Release date: 09 May 2007
The Irish Family Planning Association has said that today’s High Court ruling in the Miss D case was welcome, in so far as the girl at the centre of the case could now commence arrangements for a termination outside the State.
The IFPA – which offers a non-directive pregnancy counselling service and information on all options – said that, from the outset, the 17 year-old at the centre of the case should not have had to endure 10 days of protracted court proceedings to establish her right to travel for a termination. It said that the proceedings had delayed her access to a termination, as well as causing undue stress to a girl already dealing with the traumatic diagnosis of a lethal foetal anomaly.
It said that the failure of successive Governments to legislate for abortion was the singular reason behind the necessity of Miss D taking her case to the High Court.
The IFPA warned that while today’s High Court decision offered relief on the abortion issue for the body politic, it was unacceptable that a situation persisted whereby there is no proper legal framework on abortion in Ireland.
This gap – if left unaddressed by the next Government – will mean that other cases involving girls and women in a crisis pregnancy situation would inevitably come before the courts for resolution.
It said that the courts were not the appropriate mechanism to deal with abortion in Ireland. Political leadership is now required in light of this latest case. Each political party should indicate how it intends to provide a legislative framework on abortion in advance of the general election, it added.