Alliance for a No Vote Launches Legal Opinion.

Calls for Dangerous and Misguided Referendum to be abandoned.

Press conference: Press Room, Buswells Hotel, 14.30 Fri. 21 December
Press statement. December 21, 2001.

The Alliance for a No Vote is today launching its legal analysis of the abortion referendum, which reveals in detail the shortcomings of the Government proposals. Proinsias de Rossa MEP, Tony O'Brien of the IFPA and Ivana Bacik of Abortion Reform will together call for the referendum to be abandoned.

The Government's proposal is dangerous because it would reverse the X case judgment by ruling out suicide risk as a ground for abortion. This would endanger the lives of the most vulnerable pregnant women and could lead to further X and C cases.

It is dangerous because it creates a draconican new criminal offence of abortion, which will cover women who try to induce their own abortion, with a penalty of up to twelve years imprisonment.

It is misguided because it lacks popular support. A combination of the Fianna Fail leadership, the Catholic bishops and the Pro-Life Campaign does not constitute a 'broad middle-ground consensus'. Current opinion polls reflect this, with indications that the referendum proposals will be defeated - just as an identical proposal was in 1992.

As the main pro-choice organisation opposing the referendum, the Alliance for a NO Vote calls on the Government - and especially the PDs - to abandon this dangerous and misguided referendum.


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