Ireland Abortion Scandal: Death of a Pregnant Woman Prompts Soul-Searching

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PETER MUHLY / AFP / Getty Images

Protestors hold pictures of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian woman who was allegedly refused a pregnancy termination, as they gather outside Leinster House, the Irish Parliament building, during a demonstration in favor of abortion legislation in Dublin, Ireland, Nov. 14, 2012.

The death of an Indian woman who was allegedly refused an abortion even though her life appeared to her and her husband to be in danger has prompted Irish abortion rights activists to protest in several cities around the predominantly Catholic country. The public announcement on Nov. 14 of the woman’s death, which occurred last month in a hospital in the city of Galway, coincides with the release of a report commissioned by the Irish government into whether Ireland’s strict abortion laws should be liberalized.

“If a story like this does not change the minds of the political establishment in Ireland, I don’t know what will,” says Rachel Donnelly, a spokeswoman for Galway Pro-Choice, an abortion rights organization. “We need to ensure something like this never happens again.”

(MORE: Ireland’s Abortion Debate Heats Up)

In a sign of how contentious the issue is in Ireland, the pro-life Youth Defence group, which campaigns against any change in the existing abortion laws, released a statement in response to the death stating that “Ireland’s ban on abortion does not pose a threat to women’s lives.”

The woman, a 31-year-old dentist named Savita Halappanavar, died at University Hospital Galway on Oct. 28. An autopsy carried out by the hospital two dayslater found that she had died from blood-poisoning and an infection known as E.coli ESBL, according to a report in the Irish Times. News of her death became public on Nov. 14 following an interview that her husband gave to a newspaper. Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she began to suffer from back pains last month, her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, explained in a second interview on Nov. 14 to Ireland’s RTE radio. She was quickly brought to hospital, where medical staff told her she was fully dilated, was leaking amniotic fluid and would miscarry her child, her husband said. He said that the hospital staff informed his wife that the miscarriage would only take a few hours. Three days later the fetus died inside Halappanavar’s womb, he said. During this period Halappanavar was in extreme pain and continually asked doctors to terminate the pregnancy, her husband said. Staff refused, according to Praveen Halappanavar, on the grounds that they were prohibited from performing abortions by law and that they could not remove the fetus until its heart had stopped beating. Praveen Halappanavar told the Irish Times that they also refused on the grounds that “this is a Catholic country.”

Following the procedure Halappanavar was quickly taken into an intensive care unit where her health began to deteriorate, her husband said. She died on October 28. The code of confidentiality that exists between patient and doctor makes it hard to tell whether women have previously died under similar circumstances in Ireland.

The Irish health service, the Health Service Executive, issued a statement saying: “The HSE today extended its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the late Ms Halappanavar…The process of incident review seeks to ascertain the facts relating to the incident, draw conclusions and make recommendations in relation to any steps that may need to be taken to prevent a similar incident occurring again.”

(MORE: The Irish Answer)

Abortion in Ireland is available only when the life of the mother is at risk. However, a lack of clarity in legislation has led to confusion within the Irish medical profession as to when a woman’s life is at risk—with the result that abortions are rarely, if ever, performed under any circumstances.

The government formed a panel of lawyers and medical experts in January to examine a European Court of Human Rights ruling that stated that the right to the respect of privacy of a woman had been breached by the Irish state. The report, which is expected to include recommendations on possible revisions in Ireland’s abortion laws, is to be examined by the country’s Minister for Health.

The timing of the report’s publication and Halappanavar’s death are entirely coincidental but her death has thrust an already explosive issue into the forefront of Irish political debate. Two investigations are being carried out into her death. The Galway Roscommon University Hospital Group, the branch of the Irish health service that operates the hospital where Halappanavar died, has started an inquiry on a local level while the National Incident Management team of Ireland’s national health service is also examining the circumstances surrounding the death. The hospital says that a full report could take up to three months to complete. Meanwhile, Michael Martin, the leader of Fianna Fail, the main opposition party, called for an independent inquiry into the death on Wednesday. He told the Irish parliament that “a woman has died in circumstances which are very rare. It’s because of the rarity of the occurrence that in my view demands an exceptional response, and that exceptional response is an independent inquiry.” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said that he would prefer not to take any official action until the government has viewed the findings of the two inquiries.

