Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

United Left Alliance Galway and X Case – Public Meeting 7th March, 2012

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From the ULA/Galway…(via The Cedar Lounge Revolution)


ULA Galway to hold public information meeting to mark 20th anniversary of the X Case and to highlight legislation campaign

The Galway branch of the United Left Alliance will hold a public meeting to mark the twentieth anniversary of the X Case and to publicise the Medical Treatment Bill 2012, which will give legislative effect to the ruling made by the Supreme Court in the case.

The public meeting will take place this Wednesday (7th March) at 7:30pm in the Kirwan Lecture Theatre in NUI Galway.

Wednesday marks the twentieth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling, which held that a woman, whose life was endangered by a pregnancy, could legally avail of an abortion in Ireland. The meeting will also coincide with International Women’s Day.

The ULA TDs and some of the Dáil technical group TDs have brought forward the Medical Treatment (Termination Of Pregnancy In Case Of Risk To Life Of Pregnant Woman) Bill 2012 in order to provide a legislative basis for the legal termination of a pregnancy in the very limited circumstances where such treatment is deemed necessary to prevent a woman’s death, including the threat of suicide. This was the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment in Attorney General v. X in 1992.

The public meeting will hear from three distinguished speakers, and will be chaired by local activist and ULA chairperson Dette McLoughlin.
Dr. Niamh Reilly, who is a senior lecturer at NUI Galway and a co-director of the University’s Global Women’s Studies programme will speak about the political, legal and social contexts that led to the X Case.

Midwife and activist Mary Smith has worked as a nurse with Dublin’s Well Woman Centre and as a research office with the crisis pregnancy agency and will highlight the experiences of women who have affected by the lack of legislation and clarity with regard to lifesaving abortion.

Therese Caherty is co-convenor of the Open Feminist Forum and a member of the Action on X campaign group. She will discuss the Bill and its provisions, as well as the political process that will be required to see it become law.

The meeting will end with a question and answer session,

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Galway ULA chairperson Dette McLoughlin asked “why has this Supreme Court ruling been ignored? The electorate has twice urged the Government through referendums to act on the reality of crisis pregnancy and relate this judgment into law. We have had six successive Governments and yet shamefully we still do not have legislation in place. It appears that the vast majority of elected representatives choose to ignore the will of the people rather than speak out for legislation.”

“The most basic level of reproductive rights is still being denied to women in Ireland. Twenty years on, despite women having the right to an abortion in Ireland in limited circumstances, the State has failed to give legislative effect to the Supreme Court ruling. This means that all women living in Ireland who need to terminate a pregnancy are forced to travel abroad to access this medical procedure.”

“This has gone on long enough.”

The “X” case involved a 14-year old girl who had become pregnant by rape. The girl, known as “X”, was barred from travelling abroad for an abortion. Amidst anger at the court’s injunction and sympathy for the girl’s situation, the case convulsed the citizens of Ireland. The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that abortion was legal where there was a “real and substantial risk to the life” of a pregnant woman, including suicide.

Over 60 organisations and individuals – including several TDs, trade unions, and doctors, have called for immediate legislation in line with the ‘X’ case.

“This bill is in line with the constitution, with the 1992 Supreme Court ruling and with the wishes of the people as expressed in two referendums. If passed it would represent an historic step forward for women, and for the country as a whole. There is no excuse for Government or opposition TDs to oppose this Bill. We must put pressure on politicians to support this bill. We cannot allow them to play the coward with this vitally important issue. Come along on Wednesday and add your voice to the campaign.

For more information visit http://www.unitedleftalliance.org or find ULA Galway on Facebook.

Written by tomasoflatharta

March 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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