Controversy in Ireland over death of woman after abortion refused

The death of a 31 year old woman at the Galway University Hospital last month is generating enormous controversy in Ireland.  Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she presented with back pain on 21 October.  Reports indicate that she was miscarrying, but that the foetus was still alive.  She requested an abortion several times but was refused.  The foetus was removed surgically once its heart stopped two days later. She developed septicaemia and died on 29 October. Several investigations are underway. [Irish Times]


One thought on “Controversy in Ireland over death of woman after abortion refused”

  1. It will be necessary to have a complete account of the facts and considerations informing the clinical judgement of the medical practitioners involved before any firm conclusions can be reached about whether or not her death can be attributed to treatments provided or refused. The absence of evidence has not prevented activists from drawing conclusions:

    . . .the medical staff of the hospital denied Savita an abortion even though she was constitutionally guaranteed one to save her life because this was a Catholic hospital and therefore the (to me) questionable “conscience rights” of the institutional Catholic church, the hospital, its doctors, really, whomever was involved there, superceded the right to life of a living, breathing woman. [ Jodi Jacobson, Reality Check]

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