Praveen Halappanavar told RTE on Wednesday of the pain and grief that he and his wife’s parents have suffered in recent weeks. “We were on top of the world and everyone was so excited, talking about the baby,” he told the Irish broadcaster. Instead, he said, he found himself last month sitting by his wife’s bedside “holding her hand while they were trying to pump her heart. Then the doctor just told me they’d lost her.”

Thecouple moved from Southern India to the small town of Westport in Ireland in 2008, RTE news reported. Savita had been working as a dentist while Praveenworked as an engineer for Boston Scientific, an American medical device manufacturer, in Galway. Savita Halappanavar’s family returned to India with her body on November 1, where she was cremated two days later. Mr. Halappanavar has confirmed that he plans to return to Ireland in the coming days.

MORE: Irish Austerity: Can the Government Last the Course?

89 comments
JohnBurrows
JohnBurrows

"I see that the pseudo-liberal wolf pack is out in force. This isnothing more than an attempt at social and cultural genocide against theIrish People and it is time for the Irish Government, in so far as oneexists, to start expelling diplomats and officials from those countrieswhose media and other agencies are fermenting hatred against Ireland. Itis time for all true Irish patriots to stand up and be counted and kickout the fascists and eugenicists who are creating these problems. Andjust for the record, I am not referring to the Catholic Church. Blamingthe Catholic Church has become the new method of covering up thefailings of a morally bankrupt liberal agenda. One only has to look atthe disgusting analogies they use equating an unborn human being with aparasite or a tumour. If that’s what they think of the unborn, can youimagine what they think about the elderly and the handicapped? Irelandis one of the safest countries in the world in which to have a baby andalways has been despite the torrent of lies and propaganda to thecontrary. Our politicians in the Irish Parliamentary Party and ourcowardly media (with one or two notable exceptions) have abandoned us tothe wolves. We freed ourselves before with neither a Government ormedia to call our own, we can do it again.Eire Nua." - Mike Roe.

prioripete
prioripete

Seems to me the woman died from poison and not from the miscarriage.  And yes, this is not coincidental.  I don't think removing a miscarried fetus is abortion.  The blame should not directed at the Catholic Church but to cheap processed foods...

Letty
Letty

Anti-abortion sentiment has nothing to do with the bible or Jesus. It has to do with control-the busive control that the Catholic church exerts over the ignorant masses. A control reinforced by fear; having been raised Catholic, I know all about it. It is fightening and twisted.  The blood of this young woman falls on the ignorant- all of us who follow such a religion.

bip
bip

The e.coli ESBL blood poisoning that is believed to have caused her death affect 30,000 people a year in England and Wales. It is antibiotic resistant and is believed to be contracted from imported chicken.  Perhaps the fact that she was dying of blood poisoning is what triggered the miscarriage.  Everyone should calm down till all the facts are out.

bip
bip

I am certainly saddened to hear of this young woman's death. I think the outrage is a little premature until the inquiry determines why this poor woman died.  If an abortion would have saved her life and they failed to provide it, well that's gross malpractice.  Neither the Church nor the Republic of Ireland would deny a woman an abortion to save her life.  We never heard from the pro-death camp when Tonya Reeves, a 24 yr old mother of 1, bled to death in a Chicago Planned Parenthood last July following a botched abortion. Where is the outrage over the 300,000+ infants that Planned Parenthood slaughters every year. At least half of them were girls (future women). I know you like to dehumanize the baby by calling it a fetus, but maybe if you were Catholic you would know that fetus is latin for baby, or little one.

quasiintellectual
quasiintellectual

No doubt, doctors' handling of the pregnant woman in a precarious condition was nothing but an act of supererogatory cruelty. They had lost their judgment against the politically supported stupid religious dogmas.

