University College Dublin’s (UCD) Katie Ascough is facing an impeachment vote later this month after a campaign argued her pro-life stance is a barrier to serving as Student Union (SU) president.
The referendum to have the science student impeached was called when a petition with 1,200 signatures was handed into the SU offices earlier this week.
The students who organised the petition to oust Ascough have alleged that her pro-life views have caused her to act undemocratically, pointing to the president’s decision not to attend an annual pro-abortion march, and accusing her of having denied extra funding to a pro-abortion group on campus.
“She is mandated to support a union that actively voted to be pro-choice,” said Amy Crean, one of the petition’s creators. “If she had kept her views to herself and not let it affect her position as the president of the union it wouldn’t be an issue.
“She is saying she won’t go to the pro-choice march because it’s out of hours. She denied extra funding to UCD for Choice and didn’t want to be in the tent with them, and she denied vital information on basic healthcare access to the entire student populace,” Crean told the University Observer, adding that Ascough’s views have negatively impacted students’ welfare.
A thirteenth-century Oxford College founded under the guidance of an archbishop needs to be a "secular space" https://t.co/tvO3UZuipR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 9, 2017
Pro-abortion students were angered last month by the president’s decision to reprint UCD handbooks, removing information on abortions including how to obtain termination pills online.
Ascough said she took an “executive decision” to redact the pages, which also featured details of pricing and term dates for abortions abroad, after receiving legal advice that printing the information would be unlawful in Ireland, where such content is subject to strict conditions.
As Ireland is set to vote next year on whether to abolish the eighth amendment to the constitution — which gives a foetus the same rights as a pregnant woman — the Irish Independent heard UCD students describe a campus intolerant of pro-life views.
“We don’t have free speech. It’s just whatever opinion is popular at the time and then you’re lambasted if yours isn’t the same,” one first-year student told the newspaper, stating that he believes people have been “too hard” on Ascough.
“She’s only three weeks into the year … I think this is people really wanting the 8th Amendment to be repealed and they’re beating her up because she disagrees.”
Another first-year student, who agreed that the president should not be impeached, said: “I think anyone who speaks out for pro-life is being lambasted. Anyone who speaks out about pro-life is automatically perceived as wrong. There is so much liberal bias.”
He added: “There is no platform for pro-life. Even at Electric Picnic they had posted for ‘Repeal the 8th’. Everything is being politicised.”
Ireland to Hold Abortion Referendum Just Prior to Pope Francis Visit https://t.co/JirmOocfng
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 27, 2017
Last month, a hotel in Dublin cancelled a pro-life group’s conference on “the effects of abortion on women’s physical and mental health”, after it received a barrage of abusive emails and internet correspondence, as well as “intimidation … personal visits to the hotel and threats of protest at the hotel.”
Reporting that the manager had to cancel in the interests of health and safety of his staff, Human Life International’s executive director Patrick McCrystal described the incident as “an attack on free speech”, and “yet another example of censorship”.
Documents leaked in 2016 revealed globalist billionaire George Soros to be a major backer of the drive to make abortion easily available in Ireland, a country described by major U.S. abortion provider Planned Parenthood as the “jewel in the crown of the pro-life movement”.
The Hungarian financier hopes to use the country as a prototype to overturn anti-abortion laws in Catholic countries around the world.