UP to a thousand protesters marched through the streets of the capital demanding that the Government finally legislate for the X case decision.
Carrying placards bearing the image of Savita Halappanavar and the slogan "Never Again", the group of pro-choice supporters chanted "Not the church, not the State, women must decide their fate", as they marched along Dame Street from the Central Bank plaza to the gates of Dublin Castle where EU health ministers were meeting last night.
Protesters, including college students, officials from SIPTU, the Socialist Workers' Party and the National Women's Council, held the demonstration on the eve of the 21st anniversary of the landmark X case decision. The Supreme Court ruling established the right of women to an abortion in Ireland if a woman's life was at risk due to pregnancy, including the risk of suicide.
Citing the tragic case of Ms Halappanavar – a 31-year-old woman who was 17 weeks pregnant when she died of septicaemia at Galway University Hospital last October after asking for a medical termination – protesters said Irish women had been waiting more than two decades for legislation on abortion and were still waiting.