LelioRisen
LelioRisen

This is why religious institutions cannot be responsible for setting anti-abortion legislation.

When the life of the mother is shown to be of less value than the life of the fetus, something is clearly off-kilter.

To deny a woman an abortion when the health of the mother is at stake is obscene. To force a woman to bear the child of rape or incest is equally immoral and unacceptable.

The only thing that those that cloak themselves in the term 'pro-life' care about is controlling the lives of others. Usually, they stop caring about life the moment the fetus is out of the womb.

@leliorisen

akpat
akpat

And to think Ryan and people like him want to impose Catholic will in this country.

MayuramMurali
MayuramMurali

There is no difference between Taliban shooting Malala in Pakistan denying her right to education and Irish Hospital denying Savitha denying her right to live.  Both are religion based and both are barbaric.  No difference

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

Simple solution: vote with your feet.  It's not a secret that Ireland is an anti-abortion state; if you don't want to live in an anti-abortion state, don't live in Ireland.  There are plenty of other first-world nations that will be happy to take well educated people like engineers and dentists and won't condemn them to death if their pregnancy has a serious complication.

fbford
fbford

Lay her i' th' earth, And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest, A minist'ring angel shall my sister be When, thou liest howling.

falcon269
falcon269

This negligent homicide on the part of the Catholic church's influence is the responsibility of the group of old men in the Vatican. There is not a single mention of abortion in the bible unless you contort the words as set forth in translation, yet there is an obsession by religious nuts. Since no one is advocating forced abortion in the western world, the Catholic needs to adopt "don't ask, don't care." Get out of women's uteri.

ArabianDacoit
ArabianDacoit

The sad thing is if this woman was in India, a third world country with horrific general crimes against woman,she would be alive in this case. The mothers life is always first, as the woman's mother said,to save a 4 moth fetus,they killed her 31 year old daughter.Pathetic.

Saor
Saor

Charges of backwardness are not completely without base, but let's be fair about this. I am a part of the very significant percentage of Irish people who have longed since childhood for a government and a society free of the strangle-hold of the Catholic church. It is a backward institution and one that is responsible for the hobbling of our nations critical faculties on a grand scale for generations via it's usurping of our government and our educational institutions. Which is precisely the agenda of too many religious groups in the US, to initiate a state of affairs where the mindless superstitions of they respective religions are manifested as law and forced upon all. You what happened in the Savita case was the result of a government in love with a poisonous religion, pandering to elements of our citizenry equally blind in their ridiculous faith and spurred to the voting booth with a duty inspired by ingrained backwardness and flat-earth thinking, but we all have our fair share of these kinds of people, unfortunately in our country they've managed to take-over; be warned America, don't let it happen to you.

wheaty
wheaty

Religion always kills people. That is why John Lennon said 'imagine all the people living without religion. Religious people should be prosecuted or killed. If they are exterminated, I can bet my life on that the world will be more peaceful than it is now.

drei
drei

This is negligent homicide, pure and simple. I dont think it has so much to do with Ireland's laws as it does with the doctors in that hospital and their idiocy in allowing someone to die. I find it hard to believe Ireland's laws would have punished them in any way if they had aborted after THEY concluded the baby was impossible to save and the mother's life was in danger.  

superthingy
superthingy

It's a sad day to be Irish (Being Irish myself), but people calling us backwards and neanderthals? Stop assuming you know exactly what's happened here. We're one of the most educated societies in the world, and fair enough, we've a lot of work to do still in rectifying the law that is already there to protect a womans life, but get of your high horses. Every country in the world has blood on its hands due to backwards thinking in recent times. And if you deny that, you can add naivety to you list too

MarthaGuyer
MarthaGuyer

This is outrages & why i have been terribly conflicted by domineering religious rule!

