The X case 20 years on
Many young women today will not recall the so called ‘X Case’ when the high court attempted to bar a 14 year old rape victim known publicly as ‘X’ from seeking an abortion. Although the courts barred her from travelling, huge public anger poured onto the streets of Ireland at this decision. The establishment -judicial, political, and religious - were shaken to the core by the thousands of mainly young women, along with men, showing their disgust and outrage. This caused the government to state that the teenager ‘X’ could travel for a termination because she was ‘suicidal’.
February 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of the X Case judgement and yet we still do not have legislation in line with the Supreme Court ruling of 1992 following from the X case.
In December 2010, the European Courts of Human Rights made a ruling on abortion in Ireland, yet we still do not have legislation. Over the last 20 years, there have been many campaigns organising petitions and demonstrations demanding legislation following the last two referendums held on this subject, yet we still have none.
This month the United Left Alliance and the technical group will put down a motion in the Dáil demanding that the Irish Government act to legislate on the right to abortion in Ireland, 20 years after the X case and one year after the C case judgment. We are calling on the Labour Party to vote this through as, although it is their party policy, we may need to remind them of this now that they are in government.
The FG/Labour government has now convened another expert committee, to consider how to implement the 20-year-old Supreme Court ruling on the X Case, and report back in a number of months.
The ULA says, “Enough procrastination!” We are calling on the Government to cease the denial of our rights, which we won through mass protests, to enact the democratic decisions of the people and introduce legislation.
Galway ULA will be holding a public meeting on this issue late February with key speakers on the legal, democratic, and human rights issues of the situation. Details will be announced.
Dette Mc Loughlin,
Galway United Left Alliance