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Savita case — Sinn Féin Dáil motion puts onus on government to act

16 November, 2012 - by Gerry Adams TD



Sinn Féin Party Leader Gerry Adams has announced that Sinn Féin intends to bring forward a Dáil motion next week that seeks to put the onus on this government to act so that appalling situations, such as that which led to the death of Savita Halappanavar, can never happen in this country again.
Deputy Adams said:
“The death of Savita Halappanavar has shocked and saddened the Irish people. While we have to wait the outcome of ongoing inquiries into this tragedy, Savita’s case has underlined in the most tragic way possible, the need for long overdue legislation on the termination of pregnancy where a woman’s life is in danger.
“There are strong and sincerely held views across Irish society and in all political parties, including Sinn Féin, on the issue of abortion. But this is not about the broader issue of abortion. It is about specific cases where a woman's life is at risk and where medical practitioners are tasked with making medical judgments without legal protection.
“As TDs we are elected to serve all citizens. We must set aside personal positions and face up to our responsibilities as legislators. The government has stated its intention to bring forward legislation but successive governments have failed to deal with this issue for 20 years.
“It is time now, finally, for legislation to protect the rights of women as decided by the Supreme Court in 1992. This should be done in a reasoned, tolerant and considered manner and with maximum cross party consensus.
“On this basis, Sinn Féin intends to bring forward a Dáil motion next week that seeks, in a measured and reasoned way, to get the government to act and to fulfill its responsibilities so that appalling situations, such as that which led to the death of Savita Halappanavar, can never happen in this country again.”ENDS
That Dáil Éireann:
- Extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Savita Halappanavar and recognises that. news of her death in such tragic and traumatic circumstances has caused distress to people throughout the country and beyond.
- Resolves to await the outcome of the ongoing inquiries into all aspects of this tragedy.
- Acknowledges that the Oireachtas must legislate to give effect to the 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court (the ‘X’ case).
- Further acknowledges that the absence of the required legislation denies women protection and the right to obtain a termination in life- threatening circumstances. It also creates an ambiguous legal situation for clinicians in those same circumstances.
- Regrets that successive governments and Ministers for Health have failed to legislate in this regard.
Calls on the Government to;
- immediately publish the report of the expert group.
- immediately introduce legislation to give effect to the 1992 judgement of the Supreme Court in the ‘X’ case, to protect pregnant women where their lives are in real danger and to give legal certainty to medical professionals.

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