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Abortion rights in Ireland

category ireland / britain | gender | opinion / analysis author Wednesday April 25, 2007 20:53author by Workers Solidarity - WS Report this post to the editors

15 Years After the X-Case Bertie Still Lies About Abortion

There will be no change in the law on abortion. A Government spokesman said it had "no plans on the general issue of abortion" despite Bertie Ahern's promise before the last general election that the matter would be addressed.

Speaking after the defeat of his 2002 abortion referendum, he said: "It will be the work of the next government to study and understand the results and implications of this referendum, and to act upon it." And back during the 1992 referendum he said if we didn't vote for the Fianna Fail proposal he would bring in legislation giving effect to the Supreme Court ruling on the X-Case. That would mean being allowed to have an abortion in Ireland, though only if it is necessary to save your life. One more example of how most politicians behave, say whatever they think we want to hear and then do sod all about it.

In 1991 the government got a High Court injunction preventing a suicidal 14 year old rape victim leaving Ireland to have an abortion. This was the X-Case. Thousands took to the streets. School and college students walked out of classes. This changed everything. For the first time pro-choice forces had come out in big numbers, the country was on their side. The government took fright and the Supreme Court overturned the injunction.

As one of the protest organisers, WSM member Aileen O'Carroll, said at the time "This is not the end of the battle, just the start. We must not forget, that even if there were legislation, it would not affect the majority of women who currently travel for abortion to England. The legislation being talked about would almost certainly require women to go through complex procedures to "prove" they were suicidal.

Once more it will be doctors and other supposed "experts" who will make the final decision rather then the woman herself. There are large numbers of working class women who have great difficulty raising the money to travel to Britain for an abortion. A "right to choose" for these women will only be meaningful when abortion is available in Ireland as part of the health service".


This article is from Workers Solidarity No96, you can read the rest of this issue at http://www.wsm.ie/story/2290

Download the PDF file of WS96 from http://www.struggle.ws/pdfs/ws/ws96.pdf

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