Law shrouded in confusion for 20 years since Supreme Court's ruling on X case
THE law on abortion in Ireland has been shrouded in confusion for the past 20 years.
Depending on what legal expert you talk to, you'll get a different interpretation on the position since the Supreme Court ruling in the X case in 1992.
In an extremely complicated case, that would have wide-ranging political and social consequences, the State sought to stop a 14-year-old girl who was raped from obtaining an abortion in Britain.
The Supreme Court's decision appeared to determine, in line with the Constitution, that a woman has a right to access an abortion in Ireland if there is a 'real and substantial risk' to her life.
And the risk to life includes the possibility of suicide.
But six governments have failed to legislate for the X case. The removal of suicide as grounds for abortion was defeated in two referenda in 1993 and 2002.
Two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights found that a woman, C, had her rights violated because the Government has failed to legislate for the X case.
The Government has to provide a response to this ruling in October.
Again, there are differing interpretations on the strength of this ruling.