What You Can Do

at

 

I am writing to you as a concerned constituent. I have seen recent media coverage reporting that some members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party do not believe they have a responsibility to legislate to protect women’s lives in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court in the X case and the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland case.

I cannot see why this is happening. In the A, B and C case the European Court of Human Rights found that a woman whose pregnancy is life-threatening is prevented from accessing her constitutional right to an abortion because of the failure of the State to implement of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the “the X case”.

In 1992 the Supreme Court gave its judgement in the X case. Twice since then the Irish people have voted in referendums to uphold the right to an abortion where pregnancy poses a risk to a woman’s life including the risk of suicide.

We have been waiting for 20 years for the Government to bring in legislation to give effect to this limited right to an abortion. The European Court of Human Rights found that successive Government’s failure to vindicate a right established in the Irish constitution amounts to a violation of women’s human rights

It is my view and the view of many other people that legislation is the only way in which we can give clarity to women and their doctors as to their legal position when a pregnancy poses a threat to a woman’s life.

Legislation will give doctors the legal footing to provide life-saving medical interventions to Irish women and ensure that seriously ill women, like Applicant C in the A, B and C v Ireland case, and like Michelle Harte, who also had cancer and was refused treatment by the ethical committee of a hospital, will no longer be forced to travel outside the State for medical treatment to save their lives.

Other countries have implemented legislative regimes that strike a balance between ensuring women’s access to abortion where it is lawful and regulating such access. Ireland can and must do the same.

An expert group on abortion will shortly report to the Government. I urge you to do all you can as an elected representative to ensure that, at the very least, the Government introduces legislation to implement the expert group’s recommendations.

I am a constituent of yours and I want legislation to be introduced as a matter of priority to give effect to the X case. I would ask that this view be represented by you as my democratically elected representative.

If you wish to send this to your TD click here.

Via National Women’s Council of Ireland

Earlier: Why?

Thanks Tom Duke

138 thoughts on “What You Can Do

    1. Jack

      Unfortunately for some Irish medics their reiligous dogma is more important to them than their oath or their patients well being.

      No doubt that the anti-choice lobby will roll out the factoid that Ireland is one of the safest countries for mothers and babies, overlooking the fact that the safer or equivalent countries all have abortion on demand. So that the interference by religious dogma does not arise for medics in these countries, less they be struck off for not doing the best for their patient (which IMO is solely the mother until the zygote/foetus/baby is survivable outside of the womb, circa 24 weeks)

        1. KeithFahey’s Moustache

          Yes, so long as it does not interfere in the role they are obliged and paid to carry out. The way around this is that they should be at least human enough to recommend a colleague to perform the procedure.

          1. osie

            Doctors are required by law to offer all available information to patients and to refer them on if they cannot help for whatever reason. They also receive hours upon years of ethics training. There are many cases of doctors working around the laws of the land to help patients and to uphold their oath. In my experience, doctors are plenty ‘human enough’

          2. KeithFahey’s Moustache

            ABN; The belief of a religion that allows a person to die, so that some a God that no one can proves exists is not offended has no place in civilisation. Correct the State is not always right and has a shady decision making reputation.

            That is not the case here, you are wrong and your beliefs have allowed a person who could now be alive to die.

          3. ReproBertie

            “your beliefs have allowed a person who could now be alive to die.”
            So you know for a fact that the medical procedure was not performed for religious reasons and that had it been performed the deceased would be alive. Have you read the expert report or were you part of the decision making process in the hospital?

          4. KeithFahey’s Moustache

            ReproBertie
            You are correct I dont but I do know that when sick and given the option doing nothing rather than taking some kind of medical intervention is not the best course of action.

          1. ABM

            So if you’re a Catholic/Muslim/atheist/whatever-takes-your-fancy, you shouldn’t be given a job serving the public?

          2. Munkifisht

            No ABM, if you’re a fundamentalist i.e. someone who ranks their own beliefs over those of the state and acts on those beliefs, then you should not be allow to live in the country, never mind serving it’s public.

          3. KeithFahey’s Moustache

            No but you should at least have the decency to pass your patient to someone who whill help.

