Kevin Doyle Blog

Writing and activism

From X to ABC – Ireland and abortion

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The claims of the ABC women were opposed by the Irish government from the outset.  Not just opposed though.  The Irish government fought these women tooth and nail all the way along the road to this judgement.  It is not an overstatement to say that vast sums of money were spent on legal fees and on employing the best legal advocates for their grand effort to defeat these women!  Apparently the Irish attorney general himself took a personal interest in attempting to win this case for the Irish government.

Surprised?  Don’t be.  Never forget the outrageous  actions of the Irish government back in 1992 when they prevented a young Irish teenager from leaving the country of Ireland.  Can you believe they actually tried to do that?  Well, they did.  The girl in question was at the centre of the infamous X-Case.  She became pregnant following a rape and sought to have an abortion.  What happened?  The Irish government tried to stop her leaving the state.  Widespread protests and condemnation saw the Irish government reversing its stand and the girl subsequently left Irish jurisdiction.

What has come to light in the cases of A,B and C is the very traumatic and difficult situation the many women find themselves in.  The case of Michelle Harte has just been highlighted and is well worth taking a closer look at.  Even though her life was in serious danger the so-called ‘ethics’ committee at Cork University Hospital barred her from having a termination.  Though seriously ill she had to make immediate plans to get to London in England to have the procedure performed there.  Michelle Harte has now come forward and spoken out about her situation.  It is a brave and admirable stand.  But also a vital stand. In reality only real cases that bring the realities that women face into the full light of public scrutiny can make a difference.  This has been the hard and difficult lesson for each small step of progress made here in Ireland – in all of those cases, X, C, D and ABC.

More women and more families affected by the draconian situation in this country must do the same.  As long as there is silence, the Irish government and its conservative Catholic allies can get away with their shenanigans.  They thrive on the silence and only when that silence is broken do we see their real behavior and approach: it is vindictive, uncaring and contemptuous of women’s lives.

By the way, the photo here is from a protest I attended back in 1992 in New York in solidarity with the X-Case girl.  Good to see the anger, good to see solidarity –  I remember it even now.

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Written by Kevin Doyle

December 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

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  1. […] From X to ABC: Ireland and Abortion […]

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