Irish pro-abortion students are calling for the impeachment of University College Dublin’s student body president because of her pro-life views.
The Independent reports Katie Ascough, the Students’ Union president at the college, always has been open about her view that unborn babies deserve a right to life.
Earlier this year, Ascough angered pro-abortion students by removing information about how to get abortion pills from a student magazine, according to the report. Abortion is illegal in Ireland, and Ascough said a lawyer advised that they remove the language.
But that did not appease abortion activists on the Dublin campus. This week, they collected enough signatures on a petition to hold an impeachment vote against Ascough, according to the report.
The abortion debate is raging in Ireland as the country prepares to vote on whether to continue protecting unborn babies’ right to life.
Abortion is illegal in Ireland because of the Eighth Amendment to the country’s constitution, but government leaders recently announced plans to hold a referendum vote in the summer of 2018 on whether to repeal the amendment and legalize abortion on demand.
Ascough said she has been bullied because of her pro-life position.
“The main reason that a group of students are calling for my impeachment is because of my decision to not break the law and illegally distribute abortion information,” she said.
Ascough explained to the Independent:
“The Union was producing a handbook that acted as a college guide for incoming students.
“I was aware that the handbook contained abortion information, but was not informed by the editors of the book that it was illegal to distribute this information.
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“I originally delegated the sign off for the handbook to the Campaigns & Communications Officer.
“After the books were printed and delivered, a staff member pointed out various issues including potential illegality of some of the content.
“I then sought legal advice regarding the abortion information from the Union’s long-standing lawyer who is an ex-president of USI and advocate for Repeal of the Eighth amendment.
“He advised that it would be prudent to avoid proceeding with the current handbook either by having it redesigned or cancelled. I also asked the Board of Directors for advice, and they agreed with the decision to follow legal advice.
“As CEO of the company, I decided to follow the advice of the Union’s lawyer with the Union Board’s agreement.”
Ascough said she would have put two dozen people at risk of huge fines and convictions if she had kept the abortion information in the booklet.
Pro-life groups believe the campaign against Ascough is part of a larger effort by abortion activists to censor pro-life arguments in Ireland, The Guardian reports.
“They point to the cutting down of posters advertising [a pro-life] meeting in Dublin last month by two men who said they belonged to the leftwing party People Before Profit,” the report states. “The [pro-life] organisations also allege that hotels that were due to host pro-life events were intimidated and threatened to cancel the meetings.”
The Eighth Amendment in Ireland gives unborn babies a right to life. The country also has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and some of the best health care for women in the world. However, abortion activists and some of the world’s richest men have been pushing the pro-life country to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legalize abortion on demand.
Abortion activists are pushing for a vote in May or June before Pope Francis’s scheduled visit in August. They fear the Catholic leader’s strong advocacy for the unborn could influence voters to uphold the Eighth Amendment.
Polls indicate a strong majority of Irish voters oppose abortion on demand. However, there is some support for abortions in cases of rape, the physical and mental health of the mother and fatal fetal anomalies.