Anti-abortion law in Ireland slammed

Anti-abortion law in Ireland slammed

Woman who died after being denied an abortion told Irish doctors ‘I’m neither Irish nor Catholic’ .

THE mother of a young woman who died in Ireland after doctors refused to perform an abortion that may have saved her life has slammed the country’s strict anti-abortion law.

Savita Halappanavar’s mother, who lives with her husband in Belgaum, southwest India, said:

In order to save a 3-week child, they killed my 31-years-old daughter.

Savita’s father added:

This is because of the negligence of the Irish doctors. We are looking for the inquiry. Irish rules must be changed. I am requesting to change the law of Ireland.

The woman’s husband, Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, said:

Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning, Savita asked if they could not save the baby, could they end the pregnancy? The consultant said: ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat, we can’t do anything.’

Again on Tuesday morning … the consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

He said his wife vomited repeatedly and collapsed in a restroom that night, but doctors wouldn’t terminate the foetus because its heart was still beating. The foetus died the following day and its remains were surgically removed. Within hours, Savita was placed under sedation in intensive care with blood poisoning and he was never able to speak with her again .

She was pronounced dead early Sunday, October 28, and, according to this report, Praveen Halappanavar took his wife’s remains back to India for a Hindu funeral and cremation on November 03.

Rachel Donnelly, a spokeswoman for Galway Pro-Choice, an abortion rights organisation, is reported here as saying:

If a story like this does not change the minds of the political establishment in Ireland, I don’t know what will. We need to ensure something like this never happens again.

But  the pro-life Youth Defence group, which campaigns against any change in the existing abortion laws, released a statement in response to the death stating that:

Ireland’s ban on abortion does not pose a threat to women’s lives.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs is also taking an interest in the death of the dentist. The Ministry said that the Indian embassy in Dublin is closely monitoring the developments. It stated:

We deeply regret the tragic death of Ms Halappanavar. Our Embassy in Dublin is following the matter closely. We understand that the Irish authorities have initiated two inquiries and we are awaiting the results.

India National Commission for Women also said a change in Ireland’s laws was needed.

Even an Indian Catholic priest, Father Dominic Emmanuel, entered the fray, saying that while his religion bans abortion, the mother in this case should have been saved.

The debate over legalising abortion in Ireland flared on Wednesday when the Government confirmed the circumstances of Savita’s death. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he was awaiting findings from three investigations into the death

Her case highlighted the legal limbo in which pregnant women facing severe health problems can find themselves in predominantly Catholic Ireland.

Ireland’s constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling found the procedure should be legalised in cases where a woman’s life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy.

Five governments since have refused to pass a law resolving the confusion, leaving Irish hospitals reluctant to terminate pregnancies except in the most obviously life-threatening circumstances.

The vast bulk of Irish women wanting abortions, an estimated 4,000 per year, simply travel to England, where abortion has been legal on demand since 1967. But that option is difficult, if not impossible, for women in failing health.

The hospital declined to say whether doctors believed Halappanavar’s blood poisoning could have been reversed had she received an abortion rather than waiting for the foetus to die on its own.

In a statement, it described its own investigation into the death, and a parallel probe by the government’s Health Service Executive, as “standard practice” whenever a pregnant woman dies in a hospital. The Galway coroner also planned a public inquest.

Hat tip: Alan Prim and Andy Brown

74 responses to “Anti-abortion law in Ireland slammed”

  1. Lazy Susan says:

    Barry – By-line on that web page:


    I suppose it’s only a short step from absolute morality to absolute gender. Neither makes much sense. But gender with a scale? What are the units? Is it nominal, ordinal, interval or rational? Will he be twice the man he was when he was only a 6? Is this the same scale that men use to grade women (as in “She’s an 8!”)?

    Inquiring minds need to know.

  2. Broga says:

    @Barry Duke: How twisted and sick! These parents were not doing this for their baby who endured five days of agony. They couldn’t be. They were doing it for their own vanity, to attract admiration from christians as sick as themselves. They preened themselves while attracting praise based on the agony they inflicted on a baby. What a terrible act of inflicting prolonged agony on a helpless baby. Religion is a disease. I wonder if Ken can produce some good out of this one?

  3. Matt Westwood says:

    @Ken: “This is probably the only situation where abortion could ever be justified, true in only a vanishingly small number of cases.”

    And this is where I could never agree with you. Abortion should be made freely available at the will of the woman involved in the following cases, most important at the top, those closer to the bottom are more negotiable:

    1. Pregnancy as a result of rape, especially incestuous.

    2. Pregnancy as a result of non-rape incest.

    3. Pregnancy in a girl under the age of consent.

    4. Pregnancy in a woman who does not want a child.

    Any interference with the above is fascism and should be fought to the death.

  4. remigius says:

    Matt. Top of my list would be 1. Pregnancy through immaculate conception. If the so-called Virgin Mary had had the sense to terminate we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  5. Barry Duke says:

    @ Broga: Even more sickening was the fact that this couple were treated as latter day saints in the Dallas News, that reported:

    “They had five days to cherish Thomas before he succumbed on the morning of July 4, 2008, to heart and lung and brain defects caused by trisomy 13.”

  6. Ken says:

    Simply to blame the Catholics in this instance is prejudicial. I wondered what their stance on the health of the mother issue would be, and google found the following at Pope Pius XII said:

    “Deliberately we have always used the expression ‘direct attempt on the life of an innocent person,’ ‘direct killing.’ Because if, for example, the saving of the life of the future mother, independently of her pregnant condition, should urgently require a surgical act or other therapeutic treatment which would have as an accessory consequence, in no way desired or intended, but inevitable, the death of the fetus, such an act could no longer be called a direct attempt on an innocent life. Under these conditions the operation can be lawful, like other similar medical interventions—granted always that a good of high worth is concerned, such as life, and that it is not possible to postpone the operation until after the birth of the child, nor to have recourse to other efficacious remedies.”

