SP article: “ULA – Not measuring up to political challenges”

SP article: “ULA – Not measuring up to political challenges”

The description of the ULA’s role in the CAHWT is actually very much an understatement, The reality is that the two main components of the ULA, the SP & SWP, have often been in open conflict within the CAHWT – the Left Alliance looks anything but United in that context.

As a member of the ULA national steering committee I have seen the original draft budget submission done by Richard Boyd Barrett of the SWP and the edit of that by the SP. The SP version is clearly to the left of the SWP but it only represented a quantitative improvement rather than a qualitative one. They both share the same basic approach of presenting an alternative within the framework of capitalism without the need for the working class to take power. Despite the abstract references to socialism tacked on the end by the SP their analysis remains within a reformist framework.

The SP position that there is a danger in giving too much emphasis to the X-case legislation  has a great deal of weight and reflects discussions within the pro-choice movement that I have been involved in. However the SP proposal is to take a half-way house position of extending the legal framework from a threat of death to a threat to health is in effect a denial of women’s right to choose, it just expands the legal framework within which the state will allow women to have an abortion. Of course a wider legal framework is better than a narrow one but it is not women’s right to choose..

The real way “to link the debate to the reality and advocate for fuller abortion rights” is to pose the need for the repeal of article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and the relevant sections of the 1861 Offences Against The Person Act. That certainly is what the Cork Pro-Choice Alliance meeting I was at last week was unanimous in agreeing with and is what any organisation that claims to be pro-choice should be advocating.


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