Press Statement. 28 November 2001.
Irish women are Criminalised, Exiled, and Silenced - says Alliance for a No Vote.
The ANV condemns the Fianna Fail - PD government for driving through a Bill that criminalises, exiles and silences tens of thousands of Irish women.
Catherine Naji said:
"Government ministers tell us that their abortion Bill is a reasonable attempt to modernise abortion law in Ireland. But what resonable person would want a law that would make a suicidal young woman - pregnant from rape (as in the 'x' and 'c' cases) - face further risk to her life or mental health by being forced to go full term? And what reasonable person would want the courts to prosecute a woman - with the threat of a 12 year sentence - who induces an abortion herself? There is nothing reasonable in this Bill. It criminalises Irish women who take desperate measures to end crisis pregnancies."
SinÈad NÌ Chulach·in said:
"Eamonn DeValera once said: "No longer will our children be brought up for export". This Government however, is proposing a law that will continue to send women into exile at their moment of crisis. At a time when support and compassion are what these women need, the Irish state abandons them to cope with their fears, anxiety and possible illness alone and far from home. For poorer women, the callous moneylender is the last resort. There is no compassion in this Bill. It hypocritically sends into exile the women with problems we don't want to face at home."
Cathleen O'Neill said:
"By criminalising abortion, this fundamentalist law will keep the blanket of silence over Irish women who have had abortions and those who will have abortions in the future. Not one Irish woman - out of an estimated 100,000 who have had abortions in Britain since 1983 - felt able to tell the Oireachtas Committee about her experience. There is no acknowledgement of their experience - then or now. This law will feed the culture of denial and shame. The silencing of Irish women will, as others have said, cause a "national neurosis that flows from silence to flourish".