UCD Forced To Withdraw Its Freshers Handbooks For Providing Information On Abortion

UCD Forced To Withdraw Its Freshers Handbooks For Providing Information On Abortion

The UCD Student's Union has been forced to make changes to their handbooks after an issue was made over the legality of some abortion advice it contained.

The Union has announced that they will be reprinting their Wringing It In UCD handbooks to amend content on the 59th page which provided students with abortion advice.

The page concerned detailed a list of clinics outside of Ireland to which students could travel if they were in need of an abortion, as well as an accompanying price list for each. There was also a section regarding a website from which students could purchase abortion pills. The provision of this information is in breach of the Abortion Information Act of 1995.

This information is almost identical to the information provided in the same handbook last year, save that the handbook now guides students to a particular website to obtain the pill.

The SU President Katie Ascough gave a quote to the University Observer, who broke this story and have it extensively covered on their site, explaining the SU's reasons for wanting to reprint the handbook "this year, with the potential referendum coming, this is a big year for this issue and we felt there would be a spotlight on this kind of information".


Despite this, and the fact that they were advised by lawyers associated with the Students Union that they could be criminally liable for disseminating the information, the other sabbatical officers have stood by the original handbook. Campaigns & Communications Officer Barry Murphy said that the rest of the Sabbatical Officers had known that the information was illegal. He described to the University Observer how "back in the day when condoms were illegal, the students' union put out condom dispensing machines, they went to court in the 1990's [for providing information on abortion] and it's looked back on as one of the proudest moments in the history of the union."

The newly printed handbooks, which omit any potentially illegal information pertaining to abortion will be handed out during Freshers' Week in UCD.

H/T: The University Observer

Also Read: 19 Reasons Why UCD Is The Greatest College In Ireland

Rory McNab

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