“It felt like a prison, no time for lunch and I was on call 24/7... There was no choice about which men you saw and some men wanted sex without condoms. If you refused to have anal sex you had to pay a penalty or the ‘security’ men would beat you up.” This is part of a testimony from Isobel, contained in the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s 2009 report on sex trafficking in Ireland, found on turnofftheredlight.ie , a campaign against prostitution and sex trafficking supported by a number of trade unions as well as women and immigrant groups.
The Draft Bill legislating for X case is designed to placate reactionary elements of Fine Gael and seeks to criminalise and punish women in crisis pregnancies. The pro-choice movement must mobilise to exert maximum pressure on the government to remove the worst provisions in the draft and maintain the fight for a referendum to repeal eighth amendment.
The Bill that Socialist Party TD Clare Daly and Deputies Joan Collins and Mick Wallace have written and brought forward to the Dáil coincides with the 20th anniversary of the X Case, when a 14 year-old girl who became pregnant after being raped by a neighbour was prevented by the High Court from travelling to England for an abortion. Two weeks later, after massive public pressure and protests, the Supreme Court upheld her right to an abortion in England on the basis that her life was threatened because of the risk of suicide.