Battle lines drawn in referendum
The Bray and north Wicklow area is set up to become a major cockpit in the campaign leading up to next month’s referendum on the proposed amendment to the Constitution.
The first salvo was fired this week when the Wicklow Anti-Amendment Group opened their campaign with a strong attack on the proposed change with a claim it would ‘kill women’.
And in support of their stand the group has collected a petition which has been signed by 18 local doctors, Education Minister Gemma Hussey, local councillors, solicitors, trade unionists and writers.
In their statement of opposition they said they opposed the amendment because it would change existing medical practice and therefore endanger the lives of women.
‘It is unnecessary since abortion is already illegal in Ireland,’ they said. ‘It would interfere with existing family planning facilities. We are also opposed to it because its sectarian nature would further divide the people of this island.’
Mr Declan Donnelly of the Anti-Amendment Group said that more than three quarters of County Wicklow’s doctors were against the amendment.
This week also so the launching of a campaign in favour of the amendment.
The organisers are calling their efforts the ‘Pro-Life Campaign’ and it was formally launched in several centres around Wicklow this week.
Organisers said that in the three week campaign leading up to polling day on September 7, canvassers would be calling to every householder through the constituency to encourage people to vote ‘yes’.
‘It is important that people are aware that a “no” vote in this referendum is a vote which will leave the door open for legalising abortion in the future,’ they said.