Barrister: 'X-Case' is 'the very barest' of laws

There is further pressure on the Government to legislate for medical abortions, following the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Hundreds of people protested in Dublin and Cork last night after the 31-year-old, who was 17 weeks pregnant, died from septacemia at University Hospital Galway last month.

Her husband has said she asked for a termination a number of times, but was refused because the foetal heartbeat was still present.

The case has prompted calls for the Government to legislate for the implications of the Supreme Court decision in the 'X-Case' 20 years ago.

Barrister and former Doctor Simon Mills has said doctors are being forced to work off a very limited judgement and successive Governments have failed to tackle the issue.

Dr Mills said: "It is clear from that judgement (The 'X-Case') that the judges did not believe they were laying down the law for the generation to come.

"They believed that they were, in effect, erecting the very barest of superstructures on which a law would be built and that hasn't happened."

The Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Rhona Mahony, has said she is very disappointed that 20 years after the 'X-Case', there is still no legislation for medical abortions.

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