          4. ABM

            @Munkifisht So the “beliefs of the State” are automatically right? Since when is populism the best way to reason on moral matters?

          5. Munkifisht

            Yes ABM, the beliefs of the state are based on a constitution ratified by laws which are in place for the benefit of a mutually fair society. It is society which dictates which moral stance it wants to take. What you call populism is in fact a democratic system, and I am sorry if democracy jolts with your warped view of the world.

          6. ABM

            @Munkifisht The Catholic Church supports democratic systems in society – duh! When it comes to faith and morals however, those who are best positioned (i.e. the most educated, wisest, most experienced, most informed) to identify moral ills (such as the great thorny issues of this age: abortion, contraception, homosexuality, divorce, etc.) should impart their wisdom on the rest of society. Judges are hand-picked because of their wisdom/experience. Moral leaders (i.e. the Catholic Church) do the same. Yes, there have been bad judges and bad priests down throughout the years. Hell some are probably roasting in hell as I type this. But we must continually strive for perfection despite human failings.

            Eamon Gilmore and his merry band of followers are not trained in moral issues. They are pro-abortion because they think it fits in with their party’s “ideology” and will get them re-elected and bumped up along the pension scale (as all politicians are perfectly entitled to do).

            This idea that the beloved “State” should be dictated to on moral issues from the populace is a form of tyranny. The State should stick to what it does best – securing our borders, balancing the books, running a civil service, a judiciary, a police force, etc. The State should appeal to those who know best on matters pertaining to morals and ethics. They should keep their noses out of people’s religious affairs.

          7. Munkifisht

            If you think that we would not have developed a morally just society without religion you’re sadly mistaken. We could equally have come to the same conclusions following the tales of the Brothers Grimm. Humans are the highest form of life on the planet. Lower forms of life, like primates, dolphins and so on, have also constructed society’s with morals that closely resemble our own. Are they following a religion?

            Re abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and divorce. These are not thorny issues for anyone but those like you, obsessed with the dogma and antiquated rhetoric of the failed church. And what I do note about all of these is that they are acts that those in the church should never have to deal with themselves in their lives. How can these people have sage like wisdom on things they have no experience of?

            But yawn, I’m really getting bored of your idiotic comments ABM. You’re a fool, you don’t understand democracy, you don’t understand your own warped religion. I am not sure if you’re a troll or someone who actually believes what they say, if you do I truly pity you.

          8. KeithFahey’s Moustache

            ABN; are you condoning suicide? Something the church you profess faith in claims is a sin? Off to the little dark box with you to confess your sins.

            You can pick up the prize for losing your argument on the way

          9. Nigel

            ‘They should keep their noses out of people’s religious affairs.’

            Actually, I think there’s a role there for government in keeping the religious out of people’s affairs. Whatever moral authority the Catholic Church once had has been worn down to a nub, and the only thing responsible for the diminution is the Church itself.

          1. ABM

            Funny you proclaim this as you sit there moving your fingers across a keyboard as ideas enter your brain. I suppose you, an individual, are but a cosmic chance? Sure you might as well end it now – it won’t make any difference to the grand laws of probability that came into existence spontaneously.

        2. Talio

          Yes but not a whole hospital. They’re obliged to find cover for doctors who are not able to perform for whatever reason.

  1. ffintii

    Such an enditement on the political classes that a young woman had to die to get this matter in the headlines.

    1. Mick Flavin

      I agree with this…
      (just as an aside, it’s spelled indictment…not trollin’, just thought you’d like to know…)

    2. kwikster

      That is the way this country works. Only fix the car when someone points out it isn’t working, until then it moves along just fine.

  2. Oh Danny Boy.......

    Misinformed group are misinformed. The only reason C was upheld (A and B were dismissed) was not because she couldn’t get an abortion it was (and i quote)

    ” because it was uncertain and unclear whether she could have access to abortion in a situation where she believed that her pregnancy was life threatening”

    Anyway in this case the poor women was already miscarrying why the hell would you make here suffer longer than needed.

          1. Frodo Baggins

            I can only assume you’re a trolll, ABM.
            If not, pass your email to BS there. I’ll meet you at Kildare St at 6pm.

