14
Nov
12

ula statement on death of Savita Halappanavar

Legislate for X Case NOW.

Protest at Dáil, Weds November 14, 6pm.
The death last weekend of a woman who was denied a life-saving abortion is an outrage which demands immediate action, said ULA TD’s Clare Daly and Joan Collins.

Sadly,” said Clare Daly, “the very thing we feared last April when we put our X Case Bill before the Dáil, has happened. A woman has died because Galway University Hospital refused to perform an abortion needed to prevent serious risk to her life. This is a situation we were told would never arise. An unviable fetus – the woman was having a miscarriage – was given priority over the woman’s life, who unfortunately and predictably developed septicemia and died.

First and foremost we wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the woman’s husband, family and friends for their terribly loss. This loss is all the worse because it need not have happened.

Make no mistake, had Labour and Fine Gael acted upon our Bill, medical guidelines could have been in place which would have ensured that there would have been no grounds for equivocation about performing an abortion when there was a risk to the life of the woman. Instead, the government took the cowardly step of hiding behind the fourth ‘expert group’ on abortion since 1992. This refusal to act has contributed to the circumstances which brought about this woman’s death. Fianna Fáil and the Greens also bear responsibility, due to their failure to legislate for the X Case.”
Joan Collins said that the TD’s demand immediate action by the government.

“We demand a full and public enquiry into the circumstances of this woman’s death. We demand that Minister Reilly immediately publish the report of his ‘expert group’ – now four months overdue from its own promised publication date. We intend to re-submit our X Case Bill, which provides for legal abortion when there is a risk to the life of a woman, as soon as we can. We demand that the government immediately provide Dáil time to promptly bring our Bill into law.

A woman’s life has been sacrificed due to the unwillingness of Labour, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens to legislate in line with the Supreme Court ruling on the X Case in 1992. We call on the women of Ireland to take to the streets to ensure that action is taken to stop this ever happening again. The first step is to protest at the Dáil at 6pm on Wednesday evening, November 14.”

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2 Responses to “ula statement on death of Savita Halappanavar”


  1. 1 Sarah Carroll
    November 14, 2012 at 15:38

    The death of Savita Halappanavar should provoke outrage in anyone truly concerned about the health of women.

    Hopefully the investigation will shed some light on why Mrs. Halappanavar was refused treatment for miscarriage, when this treatment is regularly administered in this country, and is allowed for by the law and by the Medical Council.

    The treatment she needed was legal, so there is no question that a change in the law is what is needed here. It is medical negligence that she was not treated urgently.
    In cases where the fetus is still alive, the Medical Council in part 21.4 of its guidelines for medical doctors states that treatment is allowed even if “there is little of no hope of the baby surviving”.

    The treatment that Mrs. Halappanavar should have received is legal in this country. In fact, it is standard medical procedure in cases like hers. That she wasn’t treated is a failure of the hospital and medical team, not a problem with the law.
    I suspect that the medical council will strike off one or more people because of this and rightly so.

    The greatest thing we can do to honour Savita’s life is to insist on obstetric excellence – that is what saves women’s lives, not abortion.

    • November 15, 2012 at 08:47

      However it seems to be the case, according to the husband’s report, that the medical team refused to terminate the pregnancy because they were not confident that to do so would not break the law.

      It seems clear to me that where a woman in clear pain and sufferring is requesting a particular medical procedure, in this case a termination, she should have that carried out. That means women should have the right to choose. The current legal framework denies that right and was the direct cause of Savita’s death – it must be changed.


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