Woman in Ireland Dies After Being Denied Abortion
Docs refused as dying fetus had heartbeat
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2012 2:42 AM CST
Protesters opposed to abortion hold placards outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast, Northern Ireland.   (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

(Newser) – The death of a woman who succumbed to blood poisoning days after being denied an abortion has caused an outcry in Ireland, where abortion is illegal unless the life of the woman is in danger, the Guardian reports. Savtia Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist, was 17 weeks pregnant when she was hospitalized with severe complications. Her husband says that after she was told her fetus would not survive, she asked for a medical termination but was denied one because a fetal heartbeat was present. She spent two more days in agony before the heartbeat stopped and died of septicemia soon afterward.

Halappanaver, a Hindu, was told "this is a Catholic country" despite her protestation that she was neither Catholic nor Irish, her husband tells the Irish Times. An Irish pro-choice campaigner says her death is the result of the government's failure to implement a European Court of Human Rights ruling ordering the country to bring in effective procedures to determine when a woman can have a legal abortion. "This was an obstetric emergency which should have been dealt with in a routine manner," she says. "Yet Irish doctors are restrained from making obvious medical decisions by a fear of potentially severe consequences."

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Showing 3 of 154 comments
Nov 15, 2012 7:15 AM CST
Quite honestly, I couldnt give less of a shit if some 2000 year old story that was printed on rolling papers said that blue huggie bears did annual rain dances on the moon! the fact of the matter is that this woman was denied her right to life because of some insane person with a little bit of power and a WHOLE LOT of crazy decided to tell others what they can do with their bodies. the doctor should lose his license, and possibly charged with involuntary manslaughter, the hospital should be sued, and the law should be reversed. these people need to scurry back into their homes in the woods and leave civilized people alone.
Nov 14, 2012 10:59 PM CST
dont ever get prego in ireland that will show them!
Nov 14, 2012 10:48 PM CST
A pretty potent reminder of the bullet we dodged 8 days ago.