Abortion Law Death Sentence In Ireland
This post isn't about abortion. It's about choices. It's about choosing one life over another, and who makes that choice.
31 year old Savita Halappanavar died needlessly on October 28, 2012 at University Hospital Galway. She was a 31 year old dentist, active in her community, and sadly suffering from a natural miscarriage. Doctors informed Savita and her husband that the dying fetus could not possibly survive, and it's continued presence in Savita's body was poisoning her. The doctors went on to explain that they would not remove the fetus while it's heartbeat was still present, even if that meant Savita's death. Failure to remove the non-viable fetus lead to blood poisoning and massive organ failure, and Savita died.
I call this murder. Her doctors had to choose between saving her life and their own potential imprisonment, loss of medical licenses, and vilification. They chose to let her die.
Ireland's constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling said the procedure should be legal when the woman's life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy - exactly the situation in Savita's case. Sadly, a lack of direct medical guidelines relating to the law leaves doctors too uncertain to risk performing the procedure, even when there is clearly no other choice.
A doctor found performing an abortion in Ireland can lose their medical license and faces imprisonment. Women who seek abortions can be punished by life imprisonment. 4,000 Irish women go to England every year for abortions, where they have been legal since 1967.