Oireachtas cowardice led to death of woman in Galway

Workers' Party demand a full and public inquiry

The Workers’ Party has demanded a full and public inquiry into the circumstances of the death last month of a woman who was denied a life-saving abortion

“For over 20 years” stated a Workers Party spokesperson “the Oireachtas has refused to legislate to give effect to the Supreme Court decision in the X case. A woman has now died because Galway University Hospital refused to perform an abortion needed to prevent serious risk to her life. This is a situation we were told would never arise. An unviable foetus – the woman was having a miscarriage – was given priority over the woman's life, who then developed septicaemia and died

"Both the present FG / Labour coalition as well as previous FF / PD & Green Party coalitions are culpable in this tragedy. They have all been too frightened of the small but vociferously vicious anti-abortion faction to introduce legislation. As recently as this year the government voted down a private members bill on this issue. Instead, the government took the cowardly step of hiding behind the fourth 'expert group' on abortion since 1992. This cowardice has contributed to the circumstances which brought about this woman's death.”

"The Workers’ Party demands that Minister Reilly immediately publish the report of his 'expert group' – now four months overdue from its own promised publication date. No longer can this issue of women’s health be fudged or hidden away in meaningless committees".

"The Workers’ Party believes in a woman’s right to choose and supports the provision of free and safe abortion in her own country which will include practical facilities to support women seeking an abortion and quality post-abortion care."

"To that end the Party believes that legislation should be introduced with immediate effect to enable women to avail of free and full access to abortion; and that in the case of Northern Ireland the Abortion Act 1967 should be extended forthwith. We oppose the vile attempts to stigmatise and demonise women who have had abortions and who support the right to choose and further condemn those who engage in anti-choice harassment and abuse.

Issued 14th November

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics