A new group in UCD is aiming to link up all the pro-choice students, staff and alumni on campus this year. ‘UCD for Choice’ was created to ensure a “unified pro-choice presence within UCD”, according to Kate Dulohery, one of its founders.
Dulohery said UCD for Choice will be “holding workshops, rallies, and creative events on campus as well as inviting guest speakers down to UCD from various pro-choice groups” over the coming months. The group will aim to lead and coordinate the campaign to ‘Repeal the 8th amendment among Belfield students. The 8th Amendment is the clause in the Irish constitutions that gives an unborn child the same right to life as the mother carrying child, making abortion illegal in all cases.
“UCD for Choice was created to ensure a unified Pro-Choice presence within UCD”
With the 5th Annual March for Choice approaching on Saturday September 24th, the group is currently organising events in preparation of the march. They are set to hold a poster making session on Tuesday 20th and a rally outside UCD on Thursday 22th, in anticipation of a pre-march rally on the 24th.
“They are set to hold a rally outside UCD on Thursday 22th.”
Last year, there were different students and societies running their own events and trying to create awareness separate independent of each other. The group was therefore formed to serve as an outlet for all pro-choice activity on campus.
Dulohery noted that while the group is not a society and therefore unable to organise events on campus, they have already received several offers of support from other societies, from the UCD Social Democrats to the Economic Society. She said that this well help them run and advertise events on campus. The group has been delighted with the support they have received so far. Over 400 people have already joined their Facebook group, while several staff members and UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) have also lent their support.
Dulohery expressed hope that in the future, there could me a more formal organisation to campaign for repealing the 8th amendment of the constitution, such as “an SU pro-choice working group, a student-staff coalition or a pro-choice society may be the way forward.”
UCDSU adopted a pro-choice policy on abortion following a 2013 preferendum, whereby students were asked whether UCDSU should (A) adopt a policy of supporting the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, which permits abortion in certain circumstances; (B) adopt of policy of legalising abortion in Ireland upon the request of the woman; (C) adopt a policy against the legalization of abortion; or (D) adopt no stance on the issue of abortion.” The total valid poll was 2,257 votes, which represented about 12% of eligible voters. The pro-choice ption B secured 45% of the vote, followed by option A with 25%, option D with 19% and option C with 8%.
Cian Carton | News Editor