Cardiff SU has voted to adopt an official pro-choice stance

The motion passed by a huge majority


Cardiff University Students' Union has now adopted an official pro-choice stance.

A motion calling for the stance was debated at the SU Annual General Meeting tonight, and was passed by a large majority of students in the room.

A similar motion for the SU to adopt a pro-choice stance was proposed back in 2014, but students at that time voted against it.

The union is now mandated to run pro-choice campaigns and support an "equal, safe and inclusive environment for students".

The VP Societies is now responsible for ensuring that SU affiliated societies do not spread misinformation about abortion and pregnancy or "participate in activities against SU policy", such as harassing people.

This follows after Cardiff Uni's pro-life society revealed their intention to take part in 40 days for life, which involves demonstrating outside abortion clinics.

In a speech against the motion, a Catholic student stated that banning disinformation and harassment meant Catholics would be unable to practice their faith.

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Isadora Sinha presenting her motion

In her speech in favour of the motion, the proposer Isadora Sinha stated there has been prominent campaigns on issues such as mental health, but none to support pregnant women. She also said the motion "is not to restrict freedom of speech…pro-choice means we support your choice to do what you want".

Luke, a Catholic student who spoke against the motion, said that Catholic's "rights freedom of expression and freedom of choice" are being threatened. He said it would deliberately discriminate against Catholics, and that no Catholic student could remain a member of the SU if the motion passed.

Another man speaking against the motion said it could have "legal implications, but also physiological implications" for those with a pro-life stance.

Earlier today the University's Catholic chaplaincy urged that the Catholic society leave the Guild of Societies if the motion passed.

The Cardiff Tab has contacted the society to ask if this is now their intention, but they have not yet responded.

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Luke, a Catholic student speaking against the motion

The three speakers against the motion were all male students. In response to this Rachael Walker, speaking in favour, asked, "what does it tell you about this debate that no women are willing to speak against it?" She ended her speech early, saying she would give the time to "another man telling me what I can and can't do with my body". This was followed by a standing ovation.

Another speaker in favour of the motion pointed out "pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion", but respecting the "fundamental right of bodily autonomy".

With the motion passed, the 'pregnancy support' page of the SU website must also be edited as it currently refers to "a 13-week foetus as a baby" which the motion stated is medically inaccurate and "further stigmatises the termination of pregnancy".

Isadora Sinha, the proposer of the motion told the Cardiff Tab: "We are all incredibly happy that this has passed, and it shows that this University and SU are truly inclusive and value equality. I couldn't have done it without everyone's support."

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