Brian Walsh’s comments in the Irish Independent today reveal a complete disregard for the health and lives of pregnant women in Ireland.
Walsh is a TD for the Galway West constituency in which Savita Halappanavar died as a result of Ireland’s restrictive laws on abortion. His refusal to vote for legislation which would protect women’s lives is offensive and a reprehensible shirking of his duties to the women in his constituency.
Órlaith Reidy of Galway Pro-Choice said:
“Galway Pro-Choice has held countless public stalls in Brian Walsh’s Galway West constituency, and we have always received an overwhelmingly positive response. Indeed just last December we delivered hundreds of petitions signed by his constituents calling for legislation on the X Case to Mr Walsh’s office. We do not accept his assertion that this stance is representative of the people of Galway West. Rather it is a cowardly attempt to hide behind the people of Galway while promoting and voting on his own personal views.”
Commenting on the death of Savita Halappanavar, Brian Walsh stated in the Irish Times that the Government could not ignore the issue of X Case legislation. He said: “there have been seven governments that have sat on their hands. The Supreme Court ruling has to be legislated for.” His rapid turn-about on this issue represents a callous and cynical attitude, and favours electioneering over protecting women’s lives.
Sarah McCarthy, Galway Pro-Choice Spokesperson said:
“Walsh’s statement that he favours another referendum deliberately ignores the fact that we have already had two referenda on this issue, in 1992 and 2002. Both times the removal of suicide as a ground for abortion was rejected by the Irish people. The people have twice made their will clear, and it is the duty of legislators to legislate for these decisions. The only referendum that we need now is on the removal of the 8thAmendment to the Constitution, which equates the right to life of a pregnant woman with the right to life of a foetus.”
Rachel Donnelly of GPC said:
“X-Case legislation will not be enough to protect the health and lives of women in Ireland. Women should not have to be at the point of death before being allowed to choose to terminate their pregnancy. Women should be trusted, and we should respect their decisions. Without bodily autonomy, women will forever remain second class citizens in Ireland. Unless Mr Walsh changes his position, Galway Pro-Choice calls on all women in Galway West not to vote for him at election time.”
For further information and comment please contact Galway Pro-Choice at:
Tel.: 087 706 0715 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org