Date Released: 22 April 2013
The Government must act immediately to vindicate women’s constitutional rights in line with the Supreme Court ruling in relation to the ‘X case’, according to SIPTU Campaigns and Equality Organiser, Ethel Buckley.
Representatives of SIPTU, UNITE and the Women’s Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) jointly handed in a letter to Dáil Eireann this morning (Monday, 22nd April) calling on Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to make abortion available in cases where a woman’s life is at risk, including through suicide.
SIPTU Campaigns and Equality, Ethel Buckley, said: “SIPTU members are proud of our union’s long tradition of activism in the pursuit of obtaining full equality for women in the workplace and society. It is mindful of this proud tradition and the current needs of our membership that SIPTU is calling on the Government to act in accordance with the Constitution to legislate to vindicate women’s rights in accordance with the ruling of the Supreme Court in the ‘X case’.
“For over two decades Irish women have waited for their constitutional rights to be vindicated. The failure of past governments and the tardiness of the current administration to legislate in this area is measured not only in years but also the suffering of the victims."
She added: “In recent months we have seen the high profile tragic case of Savita Halappanavar but the suffering of women due to the Government’s failure is also the hidden journey of thousands of Irish women each year to the UK for abortions. The Government must legislate now in a manner which ensures women’s constitutional rights are protected and that this State does not impose further abusive situations on vulnerable women.”
Chair of the ICTU Women’s Committee, Máire Mulcahy, said the Government’s failure to legislate for the ‘X case’ was no longer tolerable.
She added: “It is absolutely repugnant that the State exposes a woman’s life to danger by the absence of such legislation.”