Labour Blog

Government to legislate for X-case

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM

The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore

Today's Government decision to introduce legislation and regulation in response to the European Human Rights Court Ruling, in the Ireland Vs ABC case, is a vindication of the Labour Party's policy over the past 20 years. In the run-up to last year's election, we promised that in Government, we would legislate and bring legal clarity to this issue - today we achieved this.

Earlier the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore spoke to reporters about today's decision and you can listen to what he said in the Audioboo below.


Welcoming the announcement, Senator Ivana Bacik said, "Following the ABC case judgment two years ago, when the European Court ruled that we must have greater clarity in our law concerning the implementation of the X case test, it was always clear that the best way to do this would be through passing legislation to ensure that the right to a life-saving abortion is put into effect. I am delighted that the Government has finally committed to introducing legislation now, as Labour has recommended for some years, to provide clarity about the conditions under which the X case judgment may be implemented by doctors."

Read Senator Bacik's statement in our media centre.

Carlow/Kilkenny Labour TD Ann Phelan described this announcement as "a victory for the women of this country". Citing the previous six governments who have "sat idly back and accomplished nothing following the Supreme Court Judgement on the 'X' case in 1992... At long last, a resolution has come to pass, and the decades spent campaigning by the Labour Party has now been proven worthwhile."

Read Deputy Ann Phelan's statement in our media centre.

Deputy Ann Ferris noted that current situation "has led to the untenable situation where thousands of vulnerable women have been left in a legal and medical limbo, unable to access basic services from their own country."

Read Deputy Anne Ferris's statement in our media centre.

Waterford Deputy Ciara Conway outlined why she believed this combination of legislation and regulation was the best option. "This option crucially provides for appropriate checks and balances between the powers of the legislature and the executive, and would be amenable to changes that might arise out of clinical practice and scientific advances."

Read Deputy Ciara Conway's statement in our media centre.

Speaking on the announcement, Deputy Aodhan O'Riordain said, "I am delighted to see that finally the consensus of political cowardice on this issue has been broken. Twenty years was far too long to kick this item into touch and two successive referenda have upheld the right of women, where there is a risk to the mother, to terminate their pregnancy."

Read Deputy Aodhan O'Riordain's statement in our media centre.

Charting the Labour Party's long struggle to achieving this much needed legal clarity, Deputy Gerald Nash said," I have always publically supported legislation in this area, sometime at the cost of vitriolic personal abuse by extremists. For 20 years now, the Labour Party has been a strong, and most often, a lone voice on the need to act in relation to the X Case."

Read Deputy Gerald Nash's statement in our media centre.

Senator Susan O'Keeffe added to this sentiment saying, "The Labour Party has been the only party with a clear and unified voice on the need to legislate in line with the X Case and today, we have taken a massive step forward."

Read Deputy Susan O'Keeffe's statement in our media centre.

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