Today's decision to permit Miss 'D' to travel to England to terminate her pregnancy is the correct one but Alliance for Choice deplored the additional anxiety and stress that she has been forced to endure in the last two weeks.
The majority of Irish people believe that abortion is acceptable in some circumstances but successive governments have failed to legislate so that Irish women can have abortions safely and legally in a hospital here. They are forced to go to Britain and elsewhere, causing additional delay and anxiety for women who are already in difficulty. Many women do not even have this option, if they are constrained by poverty or immigration regulations or the misplaced zeal of HSE officials.
Spokesperson Dr. Mary Muldowney said:
"Alliance for Choice asks how many more young women will be traumatised before Irish law recognises their human right to access abortion services safely and legally in their own country. Most of the stress that surrounds abortion for women from this country relates to the barriers that the current legal situation has erected around women's ability to make choices based on what is right for them. Women in Ireland are forced to deal with economic, legal and social obstacles to medical procedures that should be their right in a fair and just health system."
It is time for Irish politicians to commit themselves to providing clear legal protection for young women faced with crisis pregnancies by setting a timetable for legislation to underpin the X judgement, to deal humanely with the issue of foetal abnormality and ultimately to call a referendum to remove the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
Denying women the right to make their own choices does not make the need for abortion go away.