A referendum took place in Bellfield last week to decide what position, if any, the union should take regarding abortion in Ireland. Student voters chose a pro-choice policy which supports a woman's right to elective abortion.
UCD SU officials will decide later this week how it will proceed both on-campus and off at its first council.
UCD has joined unions such as University College Cork (UCC), Trinity College, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) and NUI Galway which have also assumed pro-choice positions.
The Union of Students Ireland (USI) is also committed to campaigning for full reproductive rights including a woman's right to choose.
USI equality officer Laura Harmon believes that it is important for the voice of Irish students to be heard on this issue. She says: “It is important for student unions to take stances on issues that affect their members and in terms of the wider campaign every bit of momentum counts.”
Harmon also predicts that more unions will follow the lead of UCD and other unions in adopting a pro-choice policy despite the fact that abortion remains a divisive issue on campuses across the country. She believes that “feminism is re-emerging on college campuses and if it continues to do so it will keep the issue of abortion on the table.”
Harmon plans to organise a networking event for student activists and feminist societies during her term which would facilitate the sharing of ideas and information. She feels that the "the campaign needs to be nurtured."
The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), a broad coalition of national pro-choice groups, has launched a campaign to convince the government to allow the Irish electorate to vote on the retention or repeal of the eighth amendment, which introduced a constitutional ban on abortion. The ARC tweeted on Monday that “No one under the age of 48 has had a say on the 8th amendment, times have changed it needs to go #repealthe8th”.