        1. Jolly

          That was an absolute cop out. It makes no sense logically. Why would you vote against doing the absolute minimum when doing the absolute minimum doesn’t prevent you from later on doing more? Labour copped out – they have abandoned their voters and their membership.

        2. Leela2011

          they voted against it because the wording was shockingly bad. unfortunately they shot themselves in the foot with that one. pity as it was an opportunity missed

  3. ABM

    Pro-choicers will utilise extreme cases to make bad law (i.e. abortion-on-demand which is what Clare Daly, Ivana Bacik, ULA, et al. want) Pro-choicers don’t care one iota for the loss of the patient and her child

    1. Jack

      Pro-lifers care about religious dogma, hence these are the same bigiots who campaigned against the childrens referendum

      1. ABM

        Eh, that’s not true. Put your tarring brush away. I’m Catholic and I voted “Yes”. As did many of my flock.

        1. Dr Gonzo

          Your flock of Christian Taliban.This woman died because of 2 reasons.

          1) Jesus freaks who are obsessed with making every else follow there warped beliefs.

          2) Political Laziness the EU human rights council said this would happen unless we passed legislation to protect the life of the mothers. Its been debated, written about, procrastinated on, and marches held. But the government just kept putting it off.

    2. Kaz

      Good man! I sure are saying what everyone else is afraid to say – ‘pro-choicers’ do make the law, that is surely how it works, isn’t it?

    3. Coryn

      Personally, I’m not looking to legislate anything. I just want them to take out the legislation your shower have in there preventing abortion. Then the medical community can do its job and women can make their own choices without the holier-than-thou brigade sticking their oars in where they’ve no feckin’ business.

    4. me :)

      I would consider myself pro-choice and I do care for the mother in this and her child. I also care for the man who lost both of these people he loved.
      And note the “pro-choice” term. This does not mean I’m pro-abortion. I believe that every person has the right to choose what to do in the situation and that my views, whatever they may be, should not prevent a person from following what they beleive is the right course of action for them.
      I don’t think abortion is a choice I will ever make for myself (although who knows what the future brings) but I don’t believe it’s a choice I have the right to take away from someone else.

      1. Jen86

        Very well put. Mirrors my own views exactly and the views of most people I know who consider themselves pro choice.

        1. Linda

          very well put me. mirrors my opinions exactly also .

          ABM read the Irish Times article on Savita’s death . you will see religion was brought into it by the doctors who refused to do the operation she was told this is a catholic country they can;t terminate her pregnancy until the fetal heartbeat ends . by the way , to put it bluntly her baby was already dying . a termination would have only sped up something that was already happening . here is the link to the article to save you the bother of looking for it : http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1114/1224326575203.html

        2. Pcooper

          Excellently put …

          Somebody please give this guy/girl a job of power so we can turn this backward country round!

    5. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      Hey ABM, how many children have you rescued from paedophile priests?

      You have been brainwashed. Try to open your mind to the real World.

      1. ABM

        None actually, however I do support the full recompense of abuse victims; both morally and financially. I also fully support the weeding out of softy softy clergy who have become too fond of the benefits afforded to them as a result of their standing, while ignoring their most basic of duties. What have YOU done?

        1. me :)

          I note how you respond to things like this however seem to have completely ignored a “pro-choicer’s” logical standpoint above.

          1. Jess

            He only goes for the easy targets. Once someone presents him with logic he either ignores them or starts slinging ad-hominems.

    1. KeithFahey’s Moustache

      No, perhaps not, but the government is obliged to protect the lives of all its citizens, it is failing to do this, oh and the unborn is not a citizen of the state to be clear.

      In the case above the life of the unborn was never viable and failing in any attempt to provide treatment led to the death of another living being. Perhaps the termination of the unborn would have made no difference and the poor women may still have died. But allowing for the termination in an attempt to save this woman would have been a better course of action in this case.

  4. Sido

    From todays Independent – “The death of the Indian woman who has had residency here for a considerable length of time comes as the Government awaits the report of an expert group on abortion.” – Not one of us then?

