Labour and Fine Gael bear responsibility for death of woman who was denied abortion

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United Left Alliance press statement from Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD

Labour and Fine Gael bear responsibility for death of woman who was denied abortion.

Legislate for X Case NOW.

Protest at Dáil, Weds November 14, 6pm.

The recent death of a woman who was denied a life-saving abortion is an outrage which demands immediate action, said ULA TD’s Clare Daly and Joan Collins.

“Sadly,” said Clare Daly, “the very thing we feared last April when we put our X Case Bill before the Dáil, has happened. A woman has died because Galway University Hospital refused to perform an abortion needed to prevent serious risk to her life. This is a situation we were told would never arise. An unviable fetus – the woman was having a miscarriage – was given priority over the woman’s life, who unfortunately and predictably developed septicemia and died.

First and foremost we wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the woman’s husband, family and friends for their terribly loss. This loss is all the worse because it need not have happened.

Make no mistake, had Labour and Fine Gael acted upon our Bill, medical guidelines could have been in place which would have ensured that there would have been no grounds for equivocation about performing an abortion when there was a risk to the life of the woman. Instead, the government took the cowardly step of hiding behind the fourth ‘expert group’ on abortion since 1992. This refusal to act has contributed to the circumstances which brought about this woman’s death. Fianna Fáil and the Greens also bear responsibility, due to their failure to legislate for the X Case.”

Joan Collins said that the TD’s demand immediate action by the government.

“We demand a full and public enquiry into the circumstances of this woman’s death. We demand that Minister Reilly immediately publish the report of his ‘expert group’ – now four months overdue from its own promised publication date. We intend to re-submit our X Case Bill, which provides for legal abortion when there is a risk to the life of a woman, as soon as we can. We demand that the government immediately provide Dáil time to promptly bring our Bill into law.

A woman’s life has been sacrificed due to the unwillingness of Labour, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens to legislate in line with the Supreme Court ruling on the X Case in 1992. We call on the women of Ireland to take to the streets to ensure that action is taken to stop this ever happening again.

The first step is to protest at the Dáil at 6pm on Wednesday evening, November 14.”