Kiwipolitico6
Kiwipolitico6

I don't see why everyone here is labeling Ireland as a 'backwards' country in terms of its prohibition on abortion -this is the direction the US is moving in as well; with a considerable number of State legislatures moving to restrict abortion to first/second trimester, and only on the grounds of threat to the life or physical health of the mother.  The reality is that Mrs Halappanavar would likely have suffered a similar fate had she lived in one of the more abortion-restricted states in the US.

And since many of the hospitals in the US are owned or part-owned by the Catholic church or bodies affiliated with it, the situation for women in the US needing abortions will get worse unless the Government and/or Supreme Court step in to regulate abortion at a Federal level and prevent states from adopting anti abortion stances, or regulations that effectively shut down abortion clinics or hospital abortion services.

The main arguments in favour of allowing abortion on reasonable grounds are (and always have been) practical rather than ethical.  Lawful abortion performed by competent people in a sterile hospital environment is critical to avoiding death and injury to women seeking abortions.  You only need to look back to the days before abortion was legalised to see what happens to women when it's illegal.

melisperro
melisperro

Better to make abortion 'on demand' than to have a handful of incidents like this.  After all, why have a few exceptions when you can follow the lead of that USA and have more than 55 million abortions performed in the 40 years since it was allowed there.  It is always helpful to the media and supporters of a horrific idea to have a couple of exceptional situations show up so that they can push their agenda.

One has to wonder what might have happened to Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had their mother's  been able to get easy access to an abortion, given that their father's were none too eager to stick around after their births.

Letty
Letty

Oh, Ireland, Ireland. I am so angry right now, all I can say is, shame on you. You and your anti-woman religion. How very sad.

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

The issue of pro-life or whatever is really not "the question" in Ireland.  With respect to my own families of physicians in Ireland,  common sense is that Ireland fancies itself as the paragon of medical care.... is nothing more than lots and lots of medical care.  Overprescribing and overdoing are not words the Irish hospitals would notice.  Really they can not do enough... in hospitals or grocery stores.   The big bad item is the "R" word; Responsibility (for the patient). Why do you think the overdoing is done?  It is not quality ... but protection from blame.  The government and church is always an issue in Ireland.  "Ireland, Ireland... is my first love, where God and Ceasar go hand in Glove".... yes Jimmy Joyce's mother was a Murray! 

On the other side of the "equation", the idea that Ireland is the paragon of virtue or that life is so precious is largely (from Wicklow to Sligo) dogma and easy to gossip about.  At the end of the day is RESPONSIBILITY.  That word comes a bit slow to the Irish, even the doctors when they are about to be indicted for crimes.  Rather the "R" question quickly callus up the the "C" question of "Competence"; this is the key question.  Does Ireland dare to handle it?  At the end of the day, reform will come..when?  ... we know the name of the attending physician. Who was it and why this.   Sorry Ireland... it cometh.

mtchaney
mtchaney

Jesus take the wheel, when are people like these lunatic anti-choicers going to get it through their thick skulls that an ALREADY BORN woman's life is far more important than that of a fetus.  Rhetorical question, I know.  The answer is, I'm sure, NEVER.

JonMyers
JonMyers

Wow!  I can now add Ireland to the list of backwards, archaic, countries that I will never visit.  Most of them were in the middle east but I suppose it was a matter of time.

And here I thought Americans were neanderthals for electing Bush!

Shame on the Irish people for allowing this fanaticism to exist so long unchallenged.  Shame on the Irish people for killing their women based on the words of men who rape children. 

pendragon05
pendragon05

Chances are this woman was not even Catholic - that baby would NOT have been brought up as a member of the obsolete Roman Catholic church

daniel_guibord
daniel_guibord

The doctors who refused to perform the abortion are nothing more than a bunch of cowards and criminals.