    1. Ella

      Guessing the Indo were running a few points short on the old ‘flabbergasting wrongheadedness’ quota this morning. Rag.

  5. Exile

    If you do choose to send this email to your TD, perhaps change the end of the email asking for a reply outlining the TD’s intentions to act or reasons for not doing so?

    1. heyyouinthebushes

      Just to be sure… are you suggesting that THE MEDIA wants to kill all babies or just unborn ones?

      1. Zuppy International

        I’m saying the photo has been unnecessarily manipulated (lips, eyes & eye brows in particular) and that – for me – casts doubt on the whole story.

        1. Mick Flavin

          Zuppy, if it was some sort of photo purporting to be evidence you might have a point, but to consider the possible touching-up of this photo as casting doubt on this story is excessive paranoia on your part imo. If it was manipulated, is it not more likely it was done because the art dept. decided that the original photo quality was not great and it was going to be appearing on the front page?

        2. Imagineer

          So, based on a photo that has no bearing whatsoever on the story being touched up, you’re saying what, that the lady may not have died and neither did her unborn child?

          The photo was probably cropped and magnified, resulting in a slightly pixelated imaged that was subsequently refined, not that it really matters. Are you that incapable of seeing the bigger picture here and what’s more, are you allow to vote?

          If this is the future of Ireland, we’re all doomed.

    2. mollydot

      No, it doesn’t. They’re just the areas where there’s greater contrast. From http://fotoforensics.com/tutorial-ela.php:

      It is important to recognize that high frequency areas, such as edges along objects, will usually have higher ELA values than the rest of the picture. For example, the text on the books stands out because the light/dark contrast creates a high frequency edge.

      1. Mani

        Zuppy, if it’s any consolation I think this photo was intentionally cropped by the Zionest conspiracy, in collaboration with the Illumanati, Jim Corr, and Supermacs.

        1. Conor

          You’re forgetting about the role played by the Lizard People – who do you think went to PC Max for the Photo-editing software?

    3. Claptrap

      It most likely was photoshopped due to the fact that its a personal photograph which needed to be increased in size for print quality to use in national newspapers etc. Or do you not realise what photoshop is actually used for?

      1. ABM

        You’ll find that it’s the pro-choicers who are the ones being “unpleasant” on this thread. See comment above regarding violence against me.

        1. The Spirit of Broadsheet

          You were unpleasant, as you often are. Other people’s faults don’t justify that.

          If you can’t grasp such an elementary moral point, it’s hard to justify wading into something as complex as abortion legislation.

  6. Lu

    Done – I added this for good measure:

    I am a one issue voter and a frequent voter. Your outspoken action on this will certainly influence my position in future elections.

      1. Lu

        I know, it sounds wrong but the words weren’t coming to me. I was trying to say that I do actually go out and vote when I have the opportunity to do so, and I will travel to do so too.

  7. Imagineer

    I for one really feel for that ladies husband. He’s lost his unborn child and wife in the blink of an eye and yet still has the strength to speak so openly in the hope of motivating our political system to step out of the dark ages. So much for the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution in the 70′s.

  8. Siobhán

    I already emailed that to my TD last week. The response was ridiculous. I’ve sent the below back to him and to an Taoiseach this morning.

    Dear Mr. Varadkar

    On the front of the national broadsheet newspapers today are reports of a woman of 31 years of age who died when her pregnancy began to fail on her at 17 weeks. It is reported herself and her husband both asked if the process could be accelerated as she was in a lot of pain. She was told that this was not an option as there was still a foetal heartbeat.

    I am sure you will have read the reports this morning and gathered all the facts. It is reported that there will be more than one enquiry into what happened.

    I want to know what will be done about this. I want to know what will be done today. I want to know who this Expert Group is you refer to below. I do not want to wait until a report until the end of the year for people then to decide how to proceed. Twenty years, Mr. Varadkar, twenty years ago the ruling on the X case was made. If Fine Gael do nothing on Abortion legislation during this term in government I will, regardless of any other promises made on my doorstep, be forced to vote for the opposition.

