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X Case set no time limits on abortion

Kenny’s position that “abortion legislation is about saving lives” (30/4) could hardly be further from the truth in that its furthest reach is the X Case.

Any woman whose predicament in an unwanted pregnancy can be interpreted as potentially suicidal will be able to avail of abortion in this country at any point in her pregnancy, as X sets no time limits.

A woman who initially welcomed her pregnancy but who had a change of attitude for reasons of her changed circumstances, or perhaps because the scans revealed some abnormality in the unborn child, will be eligible.

It is extraordinary that the Government is going ahead to legislate in the face of expert medical opinion as presented to them last January in the Oireachtas, opinion not available to the judges of X who were in any case divided on the issue. Yes, we need clarity around the circumstances where an ill or miscarrying woman may have a termination if medical opinion considers this necessary. We need it perhaps for the single reason that any ambiguity gives bad practice (such as happened in Galway) a cover and defence.

Margaret Hickey


Co Cork


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