The European Students’ Union (ESU) stands in solidarity with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in their fight for bodily autonomy and reproductive justice for people in the Republic of Ireland. People on the island of Ireland do not have proper access to vital abortion healthcare services.
In the Republic of Ireland, the 8th amendment in the constitution equates rights of the foetus to that of the pregnant person. Pregnant people do not have autonomy over their own bodies. People who obtain an abortion in the Republic of Ireland are liable to receive a prison sentence of up to 14 years. In 2016, at least 3,265 people travelled to the UK to access abortion healthcare with 170,000+ travelling since the amendment was introduced in 1983. The UN has stated that the 8th Amendment is in breach of human rights.
Students are affected by this as a class issue, one that directly affects them when it forces them to leave the state. Students have less income to reach the high cost of travelling and paying for these healthcare services. The UK Department of Health statistics show that approximately one quarter of people of who give Irish addresses when availing of abortion services are aged between 18-24. International students are affected when they realise they can’t leave their country of study and/or enter another country for proper healthcare due to visa issues.
On May 25th, 2018 the Republic of Ireland will vote to decide, through a referendum, whether or not to remove the 8th amendment from the constitution, and legislate for the regulation of abortions within the healthcare system
ESU recognises that the UK 1967 Abortion Act was never extended to Northern Ireland and supports the campaigns run by USI and NUS-USI to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.
ESU fully supports the “Students for Choice” campaign, run by USI which advocates for full reproductive rights and that abortion healthcare be made available to people across the island of Ireland.
Proposed by: USI
Seconded by: LÍS, fzs, EÜL, SYL, NUSUK, ISO, NUIS, UNEL, SAMOK, VVS, SFS, EC, BSA, OH, BOSS, FAGE, LSVb, UNEF, FEF, LSA, LSS, UDU