There was controversy in UCD recently after posters advertising the anti-choice film Unplanned were taken down from the campus.
In a statement to The College View, UCD Students’ Union President Joanna Siewierska said, “UCDSU did not remove any posters or materials from bathroom doors in UCD. We have no authority over what is put up or taken down in buildings in UCD.
“Like all student societies and companies, we have to request access to put our materials up on bathroom doors through Estates and Student Services, depending on the location.”
When approached by The College View, anti-choice group UCD For Life declined to comment.
A press release on the group’s Facebook page accused UCDSU of “institutional discrimination against pro-life students.”
Ronan Doheny, spokesperson for UCD For Life said in the press release, “there is a precedent for unrecognised groups postering on campus from time to time and their materials are never removed.
“More than a year on from last year’s referendum, pro-life students feel as threatened as ever on campus for being pro-life,” he said.
On Twitter, UCDSU said, “unauthorised posters are not permitted regardless of their content.”
Unplanned is based on a memoir by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who says she became anti-choice after she witnessed an abortion procedure.
Unplanned has received criticism from medical experts who say its depictions of abortions are false. Retired obstetrician Peter Boylan said the film’s claims regarding abortion procedures are “completely unrealistic in any modern sense at all,” according to The Times.
“Patients are given either a local or a general anaesthetic. That’s torture-type stuff,” he said.
A director of Unplanned, Chuck Konzelman said that only pro-choice advocates claim the film is inaccurate and that the crew aimed for “hyper-accuracy.”
According to The Times, the film has made over $19 million (€17.3 million) in the United States, over three times its budget of $6 million (€5.4 million).
Unplanned was released on Friday October 4th in a limited number of Irish cinemas.
In 2016, 64 per cent of students in UCD voted to retain the college’s pro-choice stance on abortion that had been in place since 2014.
In 2018, Ireland voted by 66.4 per cent to repeal the 8th amendment, making abortion legal in some circumstances.
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