Lizziern
Lizziern

Don't doctors in Galway take the hippocratic oath?  They obviously harmed this woman due to the barbaric Catholic beliefs that a fetus 17 weeks old is a baby and could be viable.  Shame on all of the medical staff who let this happen, shame on the Irish Government for following inane Catholic teaching.  Just how did they determine there was a heart beat?  Were they hearing hers or the fetus'?  This is a sickening case of religion mussing up medicine.  

This is an example of why we should have abortion rights.  If there is any harm to the mother be it physical or mental then the right to terminate should be given.  A woman's body belongs to her and no one else.  Men should shut their mouths about anything related to abortion.  If men were the sex to become pregnant, there would be drive thru abortions in every country.  The idiot Republicans in US lost the vote of many women be they Catholic or any other religion that frowns upon abortion due to their insane right to life stance.  

MacdonaldBank
MacdonaldBank

There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of christianity and other religions. Our early human ancestors; on this earth … go back more than 6 million years … 5,996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews. Christianity is basically a 2012 year old fictional cult. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate & market Christianity - a fantasy - which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world.

jvb
jvb

This is indeed a tragic case. I think it is unfortunate that it is being heralded as a cry for abortion rights, however. If this case was indeed treated with the most appropriate medical approach, than it is truly an extremely rare situation. Other than tubal pregnancies, there are very few conditions in which the presence of a living baby in the womb actually causes the mother's life to be threatened. Before everyone jumps the gun, can it be proven that this poor woman would have survived had the baby been removed a day earlier? I don't think this can be known with certainty. This situation is very sad, but I would ask people to slow down and consider the facts, and not the media hype before coming to a conclusion about this case.

CARMEL350
CARMEL350

@Letty Can you tell me where Tonya Reeves blood falls on?

ind123
ind123

@bip you calm down idiot. She died in Ireland which is not in UK. You will die of e.coli defo

melisperro
melisperro

@Kiwipolitico6 What other right, when exercised as intended, must result in the destruction of human potential?  The whole idea that abortion is a woman's right is ludicrous.  Not to mention that in the US while it is solely the woman's decision whether to allow the child to be born it is immediately the father's financial responsibility to support the child if she decides to have it; so in practice his rights are denied while he is held responsible for the outcome.  Just one of many interesting legal convolutions abortion on demand requires.

As far as the individual states restricting abortion, are you referring to the push to have abortion clinics regulated in the same way that other medical facilities are?  That push has been prompted by the gruesome deaths of several mothers and health violations uncovered across the country in abortion clinics.  It is outpatient 'surgery', how could it be allowed to go unregulated?  If only the deaths and circumstances surrounding the botched abortion care given women such as Dawn Ravenell (a 13 year old) and Tonya Reaves received as much media attention as this the discussion on 'choice' would be much different.

reitaj
reitaj

@melisperro And what might have happened if Hitler, the unwanted and unloved child had not been born to torment?

tamas
tamas

@melisperro You are completely missing the point.  None of the mothers of the famous people you quoted wanted to have abortion in the first place and I don't think their life was in any danger.  Here Mrs.Halappanavar was in danger and was denied the medical attention!  She was told "this is a Catholic country" and only the true investigation will tell what it meant under what context.   Futhermore, she was not even catholic and why impose a religious belief on another who is not even from the same religion.  If doctor is unwilling to perform one because of a belief, he/she shouldn't take up this profession.

Irrespective of whether father is willing to support the baby or not it should be mother's choice.

hsmom
hsmom

@Letty LOL!  Catholicism is actually very pro-woman and very much in awe of the ability of women to nurture life within her body and bring it forth into the world!  

Oh, Letty...I'm so saddened by your misunderstanding of Catholicism.....

