Are you Irish or living in Ireland? Are you sick to death of successive governments refusing to legislate for the two-decades-old X Case? I am.
TW for abortion, rape, child abuse and Irish politics. Here we go.
In case you’re not from here or have been living under a rock since the early 1990s, the X Case happened twenty years ago, and involved a 14-year-old child who needed to access an abortion. Here’s Cork Feminista on it:
20 years ago a 14 year old girl, known as X, grabbed the attention of Ireland when she had to go to England to try to get an abortion after being raped and impregnated by a family friend. Her case lead to the first frank public discussion about abortion and the sexual and reproductive rights of women. Both the government and the Supreme Court had to take a stance one the subject and society was also actively involved in the matter through a referendum.
It looked like Ireland was finally recognizing the need for abortion regulation. Irish people voted to carry the referendum but still the Republic had some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. The government had the responsibility to legislate for the decision; however after almost 20 years no government had been determined enough to approve the regulation that was required. Today, Irish people still don’t know exactly what this kind of abortion means in real terms.
Yeaaaaah. Kid gets raped and pregnant. Is suicidal. Needs an abortion. Has to go to the frickin Supreme Court to be allowed out of the country to get one. This led to a referendum. The Irish people voted in favour of allowing women abortions when their lives are at risk. A few years later, we (because I was old enough to vote at this time) voted in favour of considering suicide one of those risks.
And for twenty years, the government has sat back and done nothing.
Of course, women in Ireland haven’t been sitting back and doing nothing. Women in Ireland have been travelling to the UK in their thousands for needed abortions. For decades. And y’know something? It’s about time we did something about it. Last month’s March for Choice was amazing. But a march is just one day and it’s easy for legislators to ignore. And in the meantime, even women whose health is endangered, whose fetuses are dying inside them, and who are only children themselves are forced to travel overseas every single goddamn day for the medical care they need. As for immigrant women living here without visas to travel out of the country? They don’t get to have abortions. Even if their health is at risk. Even if they’re deathly ill. Even is their fetuses are dying. Even if they’ve been raped, even if they’re suicidal, even if they are children.
This is not okay.
Here’s what you’ve got to do.
It’ll take you a minute, max. Click on this link. Follow the instructions and an email’ll be sent out to your TDs calling for action on X. Then share it. Share it with everyone. That’s all you’ve got to do.
- Irish Council of Civil Liberties confront State’s refusal to legalize abortion (irishcentral.com)
- Abortion debate heats up in Ireland as law revision looms (csmonitor.com)
- Undercover investigation of Irish family planning clinics reveals illegal abortion advice (irishcentral.com)