The death of Savita Halappanavar


THE READERS:What you said on in recent days

On the night of Tuesday November 13th, the Irish Times report on the death of Savita Halappanavar was released with a single tweet that shared the front page of the following morning’s newspaper. That tweet reached a potential audience of hundreds of thousands and brought to global attention the story of what had happened in Galway days earlier.

The full text of the front-page article appeared on irishtimes.coman hour later, at 12.30am on Wednesday, November 14th. “Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month,” it reported.

That article, by Kitty Holland and Paul Cullen, is now the most-read and most-engaged-with article ever to have appeared on the Irish Times website. The article was engaged with more than 93,000 times on Facebook, with more than 16,000 people sharing the article among their social networks.

Discussion and debate on irishtimes.comaround the story, predominantly lead by Opinion & Analysis pieces from The Irish Times, has been intense. To date, of the articles on the Savita Halappanavar case that have been open to comment, almost 4,000 comments have been posted online.

This week, one article alone has attracted an unprecedented number of comments from readers, more than 1,000 in all. On Facebook the original article by Kitty Holland and Paul Cullen attracted more than 47,000 comments.

Thursday, November 15th

'Failure to legislate on X case test may cost lives'

Article: Barrister and law lecturer Paul McDermott wrote that “the judgments in the X case were delivered over two decades ago but it appears that it is still too early for our politicians to say what the effect of those judgments should be on our law”. Comments included:

The problem for the conservative elements of the legislature is that they know that the constitutional protection for the mother is significantly stronger than they would like to have to deal with. Anything they come up with will be tested. SmellybeardM

This is a shame on successive Irish governments, all politicians (who kept silent) the medical establishment, and the Catholic Church! My heart goes out to Savita’s husband and family, and may her death lead to progressive change. PaulMeuse

What muc savagery we present to the rest of the world. The insistance that a feotal heartbeat takes precedence over a womans life is barbaric, backward and bottom feeding madness. mollymaguire20

Friday, November 16th

‘Time for Government to stop talking and legislate’

Article: Senator Ivana Bacik wrote: “The courts have spoken. The people have spoken. A young woman has died tragically. It’s time for us to stop talking and legislate.”

This government must now produce legislation to resolve this intolerable indifference to the protection of the life of the mother in crisis pregnancy. Nothing less will suffice, the damage to Ireland’s reputation abroad is already incalculable. LeoRegan

We’re getting Lost in Legislation. Getting back to the human aspect, the saddest thing is that Savita Halappanavar never came to experience the motherhood she longed for nor got the opportunity to try again. NiallODonoghue

Christian religion murdered this woman. Religion is one of the foul things on this planet. This would not have happened in a normal country not run by religion. In memory of this lady and for the sake of every female of childbearing age in Ireland, this needs to change. We as women are tired of men trying to use christian mythology to rule us. TerriMerritts

The fact that this woman died from blood infection, septicaemia, following a miscarriage has already been established by medical autopsy. Induced abortion is permitted in the circumstances of miscarriage if it is deemed appropriate by medical professionals and is carried out in Ireland daily without any hullabaloo. MichaelHunt

Saturday, November 17th

‘Last thing Coalition wants is divisive debate on abortion’

Article: Political editor Stephen Collins wrote: “There is no appetite in the political system for another referendum on abortion.”

Doing nothing now on the protection of the mother’slife is not an option. Minds are concentrated now and the palpable outrage of the public majority will concentrate their minds, as does the European Court of Human Rights, and the government of India. This is a clear opportunity to show political leadership. LeoRegan

It is always deeply depressing and disgusting to have to witness the continuing and repeated cowardice and failure to act by so-called political “leaders”. I hope the Labour Party hold Fine Gael feet to the flames until this long-delayed legal matter is resolved. WebSurfer12

Despite all the hype promoted by the pro-abortionists, it should be obvious that the treatment of all patients in Ireland is based on best practice. That is why Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world to have a child. To say that a government who have ruined the country should be telling medical consultants how to do their job is farcical. EdwardLeane

Saturday, November 17th

‘Tragedy of Savita should not be used as excuse for witch-hunt’

Article:Columnist Breda O’Brien wrote: “It is sad that this family tragedy is being used to advance abortion legalisation”

The government must clarify the law of the land regarding abortion to comply with the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings. No medical doctor should be required to choose between the life of the mother and the life of a foetus because of fear of prosecution. Hibernium

Saturday, November 17th

‘When is an abortion not an abortion?’

