ula calls for independent public enquiry into Savita Halappanavar’s death

United Left Alliance
Statement – 22 November 2012 – immediate release

No cover-up on Savita’s death – independent public enquiry needed
Enquiry without Praveen has no legitimacy
Labour must vote for X Case legislation next Wednesday
Demonstrate at Dáil on night of vote: from 6pm, Weds. 28 November.

The United Left Alliance congratulates Praveen Halappanavar for his calm resoluteness at this terrible time. We extend our sincere condolences and we support his call for an independent and immediate public enquiry into the death of his wife Savita. Praveen and his family are legally entitled to such an enquiry under the European Convention on Human Rights. The attempts by James Reilly and Enda Kenny to browbeat Praveen into accepting a HSE enquiry must stop immediately.

Savita was in the care of the HSE when she died. So while the HSE must conduct its own internal enquiry, an independent public enquiry is also necessary. Any enquiry without Praveen’s support and participation has no legitimacy. If Minister Reilly continues to push for anything less than an independent public enquiry he must go. Labour must support Praveen in this: Eamon Gilmore should publicly give his support to such an enquiry.

Labour must now make a reality of Gilmore’s rhetoric that inaction is not an option. There can be no excuses such as waiting for expert group reports. Immediate legislation for the X Case is the minimum required and Labour can bring that in by voting for the Daly Bill next Wednesday. We call on Ivana Bacik and others in the Labour Party who have campaigned for abortion rights to publicly call on Labour to vote for the Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Pregnant Woman)(No.2) Bill 2012 when it is put before the Dáil next week.

We call on all who wish to ensure that no more women suffer or die, due to denial of abortion, to demonstrate at the Dáil on the night of the vote – from 6pm on Wednesday, November 28.

Legislation for the X Case is an immediate, minimum first step to ensure that women are not denied abortions in life-threatening situations. But the distinction between a woman’s life and her health or other considerations as grounds for legal abortion in Ireland must end. The ULA will campaign for a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution and bring in legislation for the right to free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland.


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