The University of Limerick Students’ Union has voted in favour of adopting a pro-choice mandate.
On Wednesday evening, the motion for ULSU to actively campaign to repeal the 8th amendment was successfully passed with a majority of 171 votes in favour and 71 against.
UL joins TCD, UCD, DCU, NUIG, UCC and MU in adopting the pro-choice mandate.
The motion was put forward by UL Feminism Society co-presidents Megan Thornton and Edana Flynn.
Speaking before the vote, Megan Thornton said; “The motion we have brought forward is to ensure that all students have access to proper healthcare and bodily autonomy.”
“If the ULSU changes its stance from neutral to one of a pro-choice mandate, we will show that we not only believe in our students’ ability to be in charge of their own futures but also give them information to ensure their safety.”
“The UL motto is “Eagna chun Gnímh”, which means wisdom for action. It is the right of every student to have accurate information before making decisions that could change their lives and while the ULSU holds a neutral stance this is not possible.”
Edana Flynn said they were there for any students who have had to face abortions alone and for those who will have to face them in the future, and for anyone the law has affected.
“We are here today to trust students with a choice, I hope you will too,” she said.
In a post on Facebook, UL’s Feminism Society said they were excited that ULSU will campaign to repeal the 8th and offer guidance and support to students who may face difficult decisions in times of crisis.
They also thanked UL Socialist society, Repeal Limerick, Abortion Rights Campaign, and Limerick ROSA – Socialist Feminist Movement, for helping support their motion through spreading the world.
ULSU President Jack Shelly commented on the result, and indicated a preference for a neutral stance in the Union.
“I think taking a stance on this issue will isolate a certain number of students no matter what stance we take. As President, I try to engage as many students as possible with the union.”
The ULSU President suggested a more suitable motion would have been one that touched on both sides; “ULSU will actively educate students on what a yes and no vote will mean in the upcoming national referendum on the 8th amendment”.
“Basically informing students and letting them make their own decision,” he said.
“However, students have went through the correct processes to bring a motion to AGM. That motion was passed by majority vote and it is now my job to represent and to work on what students have voted for”, he conceded.
ULSU Democracy Development Manager Liz Gabett said she was very impressed with the student turnout, with over 250 students from all UL departments, undergraduate and postgraduate, being represented.
She praised students for engaging in “a genuine, respectful manner” and noted that those who spoke were well informed on the motion.
Still here? Check this out: Education With Autism: My Experience