Voting Starts This Thursday
Open to ALL UCL Students, get voting on making our Union balanced, forward-thinking and Pro-Choice. Every vote counts, visit the Union website for more details so we can have a Union to be proud of.
Join us at a rally on Thursday at the Quad to show support for the motion.
Here’s Annie Tidbury’s article as published by Pi newspaper:
Student welfare and freedom of choice are at the heart of UCLU. It was extremely disappointing to see that, as part of the Women’s Network, our motion to make UCLU officially Pro-Choice was called ‘unnecessary’ and ‘pointless’ at last term’s Emergency Member’s Meeting. The idea that UCLU has no need to support its members’ freedom to choose would go against the forward-thinking values of our University.
The move to instigate pro-choice policy within our Union is part of a wider trend across the country. Were the motion to pass, we would be the fifth Student’s Union in the UK to adopt a pro-choice stance and would hopefully inspire others to do the same. This is crucial at a time when reproductive rights are constantly coming under attack. For example last year saw MP Nadine Dorries attempt to put abortion counselling services under the control of independent organisations, which could have included anti-abortion groups. In response to this and other anti-choice campaigns, students are standing up for choice.
However the main reason behind this growing concern for the protection of reproductive rights is that the issue of abortion is part of student welfare. It is important to remember that abortion is an issue that affects many UCL students. Pro-choice policy leaves students in no doubt that, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, their Union supports them no matter what course of action they take.
The motion is also important when we consider how the issue of abortion is handled here at UCLU. In accordance with UCLU’s ‘safe space’ policy no student should ever be made to feel uncomfortable because of his or her personal views or experiences. Pro-choice policy would protect balanced discussion of abortion throughout our Union. Furthermore it equally protects students in voicing pro-choice and pro-life opinions, ensuring the topic is handled with the respect and sensitivity it deserves.
Despite this the ‘no’ campaign is opposing the motion with the slogan ‘defend an unbiased Union’. They seem to believe that the proposed policy would leave the Union biased in favour of abortion, which suggests that there has been a misunderstanding of the term ‘pro-choice’. This is often the case when abortion rights are debated. Pro-choice is actually a neutral stance but is often misconstrued as being ‘pro-abortion’ and the two are not synonymous. A pro-choice policy at UCLU does not promote or encourage abortion. The motion seeks to support and inform students in making important decisions for themselves.
In short, if passed, the policy will be an extension of the fantastic job that UCLU already does when it comes to student welfare. It will not only send a clear message to students that their Union supports their right to choose but will also mean increased awareness of the issues surrounding abortion.
Over the next few weeks you’ll see the Yes campaign team around campus so look out for us. There will also be flyers, posters and plenty of opportunities for you, the voters, to ask questions. In order to answer as many of your queries as possible we have also set up a Formspring account which will be active on our Facebook page (search: UCLU Should be Pro-Choice) by the end of the week. This will give you the chance to ask questions anonymously if you wish.
So come on UCLU, it’s time to stand up, speak out and be proud of supporting the right to choose. All we have to do is vote Yes to Motion 2.