Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15716
Abortion rights letter being handed to Irish embassy on Wednesday
The following letter, signed by Socialist Party members including several leading trade unionists, will be handed to the Irish embassy in London (17 Grosvenor Place) at 9am Wednesday morning as part of an international day of action for abortion rights in Ireland.
Protests will also be taking place on Wednesday in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Bangalore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Edinburgh, Berlin, Brussels, Stockholm and Vienna.
The world was shocked by the tragic and avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar in an Irish hospital on 28 October.
Savita was experiencing a painful and traumatic miscarriage and asked doctors to end the pregnancy they told her was unviable.
They replied 'this is a Catholic country' and refused to remove the foetus until its heart had completely stopped beating, two days later. Savita then died of septacaemia and ecoli.
This appalling series of events is a direct result of the legislative limbo that exists in Ireland with regards to abortion.
It has been 20 years since Case X decreed that there should be the right to abortion where the mother's life is at risk. Yet successive governments since that time have failed to legislate on this basis.
Legislation has been proposed by Socialist Party Ireland's elected representatives at all levels of government but has continually been blocked by all the main parties.
If these politicians cannot find the courage to stand up for women and working class people, they should stand aside for those who will.
We support the Socialist Party and United Left Alliance's stand for women's rights and against austerity attacks.
The politicians who hypocritically vote against abortion rights on the basis of "standing up for children" seem to lose all concern for children once they are born and are the
same politicians voting for brutal attacks on working class children and families as a result of the bankers' crisis.
This archaic state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. We the undersigned call on you to lobby the Irish government to immediately legislate for X as a first step to full abortion rights for women across Ireland.
We will be raising in our trade unions, student unions and community groups the need to support the struggle of women in Ireland for the right to control their own bodies.
Chris Baugh, PCS assistant general secretary
Vicky Perrin, Unison NEC (personal capacity)
Martin Powell-Davies, National Union of Teachers National Executive
Brian Debus, President Hackney Trades Council
Phil Clarke Secretary Brighton Trades Council
Nick Parker, Secretary, Lincoln & District Trades Union Council
Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Editor, the Socialist
Ian Pattison, Socialist Students national chair
Sarah Wrack, Socialist Party women's committee
John Malcolm Unison branch secretary Tees Esk and Wear valleys
Paul Hunt, assistant branch secretary Coventry District Unison (personal capacity)
Paul Couchman, Unison branch secretary, Surrey County Local Government branch and secretary of Surrey County Council Trade Union group (SCCTU)
Iain Dalton, USDAW Leeds private trade vice chair
Jared Wood, RMT branch political officer
Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network Chair
Glenn Kelly, staff side secretary, Bromley council
Jackie Grunsell, GP and former councillor
Tom Baldwin, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts candidate for Bristol Mayor
Tony Mulhearn, Life member of Unite the Union and PCS
Stacey Dodd, Unite union, Coventry
James Kerr, National Union of Teachers
Matthew Gordon, Unite
Robin Clapp, Unite SW 287
Alec Price, Unite community
Jane James, National Union of Journalists
Ben Norman, Unite
Gavin Marsh, Unite
Jacqui Berry, Unison young members
TU Senan, National Union of Journalists
Yuvanesan, CWI Malaysia
Hugh Caffrey, Socialist Party North-West regional secretary
Steve Glennon, Socialist Party Eastern regional secretary
Sean Figg, Socialist Party national committee
Ken Douglas, Socialist Party national committee
Dave Reid, Socialist Party national committee
Alistair Tice, Socialist Party national committee
Andy Bentley, Socialist Party national committee
Dave Griffiths, Socialist Party national committee
Lenny Shail, Socialist Party national committee
Becci Heagney, Socialist Party national committee
Jim Thomson, Socialist Party national committee