Two years ago on October 28th, a young professional (dentist) from India, Dr Savita Halappanavar, tragically died following complications during pregnancy at a hospital in Galway, Republic of Ireland. She may still be alive if medics had carried out procedures that would've ended in the death of the baby.
I work in a Catholic school in North Leeds, an area with a high proportion of second or third generation Irish descent. So, with this massive Irish Catholic heritage, the case was followed with great interest in our community.
Dr Halappanavar was working in Ireland (she was originally from India) from India whilst expecting a child. It became clear that she was suffering a miscarriage at 17 weeks. She was admitted to hospital but died a week later from sepsis (infection). The family complained that they had asked for an “emergency abortion” but were told by staff that 'it's a Catholic country'. However, it was clear that she was suffering a miscarriage. Intervening earlier in a way that would've unintentionally ended the pregnancy may have saved her life, fact.
So, I can completely understand how the family concluded that Savita died due to Ireland's abortion laws.
We’re not talking about elective abortion here. We're talking about procedures to save the life of the mother. Common sense tells us that, if a mother dies while baby is still dependent, baby dies.
The Savita case was in October 2012. Following the case, there was an outcry against the existing laws and those who supported them. Pro-abortion activists and politicians successfully used this case to change the law and essentially legalise abortion under an 'emergency' bill. Subsequently, however, things have changed.
The coroner's report into the case (published in April 2013) did not rule that Savita died due to the law, rather 'medical misadventure'. MISADVENTURE! The medical staff did NOT follow the procedure that they should have. Just weeks ago, nine members of the staff on the case were disciplined over their handling of the case. Am I the only one who concludes that it has been proven that they didn't use all of the legal options, including lifesaving procedures that would unfortunately lead to the death of the unborn, but are a necessary evil? The law at the time stated that termination is permissible if the woman’s life is at risk as did the current medical protocols. This is not the guidance that those doctors, nurses and midwives followed that day.
So my last question is why is this 'emergency' bill still on statute in Ireland? It's been categorically disproved that the law as it stood caused the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar.
Rest in peace Savita, and baby.