Abortion Rights Group rejects Referendum Option

15th November 2000 - PRESS RELEASE

The Dublin Abortion Rights Group today rejected the option of yet another completely unnecessary referendum on abortion. Instead of moving to undo the legal confusion resulting from the 1983 amendment the Government seem determined to ensure abortion continues to be a source of political controversy and division. DARG believes that abortion and the lives and health of Irish women must cease to be a tool to be utilised by religious fundamentalists to exert political power in this state. However the contrary is happening as Fianna Fáil appear more than willing to sacrifice the health and lives of Irish women in the sordid attempt to hold on to power for a few extra months.

Spokesperson Ivana Bacik said

"The aim of the proposed referendum, if passed, is to prevent any future court decisions permitting abortion in cases such as 'X' and 'C'. There is no guarantee that other such cases, where a desperate pregnant woman or girl is contemplating suicide, will not emerge. The introduction of an amendment prohibiting abortion in cases of threatened suicide could quite conceivably result in the death of a woman by her own hand. The simplest immediate solution is to bring in legislation allowing for abortion in cases of a danger to a woman's life"

The DARG spokesperson continued:

"There have been four referendums about abortion in Ireland in the past 17 years. None of these have stopped Irish women having abortions. No referendum can ever prevent women having abortions. The ban on abortion has resulted in 100,000 Irish women travelling to Britain for terminations since 1967."

Ms Bacik concluded:

"Politicians of all parties should have the pragmatism and strength of character to step back from the political mistake made almost 20 years ago, when hasty commitments were made to hold an ill thought out referendum at the prompting of a small pressure group. Instead, two decades later, they seem determined to head down the same road."

The Dublin Abortion Rights Group supports the right to free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. The private and personal medical decisions made by individual women should be left to women themselves, in consultation with their medical advisers.

The DARG welcomes the proposal in the APOCC report providing for improved contraception, counselling and sex education facilities aimed at preventing crisis pregnancies.


Appendix: Consequences of the 1983 Referendum
Background information and submission http://go.to/darg
Email pro_choice@ireland.com


Part of the pages of the Dublin Abortion Rights Group