Women’s rights advocates are angry after a woman in Ireland died when doctors denied her the right to a badly-needed abortion. The death of Savita Halappanavar at University Hospital Galway has led to the selection of an independent expert to review the case. The woman asked several times to have her pregnancy terminated due to serious back pain and the fact that she was miscarrying the child.
Instead of getting her pregnancy terminated, the doctors refused, citing a heartbeat in the fetus. After shaking, vomiting and other problems, the woman eventually died. Her death has led to widespread protest of the country’s abortion laws.
Over 2,000 people gathered at the Irish Parliament, the Dail, calling for reform of the country’s abortion laws. Irish Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste) Eamon Gilmore said it was time to bring “legal clarity” to the issue of abortion.
“I think the discussion needs to be a reasoned, dignified discussion,” he said.
“What it is needed is to be bring legal clarity to circumstances that have been outstanding for a period of time.”
Participants in the protest held a moment of silence for the deceased woman. She was a 31-year old dentist from India. Her husband says that he believes his wife would still be alive had she been given an abortion.