    He later goes on to say:

    “Never and in no case has the Church taught that the life of the child must be preferred to that of the mother. It is erroneous to put the question with this alternative: either the life of the child or that of the mother. No, neither the life of the mother nor that of the child can be subjected to an act of direct suppression. In the one case as in the other, there can be but one obligation: to make every effort to save the lives of both, of the mother and the child.”

    This is getting it from the horse’s mouth (as it were). It’s something most protestants would agree with I would think.

  7. Lazy Susan says:

    Ken – Very interesting but only in an abstract way. I for one don’t give a damn what Pope Whoever said about abortion. I. really. don’t. care.

  8. Broga says:

    @Lazy Susan: Same here. What the hell has any of this got to do with a supposed celibate Pope and his supposed celibate priests.

    Ken is, of course, a confused and defensive christian. I wonder if he has a wife/femal partner or daughters, or female grandchildren (as I have) and with them in mind would he feel any differently. I certainly don’t see the Pope (reared as a Nazi and protective of RC paedophile priests) as having any worthwhile opinion on any of this.

  9. David Anderson says:

    And so Ken bangs on. Ken, the woman, a medical professional herself (albeit a dentist) was fully aware of her condition and asked for an abortion. She was denied this because as the doctors said Ireland is a Catholic country and they were unable to perform an abortion because the feotus had a heartbeat.

    The only question that needs to be asked is if the doctors and administrators of that hospital interpretated the law correctly.
    It is true that she may have died anyway but we and her family will never find out because of the ROMAN CATHOLIC FUCKING CHURCH:

  10. Ken says:

    The point, David Anderson, being that whatever the doctors said about Ireland being Catholic, a previous Pope himself had clarified that saving the life of the mother where there is no other choice is a lawful operation. So it is pointless bashing the Catholics for this death.

    Lazy Susan – I am not a follower of the Pope either, but there is no point attacking the RCC for something it doesn’t actually believe or do.

  11. David Anderson says:

    There’s none so blind etc.

  12. Ken says:

    Yep, that’s true.

  13. Broga says:

    Ken: Anthropomorphism: ascription of human characteristics to what is not human. You seem to be accepting that man invented God. I don’t think many here will disagree with you on that. Whether what you said is what you intended to say is another matter.

  14. remigius says:

    Ken, what the authority figure says and what the followers do are two very different things. Remember that Jesus said OT laws must be followed, whereas you said you don’t have to!

    Still wearing the mixed fibres?

  15. AgentCormac says:

    Despite what some pope had declared, Ken the point is that the RCC had so indoctrinated the surgeon with its mumbo jumbo and abhorrent views on life that he believed he could not and should not save the woman’s life.

    For that reason alone the RCC deserves bashing into the dust and burying there, where I would quite happily dance on its grave.

  16. Ken says:

    If the surgeon had been more aware of Catholic doctrine regarding saving a mother in these circumstances, he probably would have acted differently.

    This is in this instance a pointless attack, as is the mixed fibres thing, though I wonder just what it would take to pursuade an atheist that Christians aren’t OT Jews. It’s all faulty reasoning.

  17. Stephen Mynett says:

    When christian organisations stop trying to tell people how to run their life and act in accordance with the laws of the country they are in and observe the democratic rights of all citizens, I would have far less criticism of them.

    However, your reaction, digging up a quote by a former pope that the vatican handily managed to find, rather than address the problem concerned, is not evidence that the rcc is changing. The actions of pro-life and the rcc are often at odds with that statement, therefore it is meaningless.

    I am afraid you are just another religioinst who cannot face all of the evils done by your church, often in the name of the church, and all of the cover-ups.

    You, like anyone else, has a right to believe what you want but you do not have that right to force it on others.

    I refuse to get into an argument on anti-semitism with you, so will ignore your Jew reference. However, I do not despise all christians, only those who cause harm or are supportive of those who cause harm. The simple fact is that too many adherents of all religions do as they are instructed by their church, regardless of the damage it can cause, because they refuse to act and think for themselves.

    Give me evidence that all your religious groups are fully willing to take part in and observe the laws of a democratic society and I would change my views.

  18. David Anderson says:

    Beyond our Ken.

  19. Stephen Mynett says:

    He could certainly drive you round the bend, sorry I mean Horne.

  20. Ken says:

    Stephen Mynett – I’m not Catholic!! My sole point has been to point out the assumptions being made about what happened in this case, and that there is no point in attacking the RCC for something it officially doesn’t believe.

    The OT Jews reference is regarding the continuous attempt by atheists to put NT believers under the OT law based on one verse in Matthew and ignoring the rest of the NT.

    The NT, incidentally, obligates believers to obey the law of the land in the form of the govt, except where something clearly immoral is being enacted.

  21. AgentCormac says:


    Morals as decided by whom?

  22. remigius says:

    Ken, that one verse in Matthew is your fucking messiah instructing you to obey OT law!

  23. […] Woman who died after being denied an abortion told Irish doctors ‘I’m neither Irish nor … […]

  24. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    It would seem that this isn’t the first case of it’s kind. The lady in this report couldn’t get cancer treatment immediately because of her pregnancy. She is now dead from cancer. Could she have lived if she had gotten treatment earlier? The report doesn’t say but just the fact that he was denied an abortion and therefore couldn’t get treatment is, in itself, disgusting.