    I am also offended by the auto signature at the end of your correspondence re The Gathering. Perhaps your office should vet correspondence and insert where appropriate. Attaching to the end of an email discussing women’s health and abortion is crass. At this time I have no intention of inviting any friends or relatives from England, USA or Australia back to this country. When I woke up and read the papers this morning I was embarrassed to be Irish.

      1. CE

        Here here. This is the most appalling thing to have happened what is more shocking is the it appears to be the HSE investigating it. Are they are the ones responsible….? What has this country come to when you allow a woman to die like this? A woman should have the full right over her own body. In this case they knew she was losing the baby so what the hell was the problem??? This country should hang its head in shame i know i do.

  9. The Spirit of Broadsheet

    I have no expertise in here, so I might be talking out of an arse-shaped hat.

    If you want to influence a TD with correspondence, a letter carries more weight than an email. Even if you send an email, a cut-and-paste job is easy to disregard.

    Of course, no correspondence will carry as much weight as joining a party and turning up at constituency meetings. Those are the rooms decisions get made in, and decisions are made by the people who turn up.

    1. Dave

      Best way to influence them is to get out on the street and protest. It is the only thing they actually notice.

      By all means back it up with letters and emails but generally all that does is make their secreteries and assistants work a little harder sending standard responses.

  10. Dave

    There is a protest at 6pm this evening outside the Dail about this. The protest is calling for a public inquiry, the publication of the the “Expert Group” report that the govt. are hiding behind and demanding that the govt. legislate for the X case (It’s been over 20 years!).

    Anyone who can go really should. It’s a disgrace when someone can die in an Irish hospital for want of a simple medical procedure. The fact that the justification for denying the procedure was “this is a catholic country” shows just how out of step the official position on abortion here is, the church should have no role in the running of the state!

    1. ReproBertie

      People regularly die in and out of hospitals for want of often simple medical procedures. Do you not listen to Liveline?

        1. ReproBertie

          Well if we accept that people die for want of a simple preocedure on a regular basis what makes this particulary tragedy worthy of a protest? Clearly this is a convenient tragedy for forwarding an agenda.

          I am sure there are people that would like a public inquiry into this and there may even be people that also want the expert group report published (although I personally don’t see the benefit) but they can’t turn up to this protest without being labelled as demanding X-case legislation. It stinks of SF or the SWP passing out placards and mixing throughout the crowd to try and claim the protest or support for their cause.

          1. droid

            People die because care is not available, due to waiting lists, overcrowding, mismanagement, malpractice, incompetence, for all kinds of reasons.

            What does NOT happen is that people go into hospital looking for a potentially lifesaving procedure only to be turned down for religious/legal reasons.

            Your appendix might burst and kill you because you were waiting for six hours to be seen, but that is qualitatively different to being under medical care with facilites and doctors available for use and being told that your appendix will not be removed because this is ‘a catholic country’.

          2. ReproBertie

            Droid you’re assuming that the quote in the article about this being ‘a catholic country’ was the official and only reason for the procedure not being performed.

          3. Jim

            “A convenient tragedy for forwarding an agenda” – yeah because all those who believe in an option of abortion to save a mother’s life rejoice at the death of a pregnant woman and her baby. Fool.

          4. ReproBertie

            Don’t be so naive. I was in no way suggesting that people were rejoicing at this tragedy. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people willing to use the tragedy to further their own agenda. Fool.

          5. Jim

            “To further their own agenda” – again the whole bloody point of the “agenda” is to make sure women are not denied essential medical treatment because they are pregnant (or in Savita’s case, have already miscarried).

            Of course it’s an agenda, it’s an agenda to make sure women in Ireland will not needlessly suffer as Savita did. So I don’t see your point really, you are just another contrary Broadsheet commentator who works ever so hard to seem non-reactionary.

          6. droid

            Please adress the main point in my reply. Namely that treatment was available and explicitly denied to this woman. This is not the case in most cases of ‘tragic death’.

            Also, are you saying that her husband is lying?

    2. Blobster

      Why is there a need for a public enquiry when 3 seperate enquiries are ongoing and have not yet reported? Have you found something deficient in any or all of these enquiries?

