It has been revealed that proposed draft X case legislation calls for six doctors to be involved in the process for approving a termination when there is a threat of suicide. This would make legislation unworkable, and prove traumatic and abusive to the women who are constitutionally entitled to access an abortion under X Case Legislation. While many of our efforts have been focused on parties which are traditionally anti-choice, it is equally important for us to contact Labour – and let them know that we oppose any legislation which is not woman-centred and fails to ensure that those who are constitutionally entitled to have an abortion can practically access it.
Click here to email your TDs quickly using this fantastic tool from ‘Who is my TD?’ – Simply copy and paste our template email (below), and urge your Labour representatives to respect pregnant women and vindicate their right to life and dignity.
Dear [Insert Name]
I am very concerned by recent reports that pregnant women, whose lives are placed in jeopardy due to the risk of suicide will have to secure the approval of 6 medical practitioners, to include 4 psychiatrists before any request for a termination is approved. Under this regime women, who may already be in a vulnerable and distressed state will be subjected to a draconian process before they are able to access their existing constitutional rights under the 8th amendment and the X case judgment. Such a process implies that women will, on a large scale feign suicidal intent in order to secure a termination. It also implies that we do not have sufficient faith in the professionalism and expertise of the psychiatrists.
Several experts in the field have expressed their dissatisfaction with these proposals. Dr Anthony Mc Carthy, one of only three perinatal psychiatrists in the state described this suggestion as a “sick joke” and “abusive”. Another perinatal psychiatrist Prof Veronica O’ Kane described this proposal as obstructive, unworkable and an insult to women,”. In addition the ICCL has also suggested that such a system would not provide effective access to abortion in cases where there is a risk to a woman’s life therefor failing to comply with the ECHR ruling in ABC vs Ireland. Any legislation tabled must meet the requirements of the ECHR and should not force women to sacrifice their dignity in order to access their constitutional rights.
It is important to me, as a voter that my representatives respect pregnant women and vindicate their right to life and dignity. As your constituent I hope that you will vocally oppose these measures and make it clear that you respect your constituents, their mothers, their daughters, their sisters and their partners.