Sinn Féin moves Dáil motion on the X-case
The Dáil this evening began debating a Sinn Féin Private Members' motion calling for immediate legislation to implement the Supreme Court judgment in the X Case.
Opening the debate, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader and Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald said that 20 years on from the Supreme Court ruling, the fact that there was an on-going failure to legislate for the very limited circumstances in which a woman might have a termination of pregnancy, was nothing short of scandalous.
“Multiple court cases, rulings by the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, two referendums, and seven governments later, here we find ourselves. Pregnant women continue to be left vulnerable as doctors attempt to operate in what they have identified as a ‘grey’ area. That is not acceptable. Not by a long stretch”, she said.
The Dublin Central TD said that pregnant women and the medical profession are being “failed by politics” and that it was “cowardly” to allow such a situation to persist.
“It is necessary that we as legislators make clear our intentions: that we say for once and for all that we will legislate to provide safety and clarity to women and medics”, she said.
Party leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams said Fianna Fáil accusations that the motion was ‘opportunist’ were particularly offensive given that Fianna Fáil was in government for most of the last 20 years and that Mícheál Martin was Minister for Health during four of those and did nothing. Deputy Adams said Sinn Féin’s focus was two-fold — firstly, to provide legislative protection for women whose lives are at risk during pregnancy and secondly, to seek to ensure that clinicians have clear legal guidelines within which they can carry out their work.
“We have to ask ourselves as elected representatives and legislators if we really want to leave Irish women or the medical profession in the awful predicament caused by the current absence of legislation? I don’t -and Sinn Féin doesn’t”, he said.
The Sinn Féin leader said there was a responsibility on members of this Oireachtas “to ensure that this generation of Irish women will not face the prospect of doing what many have had to do in recent days – take to the streets for what should be a basic human right”.