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.
Originally published in Workers Solidarity 44, 1995