Mother’s Death Prompts Abortion Debate in Ireland

A 17-week pregnant woman who died in an Irish hospital late last month is at the center of a debate over whether the Catholic country’s anti-abortion laws put women’s lives in danger. Savita Halappanavar checked into the hospital complaining of back pain, but was soon told she was having a miscarriage. Despite her considerable physical pain, she was denied assistance that would have amounted to an abortion. She died 3 days later of a blood infection. From

“Doctors at Galway University Hospital said that as long as the fetal heartbeat could be felt, the law prevented them from ending the pregnancy, Holland said. Halappanavar died of septicemia, or a blood infection, after three days in the hospital.

“Tuesday morning, came back and said, ‘Sorry, can’t help you. It’s a Catholic country. Can’t help you. It’s a Catholic team.’ So, Savita said that she was not a Catholic. She is Hindu, so why impose the law of the land on her?” her husband said.

The death led to protests, and top Irish lawmakers are asking whether the law needs to be changed.

In Ireland, abortion is legal if the mother’s life is at risk, which is different from her health being at risk, Holland said.

The hospital expressed sympathy to Halappanavar’s husband, but noted in a statement that “the facts of this tragic case have yet to be established.”

Image: Empty hospital bed, via Shutterstock

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  1. by sav

    On April 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Does this prove that us pro-choicers are not against life but actually for life in this incidence? I strongly believe that abortion should not have laws. That government should never dictate anything that doesn’t have to do with EVERYONE! We all have the opportunity to drive in the USA (unless u r blind)so it makes sense to have driving laws and guidelines as these protect the drivers and people walking near the roads( which includes the blind and non drivers). And we all want safety etc….. If you think about abortion… as an individual may never ever in your entire life need to care about abortion period…let alone the laws regarding it….some people in fact live their whole lives and die not having any incidences personally with the entire subject of abortion. Why is this subject even discussed really? If you are pregnant and you don’t want to be then no one should tell u what to do…maybe its better to not have the child than have a child who doesn’t have someone that wants it…but anything one might think is a thought and u are not the person in the trouble and you never know what u are capable of in any given situation you have not found yourself in yet or ever. So shut your mouth. Don’t tell them they are killing someone…people compare babies to dogs because they both eat, sleep, and poop….babies are human but until they are older or in health trouble they are not showing personality traits of an individual yet…lots of babies are born but die right away due to health issues…they could have been aborted and saved themselves and the parents the trouble and heartache..I put trouble first because it applies to the poor child who in the womb has no memories and then has to live through the hard harsh birth process just to breath a little air and end up giving up on their new life..maybe these babies know more than the rest of us…life is hard and just gets harder the longer u live and this world is a cruel place that you have to search to possibly find your happiness….is it really worth it? Maybe these babies know this and don’t want to bother!? All the pro-lifers are actually pro-telling-others-what-to-do-or-how-to-think. I am pro choice because you just can’t tell other people what to do…I would never plan to or want an abortion but I don’t know what I would do or feel if in a scary situation like if someone raped me and I get preg and its not my husbands, or get preg with twins and they will both die if I don’t abort one, or if I was sexually abused and preg at 10 years old.,or like the poor dead lady in this article, etc…who are you to judge or tell someone else what to do(or who to marry,etc)? Are u god or did god come down and appoint you to give your two cents? Its not anyone’s business but the people involved and if you take away medical tools/procedures for stupid reasons["we need to make the law to protect the unborn fetus" aka let's protect all the idiots who can't think for themselves...I love my child and all kids don't get me wrong..but where does it become hypocritical in protecting fetuses when we also protect criminals(can't kill them how we humanely put down our best dog friends) and all the other dummies or insane peeps? Not everything needs protecting so much....ever heard of survival of the fittest? It happens naturally whether we like it or not.] So abortion as a noun is a valid and needed medical procedure and abortion as a verb is not always meant as wrong or fact, most use it for emergencies and if a girl is preg and just wants to abuse it for what i feel is lame personal issues then honestly I would rather not have to force that poor infant into this awful, cruel world. But the government should definitely NOT be involved. Laws generally hurt people in the long run cause we don’t actually change any laws to fit us better..we chose to pile new laws on top of old ones so now we are at a point where you have to be a lawyer to know and manipulate any of these laws in order to win things or detriment others. Let’s start with eliminating all abortion laws and when that works the same as it always has….but is even better..then we can proceed to eliminate other laws that are worthless. Talking and thinking is very important…do not stop talking or thinking about any subject…just don’t turn every subject into something we need more laws about…think for yourself! Don’t let the government or religion tell you anything at all! All this discussion over the years about abortion and the meaning and fairness of it has been terrific! Opinions are awesome and help each one of us think better, differently and gain more knowledge of life..but not more knowledge of the ” truth” which always has been and always will be relative to the individual. So some things will never be strictly “right or wrong” but simply hard to deal with so stop with all the laws! Speaking of this…How can we make laws against marriage? If people want to marry their goat cause they love it(and are not physically hurting it-dont mess with me you overly sensitive when it comes to animals people-i am an animal supporter and lover..just an example), sure its weird and seems crazy to you,but who cares? who are you to say they can’t? And I’m sorry if I think that its crazy that I have to compare a goat and person to two loving people of the same gender but one is supposed to not care about what the goat does and then equally not care what their fellow human being is doing in their own life. Living Being Rights should not be eliminated…only stupid laws that don’t ever change with the ever-changing world. around us.