In mid-November last year, UCD Students’ Union retained its pro-choice stance via a referendum, with 64% of students voting No to the question Do you agree that UCD Students’ Union should adopt a neutral stance on the abortion issue? In recent years, the issue of abortion has been addressed by both Trinity and UCD Students’ Unions. It is difficult to disagree that a neutral stance is more inclusive and representative of a greater number of students. The pro-choice view maintained by the student associations implies support for those who want to repeal the eighth amendment from Ireland’s constitution, and union representatives have openly advocated in support of repeal.

Karen Jeffery, a recent graduate from Trinity, would like to see a neutral stance taken by students’ unions. She explains why:

I am a pro-life woman. On the dreariest Monday morning I’m pro-life, in the slump of Wednesday afternoon I’m pro-life and in the latest and blurriest hours of a Saturday night I’m pro-life.

My thoughts and views of daily living are grounded in the character of Jesus. He lived a life of fullness and died an equally ample death. His state of death only lasted three days before he stepped out of the grave in victory, and then He tells us that this victory is equally ours.

Trinity as seen from the Arts Block on a rainy day

Trinity College on a rainy day

Living in this knowledge and freedom is always going to be life-giving, life-enhancing and life-changing. This is what pro-life looks like.

When we live a full life we experience highs, lows, frustrations and celebrations. Our lives are animated and everything we do is characterised by purpose, passion, perspective and peace. Each encounter we greet changes us a little more into the person we were created to be.  Jesus is pro-(our) lives.

My desire is for everyone to experience this life of fullness. This means giving every life a chance and a choice to live in their purpose.

Men and women in our society who find themselves in unplanned, life-changing and often gutting circumstances equally need to be encouraged to live their life of fullness. The Irish situation we find ourselves in is far from perfect. Pre-natal care in Ireland needs to be vastly improved so expecting mothers and fathers feel assured and supported. LIFE must be promoted, not impeded. 

Appealing the 8th & the SU.

My opinions of college life have been primarily influenced by the school of Nursing and Midwifery. Throughout my studies there has been a core emphasis on accepting spiritual diversity and varying personal, professional and religious values and delivering care that respects the dignity and uniqueness of each client.

True to what I’ve been taught as a student – as a representation of the whole student body the student union should embody the diversity within college. By deciding to take a stance on the abortion question the student union alienates many of its members and reduces the value of individual student opinions.

All views expressed are her own. Karen Jeffery is a leader at a student/young adult ministry called Chapel, which is popular among international students in Ireland.