NEVER AGAIN. Protest for Savita's Laws November 21, 2012 6:00pm
Join us and stand together for the introduction of Savita's Laws.
Dail, Kildare Street, Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:00pm
This campaign has been set up in the wake of the unnecessary death of a woman, Savita Halappanavar, in an Irish hospital in the year 2012, after being denied an abortion she repeatedly requested. Its purpose is to ensure the changing of Ireland's abortion laws to ensure that this never happens again to another woman in Ireland; to never again deny a woman of her agency in her own health decisions.
Civil and criminal law has no place in any pregnant woman's healthcare. Politicians and legislators can never be in a position to decide what is best for any and all pregnant women in Ireland. The people to make the best decisions on what is right for any given pregnant woman's health in any situation are that pregnant woman and her medical team. No longer can legislators be allowed in the operating room and given veto power over medical decisions made by doctors and patients. No other healthcare treatment is subject to such dangerous political interference, and abortion should not be either.
To ensure that the dreadful and avoidable suffering of Savita's death never happens again to any woman in this country, the following laws MUST be passed.
Firstly, legislation to allow for abortions where a pregnant woman's life is at risk must be passed IMMEDIATELY, in line with the X Case Supreme Court ruling of 1992 and the subsequent X Case referendum of 1992. Delay on this simply cannot be tolerated and is utterly inexcusable.
Secondly, the archaic and outdated Offences Against the Person Act of 1861 needs to be stricken from the books; a law banning abortion that is 152 years old has been partially responsible for a woman’s slow and painful death. 152 years ago, death during pregnancy was common; it is no longer, but this hangover from that time continues to endanger women’s lives in Ireland today.
Thirdly, the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, Article 40.3.3, which states that “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right" MUST be removed. It is simply not possible for medical staff to safely treat ill pregnant women with this in existence. When the ‘Pro-Life Amendment Campaign’ pushed this amendment through, in 1983, they promised the Irish electorate no women would die because of this legislation. A woman is now dead. It is now dreadfully clear that they were wrong, and in the light of that we invite those campaigners to join with us in helping to reverse this terrible mistake. Women's fundamental right to life cannot and is not being vindicated in Ireland while this article remains in our constitution.
Fourthly and finally, we look to the Irish Medical Council to draw up properly governing policies, codes of ethics, and clinical protocols for abortion. We expect these, and the medical discretion of healthcare professionals to cover pregnant women’s health decisions– just as they do for all other healthcare.