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@Letty Well I assume they (Irish) are a bit Victorian... and perhaps a good deal more old school English than they would like to consider.  But surely your sayings will fall of deaf ears in the the villages.  The church (Roman Catholic) is fully aware of the awful heritage is has dropped on the Irish People.  Nonetheless the nimnulls find a strange satisfaction in adhering to the "auld ways".  But if you like social disasters, head east into Europe... or if you dare, head south to the South Americas.  "Anti Woman" is not a known concept. The most effective way to have your audience ignore you is to call them names. Meanwhile they are more likely to hear your are "very sad".   People are a bit strange everywhere. So where do you come from? 

superthingy
superthingy

@JonMyers Good, we don't want people like you who slander a whole countries image on a news article, which has is based on an incident that is still undergoing investigation and inquiry.

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@JonMyers   Jon Myers... your reply is too complicated and the point of your arrow is far afield. Ireland is neither archaic nor backward... please do not be a guest there, especially if you are pregnant and in need of medical assistance.

 I suspect you in your enthusiasm is to visit shame as a remedy... rather it reflects paucity in your own perceptions.   To be fair there are too many plausible and debatable arguments to be sorted out for those sins you so easily visit on the Irish people "" for killing their women based on the words of men who rape children."  There is really no website that can make anything coherent or backward, or fanatic in values as your own words.  Take it easy.  and ... think  Shame on you" your words do not good and do not appear to be intended to do so.  Come alive when you know better . Meanwhile you may happily stay out of Ireland, and most of South America as well.  Reflect. 

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@pendragon05 So is your point that this was not a good corporate business agenda?  Maybe I missed something.

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@daniel_guibord   Well when the default is to be a criminal, it may be the better choice to be a coward?  Ask this of an Irishman and he will surely deceive you.... but tell everyone at the pub what a jerk you are. ;-)

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@Lizziern You generalize too much.  We have strange behaviours by doctors everywhere.  In Ireland a single death will make the news; in the USA... it is a complication. Do not assume that the medical staff knew much about this at all.  Best of all is to know the name of the Attending Physician... and direct your questions to him, rather than your policizing and generalizing.  The shame is that the Irish will think ... You are the idiot.  Why not? They indeed do generalize... so why reinforce their conclusions.  Take it easy and ..why do you talk about the loser USA Republicans?

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@Lizziern  Is there an option for an 80% like?   If so, I would give it to you... mostly on the point of the Hippocratic oath.  If one does not want to be a doctor to the patient, they should not be a doctor to the patient. Agreed.  The main issue is criminal penalties in Irish law and the role of church thinking in the constitution.  Asking an Irishman to be a hero is not  a category of Irishman that any would want to join; it is a history of betrayal and death.  Keep "these ideas" out of Law. Our life is already difficult but we (male and female) should have "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" or so we have it.  The insanity is when we stuff it all in the bag such that we think what is "right" is what makes us happy, especially when it comes to someone else. 

DanielGarigan
DanielGarigan

@MacdonaldBank  So to whom exactly and when was Constatine a Pope?  All else of your "argument" is unfounded conjecture... or did I miss something?  Try the  Novi Zakon... and better yet stay away form human organizations. I suspect you are not ready for them. All the best. 

Liz14
Liz14

@jvb Her cervix was fully dilated for three days - that's essentially medically equivalent to leaving an open wound untreated for three days. That's how she contracted septicemia. So yes, if the abortion had been performed once it was ascertained that the fetus was no longer viable, there is little doubt that she would have survived.

Kiwipolitico6
Kiwipolitico6

"Other than tubal pregnancies, there are very few conditions in which the presence of a living baby in the womb actually causes the mother's life to be threatened"

That statement is patently false.  There are a huge number of medical conditions either caused or exacerbated in intensity by a pregnancy.  The most common are high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure and pre-eclampsia, but there are a huge number of others as well.  Some of them have nothing to do with a pre-existing condition the women had before the pregnancy.  The pregnant woman's life and health must always be the priority of her treating physician (and society generally), and that should mean erring on the side of caution when deciding whether to allow a pregnancy to continue, in the event that she is ill.

JonMyers
JonMyers

Who cares how "rare" it is??!   If ONE woman dies because of your archaic laws that is more than enough.