      As discussed elsewhere the vast majority of us are still very much in the dark about the majority of matters relating to this case. Jumping to a conclusion that Ms Halappanavar’s tragic death was caused “for want of a simple medical procedure” is irresponsible. Ms Halappanavar’s tragic death warrants a thorough, methodical investigation from top to bottom to see if, as seems likely, her death could have been avoided and why it wasn’t. Jumping to conclusions based on very little evidence is not helpful.

      Similarly the fact that, as is reported, some individual tried to explain a course of action by suggesting something along the lines of “this is a catholic country” should not be taken as the actual reason(s) behind a course of treatment that, I’m sure, was vastly more complicated than we might think. The effect of what you’re saying is to suggest that medical staff sat around and thought to themselves “you know what, this is a catholic country, we’re not gonna trat this woman to the best of our ability, lets just see what happens”. I highly doubt that is what occured.

      As I say, a thorough investigation is warranted. The attempt by some to use this tragedy to forward their own agendas is in very poor taste.

      RIP Savita Halappanavar
      RIP

      1. Jolly

        Like the time when “a few hundred” showed up according to the irish times? Why don’t you come down and have a look ABM. Try a few of those outdated ideas you have on real people and see how that works out for you?

  11. me :)

    ABM – I’m going to direct this comment directly at you. Who gives you the right to decide what a person can or can’t do in relation to contraception, divorce or abortion? I am a Christian. Note I don’t say Catholic – it would officially be what I am but I have problems with the establishment of the church at the moment due to issues that don’t relate to this topic exactly.
    This country is made up of many different beleif systems now – from Christian to Muslim to Atheist to Agnostics. Therefore we cannot have a constitution or laws that solely rely on a Catholic ideology. It is wrong to enforce the ideals of the Catholic church on people who are not part of the faith.
    I don’t understand the issue people have with there being abortion available in the country – it does not mean that everyone is going to rush out and get one! It means however that it is available to those who have chosen to have one.
    I believe that God understands us and understands our choices in life and knows better than anyone, save ourselves, why we made those choices and will welcome us into the afterlife based on that. I don’t believe I have the right to judge anyone for their decisions or beliefs. “Let him without sin cast the first stone”

    1. heyyouinthebushes

      I’m afraid it doesn’t respond to empathy. It’s cognitive dissonance only allows for rage, incoherence, bile and self flagellation…. somewhat like those zombies from 28 Days later

    2. ABM

      Ooh look. A confused broadsheet reader of one-time Catholic persuasion who thinks he/she knows better. How surprising.

      1. me :)

        ABM – was this comment aimed at me? If so then I can assure you I am not confused nor do I think I know better than anyone else. However nor do I believe that you do either. I am not “one-time Catholic persuasion” as you put it. I am Catholic and I have a very deep faith, however I have problems with the institutute of the Catholic Church, not my God.

        I was attempting to find out why you believe that your beliefs should be imposed on every person in a day and age when religion should have nothing to do with legislation due to the many different types there are in Ireland now. However it appears you do not wish to engage in a logical, grown up discussion on these issues. Therefore I wish you well in your anger and (in my perception) self-righteousness. I only hope that God, in His infinate wisdom and mercy, forgives you your intolerance of others views and petty-mindness when the time comes.

  12. Jockstrap

    Members of various Catholic organizations such as Opus Dei or the Catholic Family Movement (an American organization) put their faith above all else.

    They actively bring religion into the workplace and the school, hospital, etc. They are missionaries with power.

    They are essentially subversives who follow the rules of a foreign state (The Vatican) before those of their own state. Irish civil life is riddled with these people who are actually entirely disloyal to the Irish state. I view these people as disloyal citizens. They are in all walks of life but mostly in positions of power and influence where they can make decisions based on their faith and impose their beliefs on others.

    Until this state starts taking their actions to be a form of treason, then they will continue to work in secret, trying to maintain a Catholic/Vatican run state.

      1. Jockstrap

        I have first hand knowledge. I know what I’m talking about. I know people who have made very serious decisions in the civil service based only on their faith. I know people who were refused jobs because they were cohabiting. I know of blacklisting of individuals within the civil service. The people concerned didn’t even know. They assumed their misfortune in seeking jobs was just bad luck.

