Galway Pro-Choice Press Statement 16/11/12

The country is still reeling from the news of Savita’s tragic and needless death. Demonstrations from a range of outraged groups and individuals have spontaneously taken place around the country, and across the world. The lack of swift action from the Government is a concern for many.


In Galway City, a vigil will be held for Savita on Saturday at 5.00pm, in Eyre Square. A large turnout is expected.


In light of recent developments, Galway Pro-Choice puts forward four demands:


We must legislate on the X Case immediately; Government statements that it will take months to get legal clarity are unacceptable.Minister Reilly has indicated that it may take weeks or months for him to bring the Expert Group Report to Cabinet. It has also been stated that the Government will not act until the investigations are completed, which are due to take at least three months. We cannot afford to wait such a length of time for action on life-saving abortion in this country. The impossible limbo that doctors are in has been illustrated by this tragedy. Legislation must be implemented immediately, or more women may die.


Minister Reilly must instigate a fully independent public inquiry now. The presence of only one independent expert in the HSE’s investigation is intolerable. We cannot expect UCHG or the HSE to be truly objective in this situation and to reach independent conclusions. Therefore we are calling for a fully independent public inquiry, to be commissioned immediately.


The Expert Group Report should be released to the public immediately. There is a need for full transparency with an issue as grave as this, and we call on Minister Reilly to make the report public immediately. There is no good reason not to share this information with the public.


The only way to safeguard the health of pregnant women in Ireland is to guarantee free, safe, and legal abortion for all women.Applicant A in the ABC Case is an example of how the criminalisation of abortion can have devastating effects on women’s lives. Suffering from severe mental illness, she had four children who were temporarily under the care of the state. Unable to afford an abortion yet worried that another child would jeopardise the reunification of her family, she was ultimately forced to borrow money from a money lender in order to travel to England to obtain the procedure. There are countless situations in which women may choose to have an abortion; none of them easy and all of them valid. Savita should have been given the opportunity to control her own body.


Sarah McCarthy, Galway Pro-Choice Spokesperson stated:


“The Government response to this is just a repetition of history. Once more we have a small group of powerful men keeping information from the public and making decisions about women’s lives themselves. Why isn’t the Expert Group Report being made public; can Irish women not be trusted to make up their own minds?”


Rachel Donnelly, Galway Pro-Choice member said:


“Demonstrations have sprung up around the country, and across the world. The reaction that we’ve gotten here in Galway has been incredible. It is vital that we don’t let this tragedy pass from our consciousness with the turning of the news cycle. We must honour her memory, and continue to exert pressure until the Government listens to the people of Ireland. The vast majority of people agree that we have to legislate for the X Case. There is no reason to delay it another day.”


John Walsh, Galway Pro-Choice member said:


“We have had twenty years to get legal clarity on this issue. It is utterly unacceptable to wait any longer. Yet, the Government seem set to spend the coming months wringing their hands and hiding behind expert groups and reports. In the meantime, more women may die”


For more information please contact Galway Pro-Choice on 087 706 0715 or Rachel Donnelly on 086 062 1503

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