Young woman dies after hospital denies her life-saving abortion

In an absolutely tragic story, a 31-year-old pregnant woman died in a hospital in Ireland after being denied an abortion that would have saved her life. Now, THREE separate investigations are under way to find out the details surrounding the woman's death.


Doctors determined that Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, was miscarrying within hours after being admitted into the hospital on October 21.Though she was heartbroken, she was also in agonizing physical pain and so she asked medics if they could end the pregnancy since they could not save the baby. But she was told that Ireland was a "Catholic country" and that there was nothing she could do.  Um, WHAT?! Is that even legal?

Though Halappanavar suffered from severe symptoms, vomiting repeatedly and even collapsing at one point, the doctors continued to refuse to terminate the pregnancy because there was still a fetal heartbeat. When the fetus died on its own the following day, its remains were surgically removed. Unfortunately, it was too late. Halappanavar developed an infection and was pronounced dead a week after she first entered the hospital.

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So incredibly sad!  There has long since been a debate over legalizing abortion in Ireland, but this story really shows how many women's lives it is actually affecting. I can't imagine how Halappanavar's poor husband must feel. To lose both his baby and his wife in a matter of days? It's just absolutely heartbreaking.

But as tragic as the story is, it's also infuriating. I can't believe that the hospital's medics actually thought they had the right to deny a patient a potentially life-saving surgery--even though the patient herself was neither Irish nor Catholic! I am admittedly (and unashamedly) a firm believer in a woman's right to choose, so these cases are always hard for me to hear, but this one is especially angering. I just don't see how they could have denied Halappanavar's request, despite the fact that the baby couldn't be saved anyway and that her and her entire family were giving their consent. Their selfish decision not only cost her life, it also caused a horrible loss for her loved ones.

I just hope that now, the country will find cause to make change in the system, before any other woman has to give up her life due to someone else's beliefs.

Image via Courtesy Irish Times

Topics: abortion  about pregnancy  child birth  controversy