Sunday, 13 January 2013
The Irish abortion debate
Her husband has said that there is no doubt in his mind that she would be alive today if she had been allowed to have an abortion.
Praveen Halappanavar said staff at University Hospital Galway told them Ireland was "a Catholic country" and refused to carry out a termination because they could still detect a foetal heartbeat.
The baby died anyway.
Savita's death has added fuel to the already heated debate in the Irish Republic about changes to the law to allow abortion to take place where there is a risk to the life of the mother.
The group Precious Life, which campaigns against abortion, said its thoughts and prayers were with Ms Halappanavar's family, adding "Ireland's laws protecting unborn babies do not pose a threat to women's lives, according to the obstetricians and gynaecologists who care for women every day." Clearly this is a group which does not allow facts to get in the way of its conclusions.
This coming week, several churches and religious bodies will make representations to the Irish government before they decide on exactly how the law should be framed.
This is not a case of a woman using a termination as a form of birth control, although many women in Ireland already cross the border into Ulster to do just that.
This is a case where Catholic religious dogma caused a woman who does not even share that faith to die needlessly. Whatever your religion, that cannot possibly be right and should not be allowed to happen again.
Let's hope that her unfortunate death helps bring about a change in the law that will prevent any further similar instances and at least that way she won't have died in vain...