UCDSU President Katie Ascough has defended her decision to reprint their Wringing It In UCD handbooks after removing a section which gave students information around obtaining an abortion.
The page, which included a list of clinics outside of Ireland where people can travel to if seeking an abortion as well as information on abortion pills, was found to be in breach of the Abortion Information Act of 1995.
Ascough told CollegeTimes.com, 'The books were printed and upon their arrival into the SU a staff member raised the potential illegality of some of the content. After seeking legal advice from the Union’s long-standing lawyer, it was found that one piece of a two page feature on options to deal with a crisis pregnancy was a breach of specific legal prohibition.'
While other members of the Students Union have stood by the original version of the handbook, the SU President told CollegeTimes that it would have been imprudent of her if she did not take the legal issue into account:
Since elected, I have carried out my duties as President in keeping with the UCDSU Constitution which clearly states I am responsible for the administration of the Union. In line with the legal advice obtained, and with agreement from the Board of Directors to follow that legal advice, I would have been acting imprudently to put the Union and individuals at risk by facilitating the distribution of this illegal information. Therefore I made the decision to redact the mentioned content.
The new versions of the handbooks will be handed out during Freshers' Week.