Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hundreds attend Action on X meeting in Dublin to demand Abortion Legalisation in Ireland

A meeting calling for abortion legalisation in Ireland, at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, was filled to capacity last night as hundreds crammed into the room. The meeting marked 20 years from the X-case and the failure of all the political parties in the years since to legislate for the limited abortion provision required by the X-case court judgement.  The clear message was that it was time for Action on X.

The first speaker, journalist Vincent Brown described the long fight for abortion rights in Ireland, from the so -called 'pro-life' referendum in 1983, to the X-case in 1992 and the referendums afterwards.
X was a 14 year old girl, who following rape, attempted to go to England with her parents for an abortion. The state put an injunction to prevent her traveling. This caused a huge outcry. Rolling and escalating protests resulted in a court judgement which allowed for abortion in Ireland where there is a threat to the life of the mother, including a threat of suicide. That judgement has never been enacted in law, leaving Irish women in a legal limbo.

The second speaker Dr Fiona De Londra, lecturer in UCD faculty of law outlined that the lack of present legalisation makes it difficult for doctors in Ireland to provide abortions which are, following the X-case judgement, a constitutional right. She explained that this constitutional right was upheld in two further referendums. She said it is absurd to expect women to go to court in order to access an abortion.
Then Mick Wallace, Independent TD for Wexford, said that abortion law was a human right. The European Court of Human Rights had ruled against the numerous governments who have failed to introduce legalization. He said that for too long we have exported the problem.

Forcing women to travel to England discriminates against those on low income and puts immigrants in a terrible situation. He said that he worked with an Albanian man whose partner became pregnant and was forced to travel to London for an abortion. She was then not able to return to Ireland.  Arguing that it was time for people to organize themselves and stop relying in governments he said that a vote once every five years isn't worth god damn to you when you replace one government with one that isn't much different from the last one.

Report continues on the Workers Solidarity Movemnets website: