Dublin Abortion Rights Group

Submission to the working group on Abortion

February 1998

Summary of Submission

The theme of the submission is "Legislate or Repeal".

The Dublin Abortion Rights Group is calling upon the Government to:

(a) Pass immediate legislation to implement the X case judgment

(b) Repeal the Eighth Amendment to allow for free, and freely available, abortion in Ireland. Large numbers of Irish women are having abortions in England - it needs to be available in Ireland under wider grounds than those presently possible under the X case

However, as the minimum legal reform possible without amending the Constitution, the DARG believes that "X case" legislation needs to passed as a matter of urgency. Such legislation must contain the following:

1. A guarantee that a woman whose life is endangered by her continued pregnancy is entitled to have an abortion in Ireland

2. A definition of "the unborn" providing that the term should apply only to those foetuses which have attained viability in a medical sense

3. A declaration that the threat to the life of the pregnant woman should be judged by her doctor or psychologist

4. Legal protection for doctors who carry out abortions

A duty on health boards to provide abortions under the legislation

5. Abortion to be made available through the health system

A number of other measures are also necessary, including the following:

1. Decriminalisation of abortion (by repealing the 1861 legislation)

2.Guarantee of the right to travel for all, including pregnant minors

I support the Dublin Abortion Rights Group submission to the Interdepartmental Working Group on Abortion.

I wish the Working Group to take my views into accout in its deliberations.

I also call upon the Working Group to conduct its deliberations in public, so as to ensure transparency in the formulation of law and policy on abortion.

SIGNED:___________________________DATE: ____________


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