Over 50% of students voted for DCU to take a pro-choice stance on the issue of abortion.
719 of the 1,428 voters in last week’s referendum opted for a full pro-choice stance;where it will be the decision of the woman to make, within an accepted number of weeks of conception, whether to seek an abortion within the State.
Option two on the ballot paper received more than double the number of votes of any other option available in the referendum.
Paul Doherty, President of the DCU Students’ Union, said that despite some people being unhappy with the results of the referendum the SU will actively campaign for a pro-choice stance on the issue of abortion.
“As always we are glad to see a valid result come from this referendum. We will look to set-up a campaign in the coming weeks, hopefully to push our new stance,” he told The College View.
“We have had a lot of comments from people upset by the outcome of the referendum but we must stick to the mandate on this issue and work with all parties involved”, Doherty said.
With fewer than 1,500 students voting the outcome of the referendum was decided by just 10% of DCU’s student population.
Ryan Hunt, Chairman of DCU Young Fine Gael felt that the abortion issue was a topic that the SU should have no position on.
“DCU YFG took a no stance view on the reproductive rights referendum. We did so because we felt it wasn’t an issue Students’ Unions should be campaigning on. I’m personally pro-choice, as are many members of the branch. Our resources were focused on the USI referendum so we didn’t actively campaign”, Hunt told The College View.
Chairman of DCU’s Socialist Party, Derek McKenna, believes that women’s rights have been neglected for far too long.
“This vote sends a strong message that a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body is a fundamental right that all women all over the world should have. We in the Socialist Party will continue to campaign for full equality for women as we have always done”, McKenna said.
Speaking to The College View Sean Rooney, Chair of Labour DCU and the USI’s representative on campus, said that his party were always pro-choice and hopes that this result can be the start of a student movement to push for a change in the constitution.
“It was the student movement who forced the referendum on the right to abortion information in the early nineties and following this result I hope that the student movement can play a role in the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment to the constitution”, Rooney said.