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Abortion rights activists claimed a victory Tuesday night in Bris

November 6, 1985

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) _ Abortion rights activists claimed a victory Tuesday night in Bristol, where a majority voting in a non-binding referendum endorsed a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

The question posed to Bristol voters asked: ″Should the decision of the Supreme Court regarding abortion be overturned?″

The polling marked the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in its Roe vs. Wade decision that such referenda have been placed before voters anywhere.

Unofficial figures showed, 8,555 voting ″No,″ while 6,737 voted ″Yes.″

″The fight’s not over, and I think that that’s very clear,″ said Catherine Blinder, the spokeswoman for Citizen’s Against Rererendum 1, the organization composed of pro-abortion advocates.

″We thought we were going to lose. We thought we had an uphill battle. I’m ecstatic, but I have to keep bringing myself back down to earth. This national right to life (movement) with our president at the lead is attacking the fundamental civil rights of women and children.″

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, the fundamentalist minister who proposed the referendum, said the loss would not end his fight to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

″I don’t think this is a defeat, because in two or three and years when Roe vs. Wade is defeated, they’ll look at this as its start. Remember, we had to overcome 12 years of mindset in three short months,″ Mahoney said.

Similar non-binding referenda appeared on the ballots of two New Hampshire towns, Dover and Derry, where abortion opponents followed Bristol’s lead.

In Derry, voters supported the abortion ruling, 1,650 to 1,106, according to unofficial votes. In Dover, the support for the abortion ruling was 1,737 to 920, but votes from only four of six wards had been counted by late Tuesday night.

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