Article: Columnist Fintan O’Toole wrote: “There is very strong pressure on politicians from anti-abortion groups to uphold the fiction that abortion is never necessary to save the life of a mother.”

When all is stripped away from this sad and tawdry episode we are left with the reality that we elect idiots who are incapable and unwilling to make any decisions in any regard at any time. Legislate on abortion? Ah no, you’re grand. Pick a site for the children’s hospital? Sure haven’t I appoint an expert group. Carry out your electoral mandate to repudiate some of the bank debt? Are ya mad, sure we can’t upset Angela. Not making decisions is the easiest way to avoid responsibility for making decisions. Why idiots who think like this believe they are fit for governing is beyond me. GerardCarthy

I think it’s sad that Savita and her baby died. Legislation in Ireland protects both mother and child. Something to be very proud of. Both their deaths should not lay way to further death. The clearly organised demonstrations and so called vigils (which are actually pro-abortion campaigns) do not speak for anyone i’ve spoken to. SheoMu

I wish people would stop using the word Abortion. Savita’s case is NOT about Abortion, but about doctors giving proper medical care to a pregnant woman without being held responsible for the ending of the life of the foetus as a result of the treatment. Abortion is the DELIBERATE ending of the life of the foetus – and not about medical treatment. The pro-abortionists WANT you to think ‘Abortion’ so as to progress their campaign to have it on demand. Don’t allow them to take control of the word. FërnandoRodvill

A clear exposition of the loathsome equivocations operating in the Irish psyche. This unfortunate woman was obliged to submit to a nineteenth-century death in a hospital equipped with twenty-first century technology. HazelCoffey

Monday, November 19th

‘Americans left agog at confused cruelty of Irish abortion law’

Article: Columnist Ann Marie Hourihane wrote: “You do get the sneaking impression that Ireland’s usual explanations are wearing thin. Can we, in all conscience, blame the Catholic Church?”

The ongoing Irish propensity for self delusion is reaching epic proportions. When is an abortion not an abortion? When the world turns on you and calls you out on being uncultivated savages, then abortion by another name becomes acceptable. mollymaguire20

Wednesday, November 21st

‘Only pregnant women should make decision on abortion’

Article: Columnist Vincent Browne wrote: “How in any individual case could anyone tell that the reasons for a pregnant woman opting for an abortion were trivial? Isn’t it obvious that only the woman herself is the person to make that moral judgment? Isn’t it obvious too that the criminalisation of a woman’s decision to end a pregnancy is but yet another instance of a patriarchal society seeking to control women?”

The Pro-Life movement are Pro-Birth, not pro life. They do not care what happens to the mother and baby after the baby is born. They don’t care about the child’s upbringing, the presence or absence of LOVE in the home, the mental state of the parent, abuse in the home – physical, mental or emotional, the opportunities the child will have. As long as the child is born, they are happy with that. I used to accept Pro-Lifers as just another part of Society that deserved to have a voice if they wanted one. My opinion has changed. Pro-Lifers do not want to allow women to make their own decisions on their own lives. As a woman I want to expose this oppression. RitaMcGrath

I fail to see how one person’s right to choose should supersede another’s right to life. Surely the most basic human right is the right to life? And if we accord children all kinds of other rights, as we did recently in the children’s referendum, how can we then fail to guarantee them this one? MiriamO’Regan

Interesting that most of the comments here are from males. How can a male possibly understand a pregnant woman’s emotions, feelings physicality etc. It’s a pity there are so many male experts around. Geoff Radcliffe

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