        Cloak and dagger Ireland.

        1. Blobster

          I’m sure you do and I’m sure they’re interesting stories. I still fail to see what these issues, real or Dan Brownish, have to do with the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar or tbh a sensible debate on abortion.

  13. Friday

    The Letter was TL;DR. Here’s what I sent to all 109 TDS who voted against the Bill:
    Today, I am ashamed to be Irish.

    Today I am ashamed of you, as my public representative, deciding that a foetus’ life is more important than that of the woman carrying it. Because that is what you did when you voted against the Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Woman) Bill 2012. You voted for your pregnant sisters, daughters and friends to die rather than have access to life-saving treatment.

    Please let me know – is this really how you feel? Did you understand what you voted for? Would you vote this way again? Today, we hear about what results when we do not have legislation on abortion when a woman’s life is at risk. Do you stand by your decision? Do you think you represented the Irish people when you cast your vote?

    Yours faithfully,
    Friday

    I got one response already, from Frances Fitzgerald:

    Dear Friday,

    I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact me.

    The Taoiseach confirmed in the Dáil this morning (Wednesday, 14th November) that last night the Expert Group established to examine the judgement in ABC v. Ireland [2010] delivered its report to the Department of Health.

    As you will be aware, this Expert Group was established pursuant to the Programme for Government to study the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the ABC v. Ireland case. In that judgement, the European Court held that the Irish State had failed to legislate to implement existing rights to lawful abortion when a mother’s life is at risk pursuant to Article 40.3.3° of the Irish Constitution.

    The Expert Group is chaired by Mr. Justice Sean Ryan and comprised of experts in the fields of law and medicine. It was asked to make recommendations on a series of options on how to implement the judgment taking into account the constitutional, legal, medical, and ethical considerations involved in the formulation of public policy in this area and the over-riding need for expeditious action in light of the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights.

    Now that the Report has been delivered to the Department of Health the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, will examine the report and bring it to Government for discussion.

    The Government is required to send a response to the Council of Europe on progress made in terms of complying with the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights before 30 November next.

    Please be assured that both I and Fine Gael fully recognise the importance of this issue.

    Chris, if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Yours sincerely,

    Frances

    Minister Frances Fitzgerald T.D.

    Department of Children & Youth Affairs
    43- 49 Mespil Road
    Dublin 4

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    1. Friday

      Another reply:

      Thank you for your email regarding legislation on the X Case.

      I am shocked at the tragic news published today about the death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway that underlines the urgent need for legislative clarity.

      I fully support the introduction of legislation to address the X Case and to implement the European Court of Human Rights ruling on abortion. This is a commitment the Labour Party made during the election, was included in our election manifesto and reaffirmed this year at our Party Conference.

      I voted against that Bill as on 29th November 2011 the Government approved the establishment of an Expert Group to examine the issue. The first meeting of the expert group took place on 30 January 2012. The group comprises of experts in the fields of obstetrics, general practice, law, public policy and professional regulation and it is chaired by a judge of the Irish High Court. I understand that the Minister for Health received the report yesterday. It would have been inappropriate for me to pre-empt the recommendations of the Expert Group at that stage.

      However, I share your view that we need legislation on this issue and I will be representing that viewpoint.

      Yours Sincerely

      Kevin

      Kevin Humphreys TD

  14. Iwerzon

    WHAT HAPPENED TO YESTERDAY’S KIERON DUCHIE/KATIE FRENCH ARTICLE ON BROADSHEET, IT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN DOWN WITH NO APPARENT EXPLAINATION!!!!!

  15. Fellow Traveller

    Ah Tom Duke. Another Labour luvvie and ex-UCDSU president seeding the message….

    Have to say today’s Savita promotion in Dublin is very poor. Only a thousand or so – well that’s judging by the number of Labour party types in Starbucks with their six Euro drinks waiting to go across Molesworth Street. Still if you don’t have to pay fees… Sean Quinn could put more people on the street in a heartbeat. More honest and decent people too.

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