I think jvb and SharronElizabeth need to move to Saudi Arabia, where religious law is the law of the land.

SharronElizabeth
SharronElizabeth

@jvb  I agree with you completely. Ireland already has laws in place to deal with having to take a child in the womb's life if it puts the mother at risk, they just need to make the situations it applies clear. But I really hope they don't use this occasion to give free rein to killing these babies in the womb just because its there as they do in America.  very rarely is the mother's life in danger.

ShannonFinch
ShannonFinch

@melisperro @Kiwipolitico6  ... "Tonya Reaves" must be the new Anti-Choice talking point. I have seen this from several times in defense of these self righteous ideals. There must have been an anti-choice memo sent out with talking points once this story went viral.

You can claim these misogynistic and draconian abortion laws in the states are to save women... but we all know its a lie. No matter how many times you try to convince people... the fact remains more women die from giving birth than having abortions. So why don't you go and promote birth control and sex education if you really give a rat's crack about women's lives.

VicarOfSaneField
VicarOfSaneField

@DanielGarigan @daniel_guibord What a rabid, dogmatic bigot Mr. Garigan is. No human tragedy will move him; no reason suffice. He is fixed in his views. Victory to invincible ignorance and inhumanity!

jvb
jvb

@Kiwipolitico6 Yes, there are certainly a large number of conditions that are associated with pregnancy, as you mentioned above;  however, my contention is that it is very rare that they cannot be properly managed with appropriate medical care, and very rarely (though sometimes) actually threaten the life of the mother despite proper medical treatment.  In these rare cases, I am not opposed to laws allowing the life of the mother to be saved (when the mother's life is truly at stake).  I am suggesting here that many people are rushing to judgement about this woman's case, not really knowing whether her life could have been saved either way, or if she received the proper treatment for her condition.

NorfleBurtle
NorfleBurtle

@JonMyers Because Saudi Arabia permits abortion not only to save the life of the mother, but also to preserve the physical and mental well being of the mother, this woman might well be alive had she been in a Saudi Arabian hospital.

tamas
tamas

@SharronElizabeth  Those laws are possibly useless.  From NYtimes - 

" In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights found that Ireland was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to provide an accessible and effective procedure to ascertain whether a woman qualified for a legal abortion."

That is pathetic.  

Also - "The (expert) report was eventually delivered Tuesday night, hours before news broke of Dr. Halappanavar’s death."

This is miserable.

JonMyers
JonMyers

@SharronElizabeth    

 The problem is when you have to play religious judo with a pregnant women's life THINGS GO WRONG. 

 Keep your pathetic neanderthal beliefs to yourself.  

StaceyMcKenzieMeans
StaceyMcKenzieMeans

@SharronElizabeth 

I didn't read carefully enough. I hadn't realized there were laws in place already to address the situation of defending the mother's life.

melisperro
melisperro

@ShannonFinch @melisperro @Kiwipolitico6 Clearly you are open minded and intelligent (essentially responding 'I don't really know what you're talking about, don't care to find out and couldn't care less if you're right').  Whether she is the new Pro-Life talking point or not it ought to be off-putting that the mainstream media in the US is not concerned with her death while they are already assigning blame for this death in Ireland.

Why don't you read the reports about how she died...or rather was killed by, those so concerned about women's health.  More interesting reading would be to look at the report,  by the state inspectors, of the violations at the abortion clinics in the state of Virginia.  Some of the conditions uncovered might make many women yearn for the old days of back alley abortions.

tamas
tamas

@melisperro Yes some good things have come out of the 'neanderthal' beliefs but that doesn't negate the fact the horrible  things that have resulted from those beliefs as well - wars, dogmas making life miserable, etc.

melisperro
melisperro

@JonMyers @SharronElizabeth Hahaha!  Those 'neanderthal' beliefs have educated more of the world than all the atheists in history and they run more hospitals and charities worldwide to boot.