Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s remarks in the Dáil today were a gross and insensitive abuse of parliament. The inappropriate nature of directly addressing Savita’s grieving husband from the Dáil chamber cannot be emphasised enough.
Praveen Halappanavar’s refusal to cooperate with the HSE inquiry is completely understandable. Like Galway Pro-Choice, he believes that only a fully independent public inquiry has the ability to objectively investigate this matter. Mr Kenny’s attempt to persuade Mr Halappanavar to cooperate with the HSE was a shameful abuse of his position.
How Mr. Kenny believes that it is acceptable to comment in the Dáil on the actions of a bereaved husband is inconceivable. Praveen feels that his wife’s death was avoidable. Acting through his solicitor is the most reasonable and sensible course of action.
Mr Kenny’s actions seem even more incredible in light of the fact that Savita’s family have received no personal apology or expression of condolences from any Government or HSE official.
The fact that the HSE are going ahead with the investigation without Mr Halappanavar’s consent is both impractical and yet another example of Government arrogance. Without Praveen’s co-operation the inquiry team will not have adequate access to the evidence they require. Furthermore, the credibility of any findings will be completely undermined by the dismissal of Praveen’s serious objections.
The Government defeat of Sinn Féin’s motion to immediately legislate for the X Case is shameful and disappointing. We have had twenty years to establish legal clarity on this issue, yet Labour and Fine Gael continue to hide behind a fifth expert group on the matter.
Galway Pro-Choice welcomes the reintroduction by United Left Alliance TD’s of the Medical Treatment (Termination Of Pregnancy In Case Of Risk To Life Of Pregnant Woman) Bill to legislate for the X Case. This is a real opportunity to improve the safety of pregnant women in Ireland. There is no justifiable reason for Labour and Fine Gael TD’s to vote against it.