Choice Ireland call for cross-party support of X Case Legislation

Speaking in advance of this week’s Dáil debate on legislation for the X Case, Choice Ireland Spokespersons called on all political parties to support the legislation to give effect to the judgment of the X Case handed down in 1992 in order to allow women to avail of abortion services in Ireland where there is a real and substantial risk to their lives.

Choice Ireland Spokesperson Sinead Ahern said:

“The X Case judgment was handed down in 1992 and said that women had a legal right to have an abortion in this state where there is a real and substantial risk to their lives, including the risk of suicide. If passed, the Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Woman) Bill 2012 would allow a woman who found herself in this situation, to have a safe and legal abortion in Ireland.

“Currently, the law concerning this area is such a legal quagmire that doctors are unclear of the circumstances under which a woman would be entitled to have an abortion in Ireland. This leads to a situation where women who are already facing the difficulty of carrying a pregnancy that presents a risk to their life are forced to experience the added trauma of having to travel outside of the State to receive abortion services – if they are in a position where they can afford to do so.”

Choice Ireland Spokesperson Stephanie Lord said:

“The European Court of Human Rights has clearly stated that Ireland is obliged to legislate for abortion where it is legal under the terms of the Constitution. It is unacceptable that the X Case was decided in 1992, and consistent Governments have abdicated their responsibility towards women whose lives will be at risk should they continue their pregnancy. We were encouraged to see the Labour Party’s endorsement of legislating for X at their conference this weekend, and we are calling on them to adhere to the terms of their own policy and vote in favour of this Bill. Furthermore, Choice Ireland is calling for cross-party support of this legislation. This a life and death matter for women who fall in to this category, and they deserve to be treated with respect and allowed to have the necessary medical procedures conducted in their own home country.

“This Bill addresses the issues raised in the ABC judgement. We would urge the Government to not cause any additional delay by waiting for the Expert Group to give an opinion. Women have a constitutional right to access abortion where there is a real and substantial risk to their life. Waiting for the Expert Group's opinion will prevent women from availing of this right. People in Ireland rejected any reversal of the X case and using the Expert Group as a delaying tactic undermines the democratic will of the people." ENDS