Savita Halappanavar was refused an abortion of the fetus that was dying and poisoning her body because it still had a heartbeat.
As the heartbeat faded, the abortion was granted but it was too late. Savita died shortly afterwards of septicemia, and E Coli infection.
Irish doctors allegedly told Savita “This is a Catholic country” when she asked for an abortion for the pregnancy she was miscarrying to avoid further complications. After 3 days of blinding pain, shaking, vomiting and passing out, she again asked for the abortion that would have saved her life and she was again refused.
Savita was neither Irish, nor Catholic. Her beliefs were disregarded and, her choices were taken from her to continue the life of a dying fetus that would have had no chance of survival. It’s right to life, was more important than hers.
The debate over the legalization of abortion in Ireland erupted since Savita’s life may have been saved had she been granted one. The constitution in Ireland officially bans abortion but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling said the procedure should be legalized in the case that the fetus threatens the life of the mother. Five governments since then have failed to reach a resolution on the change, leaving hospitals hesitant to terminate pregnancies except in the most life threatening of circumstances.
Most Irish women who want abortions travel to England, where it has been legal since 1967, but in Savita’s case this would have been impossible for her to do in the state she was in.
The hospital refuses to say whether or not the blood poisoning that ultimately killed Savita could have been prevented by the abortion she requested. The Prime Minister is awaiting the results medical examiner to determine whether or not to address the issue.
Only two months prior a consortium of Irish doctors gather to declare abortions medically unnecessary. They stated:
“We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”
I don’t think Savita Halappanavar receieved optimal care, and I’m sure those she has left behind feel the same way.
What is your opinion on abortion in the case that the mother’s life is in danger? Was it right to hold on to the fetus who’s heart was still beating but would not survive? Let know in the comments below.