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We Are All Savita Halappanavar: Catholic Hospital in Ireland Denies Woman Life-Saving Abortion

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Written by Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

See our further analysis of this case.

Last month, a woman was admitted to a hospital in Galway, Ireland. She was 17 weeks pregnant with a wanted child. She was experiencing severe back pain. She was found to be miscarrying the pregnancy.

Within days, she was dead.

Why? Because she ended up in a Catholic hospital, governed by an ethic that even a non-viable fetus doomed to die is more important than a living, breathing 31-year-old woman.

It really is that simple.

IrishTimes.com reports that Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, arrived at the hospital on October 21st. According to the story:

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, "this is a Catholic country."

Indeed.

So, the story continues, "She spent a further 2½ days "in agony" until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

 

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