Bat­tle lines drawn in ref­er­en­dum

Au­gust 1983

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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