[Sinn Fein]

26th February 2002

Sinn Fein join with other groups in calling for a NO vote

Following is the joint statement signed up to by Sinn Fein for the IFPA Press Conference today:

This referendum proposal on abortion is a retrograde step. Its core objective is to reverse the X Case judgment by eliminating suicide as a grounds for legal, life-saving abortion in Ireland. It is our view that, while the status quo for the past ten years has not been satisfactory, this referendum provides for a much worse scenario. The protection afforded to girls and women by the X Case judgment has only come into play once. That was in the C Case in 1997. The issue at the heart of the C Case was the right to travel. The High Court granted the girl at the centre of that case the right to travel based on the X Case judgment. If this referendum is passed, the safety net provided by the X Case judgment will be pulled away. Should a future C Case arise, the life of the girl at the centre of such a case would be put at serious risk. The X Case judgment has not opened the floodgates in the past ten years. It may, however, have prevented two young girls, both victims of rape, from committing suicide. As signatories to this statement, we are calling for a no vote because we are not prepared to take away what little protection there is for girls and women in a crisis pregnancy situation who are suicidal. In addition, we are all of the view that the Constitution is not a suitable vehicle for this legislation. We are opposed to the insertion of a criminal statute in our Constitution and call for rejection of this referendum on this basis also.

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