Provision for terminations in Ireland

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland 
18 December 2012

The announcement by the Irish Government today that it is to introduce legislation and regulations to allow a woman to choose a termination where her life is threatened was welcomed by some Irish political parties as “a victory for women.” However the Communist Party of Ireland believes this is the very least that can be offered to women in any civilised society. 
      In a statement today Lynda Walker, national chairperson of the Communist party of Ireland, said that this was one small step on the road to providing women with the reproductive health-care services that they require. The provision of legislation and regulation in response to the X Case is to be welcomed, but the enactment of the legislation remains to be seen. 
      The Expert Report gives a number of options and advice to the Government regarding the question of termination of pregnancy for women in Ireland. The CPI agrees that this is a complex issue and one that needs to be clarified in the interest of women’s lives and also in the interest of the medical and legal professions. The CPI also believes that the Offences Against the Persons Act (1861) should be repealed and replaced. 
      The introduction of a strategy to address crisis and unwanted pregnancies should include enhanced provision of education, advice and contraceptive services, and other such counselling and medical services. 
      Furthermore the CPI believes that there should be a public investigation into the number of deaths and complications that have occurred in the Republic over the past thirty years due to circumstances relating to the law regarding terminations. 
      The Communist Party of Ireland reiterates its commitment to supporting a “Woman’s Right to Choose,” but initially we support the immediate introduction of guidelines and changes in the law that will prevent further deaths like that of Savita Halappanavar. 
      For that reason we also call for guidelines to be issued in the North. Whilst welcoming the opening of the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast, we also call for provision of this service to be extended to the National Health Service.