SPUC try to change the past

The 1993 abortion Referenda was a Victory for Women


Never forget that we won the last referenda on abortion rights! Anti-abortion campaigners such as Des Hanafin and SPUC have been trying to rewrite history by claiming that they won, and that the country had voted against abortion.

These views are filtering into the mainstream. A Fianna Fail minister claimed recently that the last referendum was a vote against abortion. The government has postponed indefinitely legislation on legalising abortion, in any circumstances, in Ireland. Also, the anti-abortion lobby has pressurised local authorities in 21 counties to adopt resolutions calling on the Government to hold a third referendum on abortion.

So let's put the record straight. The 1993 referenda was a vote for women's rights, not against them.

The anti-abortion lobby, which included the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Desmond Connell, campaigned for a No, No, No, vote. This meant; No, on the substantive issue on the grounds that it allowed limited abortion rights in Ireland, No, on the right to travel, and No, on the right to abortion information.

We campaigned for a No, Yes, Yes, vote. We campaigned for a No vote on the substantive issue because it was far too restrictive.

The pro and anti women's rights groups were directly opposed in the votes on Travel and Information. So from these results we can tell which side the people supported most. And we slaughtered the fundamentalists, with 62% of the Travel vote and 60% of the Information vote. A definite win.

Andrew Blackmore

Originally published in Workers Solidarity 44, 1995