Cardiff University Students To Vote On Whether To Officially Become A 'Pro Choice Union'

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A row over free speech is brewing as students at Cardiff University gear up to vote on whether their union should officially become "pro choice".

The motion, which will be voted on this Thursday, is the second attempt to make the student union (CUSU) state it officially supports abortion. If passed, no university-affiliated group would ever be able to take part in anti-abortion protests.

In May, the then-women's officer Emma Carragher withdrew her "pro-choice union" motion. At the time, concerns were raised over whether the senate, made up of students elected by ballot, was the right place to vote on such a controversial topic.

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The new motion, proposed by student Rachael Melhuish, wants the union to state it is pro-choice and support campaigns to make access to abortion easier.

It adds: "[The union should]: Campaign against protest outside abortion clinics... Prevent affiliated societies and groups from taking part in anti-choice protests or rallies outside of abortion clinics and under the banner of the student's union."

Now, the president of Cardiff Students for Life Jonathan O'Connell has raised further objections to the new motion.

"This motion simply cannot be allowed to pass," he told the Catholic Herald. "The university environment has long been a bastion of free speech, which the proposed motion seeks to attack.

"There are huge implications in enforcing a single ideology or political viewpoint across the whole student populace; not least of all it restricts students’ freedom of expression as well as directly limiting the religious freedom of certain student groups.

"Declaring the university officially pro-choice is akin to declaring the university affiliated with a single political party, which obviously in the 21st century would be totally unthinkable."

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