Health Abortion Scandal

Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Key Reads

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Irish Abortion Scandal: Abortion Laws Cause Woman’s Death

Abortion Scandal

Irish Abortion Scandal: Abortion laws in Ireland cause a pregnant woman's death and many to reconsider their stance on abortion.



The death of a pregnant woman Ireland who was denied an abortion that would have saved her life has led to Irish abortion scandal of epic proportions. The woman, Savita Halappanavar, was a native Indian and worked as dentist in Galway. At 31 years of age and 17 weeks pregnant, she checked into a hospital in Galway on October 21 for treatment of extreme back pain. After testing, Doctors told Dr. Savita Halappanavar that she was having a miscarriage and, though the fetus’s hear still beat, the fetus had no chance of survival.

Dr. Halappanavar asked to abort the fetus multiple times to avoid further health complications, but her pleas were repeatedly denied. According to her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, the doctors told her that, while the fetus’s heart still beat, it would be illegal for her to have an abortion in Ireland. By the time  the fetus’s heart had stopped beating 3 days later, it was too late. Dr. Halappanavar had contracted a septicemia, a bacterial blood disease and died.

Dr. Halappanavar’s husband, who was told no after one plea for an abortion because “This is a Catholic country”, says that that he is talking about this only to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. He has stated, “How can you let a young woman go to save a baby who will die anyway?” Because of his stance, two government investigations have been announced to investigate the death and a hospital investigation is pending.

Irish Abortion Scandal: What it Means for International Abortion Laws

The tragedy caused by the Irish abortion scandal and Dr. Savita Halappanavar’s death, has caused a international fervor and many to reconsider their stance on abortion law and control of women’s bodies. Medical professionals are up in arms that the woman was denied and obviously medically necessary abortion because of antiquated abortion laws, even though the Irish supreme court ruled medically necessary abortions legal over 20 years ago.

Many European countries had already denigrated Ireland for denying women accessible abortions when there was legal need, and this irish abortion scandal has inflamed that sentiment. In fact countries around the world are reconsidering their abortion laws.

Ireland was the only country in Europe that didn’t allow abortions upon request, but many other countries in Africa, Asia, and South America have similar laws preventing women from getting needed abortions. The Irish abortion scandal has most probably caused, what will be, a huge change in abortion laws world wide.

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