Indian woman died after Irish hospital refused abortion

Featured - November 16th, 2012
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Outrage and sadness flooded Twitter over the death of an Indian woman after she was allegedly denied an abortion in a hospital in Ireland.

Savita Halappanavar, 17 weeks pregnant, complained of back pains at the University Hospital Galway on Oct. 21 and was found to be miscarrying. Savita had asked the hospital several times to terminate the pregnancy but the hospital refused, saying a heartbeat was still present, her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, told The Times of India.

Savita died a week later of septicaemia, or blood poisoning, after the dead fetus was removed when its heartbeat eventually stopped.

Praveen said the doctor had told them the baby wouldn’t survive but that as long as a foetal hearbeat was still present, they could not perform the abortion.

Ireland’s constitution bans abortion mainly on the grounds of Catholicism but a court ruled the procedure legal for situations when the woman’s life is endangered in 1992. However, the government has yet to pass the law.

The Indian government has expressed concern over the “tragic death”.

The Womenscouncilireland posted on Twitter: “The death of Savita Halappanavar is a national shame, sincere condolences to her husband and family”.

“A woman’s prventable death is the sad and shameful result of years of political and moral cowardice in Ireland,” another post read.