A number of DCU students believe that the Students’ Union should have no position on the issue of abortion in Ireland. As a result a no-stance option will be included on the ballot paper for the upcoming Reproductive Rights Referendum.
At the last Class Rep Council meeting of the semester, students decided on the voting options that will appear on the ballot paper for the referendum, which will be held on February 26th and 27th. The options will be a pro-life stance, a vote to legislate for the X-case excluding risk of suicide, a pro-choice stance, a vote to legislate for the X-case including risk of suicide and a vote for no-stance on the issue.
An email was sent out before the CRC meeting inviting students to attend the meeting to “decide the Students’ Union’s (comprising all registered students of the University, including your Executive Officers) stance on the X-Case.”
Class Reps were requested to discuss the issue with their class and vote in the meeting based on their classes’ beliefs. Some Reps said their class wanted a non-stance option on the ballot paper as they didn’t believe the SU should take any position on the issue. It was voted to include this on the ballot paper.
Other Reps requested more information be made available to voters as a lot of their class members had not understood what they were asked in the last referendum. The last referendum in DCU was the funding third level education referendum and students voted for a fully free system funded by taxes.
Class Rep Council voted to hold a referendum on reproductive rights at a meeting on November 28th last. If the referendum is to go ahead it will be the second such referendum in DCU. In 1992 DCU students voted for more information to be given on abortion in Ireland at a time when none was available.
The Government recently decided to introduce legislation based on the Supreme Court ruling in the X-case in 1992. The proposed legislation will regulate for abortion when a woman’s life is at risk. Last week Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly said he hopes legislation will be in place by this summer.