“This is a
Catholic barbaric country.”
Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.
At which point, it was too late to save her life.
“Let’s make this clear,” Echidne writes:
She was miscarrying. The fetus could not be saved. According to the Irish law abortion is legal to save the life of the pregnant woman. She was in agony. But she had to wait until the fetal heartbeat stopped.
Then her own heartbeat stopped.
It’s hard for me to understand a culture or a religion which is willing to waste a young woman’s life this way, assuming that the above descriptions of the case are true. … Halappanavar was miscarrying. There was no way for the fetus to be born alive. Yet she was made to go through days of agony and then an early death. For what possible reason? Malpractice? But what IS malpractice in a system of belief where women are aquaria?
Takeaway lesson for women everywhere: Do not get pregnant in Ireland. And if already pregnant, do not enter Ireland. It’s a potential death sentence if you do.
Update (by SH): This case has sparked a firestorm of debate in Ireland, after the Irish prime minister Enda Kenny publicly refused to commit to abortion reforms in the wake of the tragedy.
There is growing backlash against the Irish government following Ms Halappanavar’s death, with protests outside the Dail parliament planned for later this evening.
Earlier this year, members of the Dáil Éireann (TDs), the lower house, rejected a bill which would have introduced new laws to allow an abortion in specific life-threatening circumstances.
Left-wing TD Clare Daly criticised the hospital’s apparent refusal to grant the woman an abortion.
‘A woman has died because Galway University Hospital refused to perform an abortion needed to prevent serious risk to her life,’ she said.
‘This is a situation we were told would never arise. An unviable foetus – the woman was having a miscarriage – was given priority over the woman’s life, who unfortunately and predictably developed septicaemia and died.’
Americans are told much the same thing by rightwing pro-lifers.