs to take a strong pro-choice stance in solidarity with pregnant people in countries where abortion is not freely accessible and towards decriminalisation of abortion in the UK.

“Council resolves ... Ausa to campaign against directive advice groups and offer no funding, facilitation or platform to any such group that may offer advice that conflicts with the advice given by either Ausa or a body/service recommended by Ausa.

“Ausa should oppose the unreasonable display of pro-life material within campus and at Ausa events.”

The report of Westminster’s joint committee on human rights said: “Our evidence suggests that incidents where freedom of expression has been restricted usually involve groups who are perceived as minorities, or as having views which some could consider to be offensive, but which are not necessarily unlawful.

“These could include pro or anti-abortion views, issues of sexuality or gender, and matters concerning faith or atheism.”

In 2014, Oxford University cancelled a debate on abortion after female students complained that they would be offended by the presence of men on the panel.

Cardiff University students tried to ban the feminist icon Germaine Greer because she once wrote that a man who was castrated would not behave like a woman, which was construed as offensive to transsexuals.