A midwifery student is threatening legal action against her university after it cancelled her hospital placement over her pro-life views.
Julia Rynkiewicz was suspended from her placement after a lecturer at the University of Nottingham reported her involvement with the university’s Students for Life society.
Despite the allegations against her being dismissed, the university’s inquiry forced her to delay her studies. She will now graduate a year later than her peers and without access to student finance.
Rynkiewicz has raised a formal complaint against the university and is seeking an apology. She said she is “willing to take this as far as necessary”.
“I think it is important to remember that being pro-life isn’t incompatible with being a midwife.”
The trainee midwife added that she hopes the university will change so that “no one else has to go through what I have”.
“a flagrant violation of her moral and legal right to freedom of expression”
She continued: “I think this case says a lot about freedom of speech especially regarding pro-life students. There has been so much that’s happened against them and I think the unis are ignoring it and suppressing them.
“But unis should be a place where we can speak up about our beliefs and debate with people in a civilised way so I’m shocked that this happened.”
Laurence Wilkinson, a lawyer for ADF International, which supported Rynkiewicz’s initial appeal, said: “Julia’s treatment in this case represents a very chilling prospect for freedom of speech on campus”.
Mark Bhagwandin of the pro-life charity Life, also criticised the university: “What has happened to Ms Rynkiewicz is a flagrant violation of her moral and legal right to freedom of expression”.