Friday, February 17, 2012

Can you believe how good I am? I'm really on it!

Today I went down to Buswell's hotel for a press conference by the Action on X campaign. This is a really important campaign that will hopefully gain momentum over the coming months.

For those of you who don't know (probably most of my readers), the "X case" isn't a new reality TV show, but rather a court case from 1992 when a 14-year-old girl, called "X" was raped in Ireland by a neighbor and became pregnant. I'm just going to quote from Wikipedia here: "Before the abortion was carried out, the family asked the [police] if DNA from the aborted foetus would be admissible as evidence in the courts, as the neighbour was denying responsibility. Hearing that X planned to have an abortion, the Attorney General, Harry Whelehan, sought an injunction under Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland (which outlaws abortion) preventing her from having the procedure carried out. The injunction was granted by Justice Declan Costello in the High Court." So basically, X and her parents went to England for an abortion and they were forced to return to Ireland before it could be carried out. The case went to Ireland's Supreme Court, where X basically won her right for an abortion based on the fact that her own life was in "real and substantial risk" (via suicide). Strangely, the court ruled that a woman in Ireland has a right to an abortion if her life is at risk, but not if her health is at risk. How they draw the distinction is beyond me, but there you have it. So X later had a miscarriage, but there was never any legislation put in place -- in other words the ruling did not become law. (By the way, her rapist was sentenced to 14 years in prison, served 4, and then became a taxi driver, which gave him the opportunity to subsequently rape a 15 year old girl. He only got 3 and a half years for that. But I digress...)

There has also been the A, B, and C case in the European courts, which was won, but no legislation has even been proposed by government. They've put together some kind of "expert committee" which is basically their way of kicking the ball down the road.

SO - 1992 was 20 years ago. Action on X is trying to push for legislation to finally get going. It's just getting going, and today's press conference marks the true beginning of the campaign. There were four speakers and a chair with about thirty people in attendance.
photo by Clare B

There's a short article about the event and the campaign HERE. There's also a really interesting timeline of the X case HERE.

Anyone interested in this cause can find Action on X on Facebook and there's a public meeting on February 21st at the Gresham Hotel. I'll definitely be posting more about this as events unfold!

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