Tánaiste seeks 'clarity' on abortion after Savita death
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said this morning there is a need to bring “legal clarity’’ to the abortion issue following the death of Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital.
Ms Halappanavar (31) presented to University Hospital Galway on October 21st with back pain, where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks. She died of septicaemia on October 28th.
“We need to ensure that in this country we do not have a doubt which arises in a hospital in a set of circumstances which puts a mother’s life at risk,” Mr Gilmore told the Dáil.
He said there was also a need for clarity for medical professionals who had to make judgement calls in those matters in the real-life situation of a hospital.
Earlier, Minister for Health James Reilly said he wants the findings of an inquiry into the death of Ms Halappanavar to stand up to “the scrutiny of the world”. The HSE review of the case is expected to take up to three months to complete and, while keen to hear answers, Dr Reilly warned against rushing the inquiry,
“You’re stuck between trying to get to the answers as quickly as you possibly can but not doing so in such a rushed fashion that you don’t get the true answers,” he told reporters in Dublin this morning. “I want the findings of this to stand up to the scrutiny of the world.”
Ireland’s ambassador to India is attempting to ease concerns in the country over the death of a woman who was refused an abortion as she miscarried.
Feilim McLaughlin is briefing government and opposition figures in New Delhi as two investigations got under way into Savita Halappanavar’s death on October 28th in Galway University Hospital.
Officials in diplomatic circles in Dublin said meetings were planned with politicians of all creeds in an effort to indicate the exact position on abortion in Ireland “in light of strong headlines”.
The India Times reported the death of Mrs Halappanavar as: “Ireland Murders Pregnant Indian Dentist.”
A spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said in a Twitter post that the Indian embassy in Dublin was “following the matter”.
Ms Halappanavar’s mother today called for a change in Ireland’s abortion laws.
“In an attempt to save a four-month-old foetus they killed my …. daughter. How is that fair you tell me?” Mrs A Mahadevi, Mrs Halappanavar’s mother, told Indian TV.
"How many more cases will there be? The rules should be changed as per the requirement of Hindus. We are Hindus, not Christians.”