For 20 years and six government governments Ireland has been in a strange anti-choice limbo. In the early 90s a young girl threatened suicide if she could not obtain an abortion and the supreme court decided that in the case of a threat to the life, including suicide, of the person carrying a pregnancy a termination would be lawful. This shocking case known as the “X case” changed things considerably. The court’s decision has since been endorsed by a referendum.
This extremely restrictive allowance of abortion in Ireland however has not been legislated for since then often leaving extremely vulnerable women in the horrible situation of having to travel abroad for a necessary procedure.
Clare Daly Socialist Party TD for Dublin North and other opposition TDs(members of Parliament) yesterday put forward a bill to legislate for abortion only in cases where the pregnant person’s life is at risk. Sickeningly the Labour Party who are allegedly in favour of abortion voted against the bill in favour of an expert review of the situation. Action on X and those in favour of the bill admit that it wouldn’t go far enough but with Ireland’s conservative it would go as far as legislation currently could.
See the Socialist Party position here http://socialistparty.net/campaigns-issues/44-equality/942-for-a-womans-right-to-choose
Hopefully the defeat of this bill will not dampen campaigners’ spirits but will instead spurn them on. We need full abortion rights in Ireland with not just information but also affordable, safe and legal access to terminations on the public health service the HSE. The debate in the chamber showed that while many agree with limited access to abortion we still have a long way to go.
Michelle Mulherin Fine Gael TD for Mayo
“fornication ……. Is probably the most likely cause of unwanted pregnancy in this country”