Midwifery student demands apology after being denied job for pro-life views
NOTTINGHAM, England, January 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A midwifery student has demanded an apology after being barred from a work placement because she is pro-life.
Julia Rynkiewicz, 24, a student at the University of Nottingham, was left in academic limbo when she was prevented from completing her work placement at a local hospital. Rynkiewicz is the president of the University of Nottingham’s student pro-life group, and the university’s objections to her pro-life advocacy led to her suspension from her studies.
The university reversed its decision last week and dismissed its case against her. However, Rynkiewicz, who told British media that she suffered from stress and lack of financial support while she was suspended, wants an apology. She believes that this is a “matter of justice” and wants university officials to concede that “they have done wrong” and will ensure that “no one else has to go through what I have.”
Rynkiewicz told the UK’s Telegraph that she is willing to sue.
“I’m willing to take this as far as necessary,” Rynkiewicz said.
“I think it’s important to remember that being pro-life isn’t incompatible with being a midwife,” she continued. “It all felt a bit ridiculous and I have had to put my life on hold for a year and that’s been frustrating.”
The student indicated that she will be “applying for compensation” and noted that this case “says a lot about freedom of speech, especially regarding pro-life students.”
Rynkiewicz declined to give an interview to LifeSiteNews, saying that she would prefer to wait until after her complaint is resolved before answering the pro-life news site’s questions.
This is not the first time pro-life students have suffered discrimination at the University of Nottingham. In 2019 the Nottingham Students for Life were initially refused affiliation – that is, the status of an official student organization – at their university. According to Church Militant, the Nottingham University Student Union (NUSU) rejected the group’s application by email, saying that its aims went against the student union’s own policies, especially the expansion of abortion in Northern Ireland, the repeal of the pro-life Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland, and the “Equal Opportunities Guidance Document.”
The pro-life students were given a chance to argue their case before the NUSU, and were shocked to discover themselves attacked on social media by NUSU student officers. NUSU officials also organized a pro-abortion protest against Students for Life and stood outside the meeting room where the pro-life students were to make their case for affilation, handing out pro-abortion literature. The vote went against the affiliation of Students for Life, 98:42.
Subsequently, however, the pro-life students’ legal counsel informed the NUSU that it was in violation of the UK’s Equality Act. Cowed by the threat of legal action, the NUSU allowed Students for Life to become an official university club.
According to the Nottingham Post, Rynkiewicz said at that time that it was “important to have both views at the university ― pro-life and pro-choice.”
“The university has pro-choice policies, and there's nothing representing us when there should be,” she continued.
"The students union should represent everybody.”
Rynkiewicz said that the pro-life students did not want to take legal advice, so it was “quite sad” that they had had to turn to the law for official recognition by their school.
“It was a matter of free speech,” she added.