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Indian woman dies in Ireland after being refused abortion

Dublin, Nov 16 (): An Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar, died after she was allegedly denied an abortion in an Ireland hospital in the pro-life Catholic country.

Savita, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant, when she was admitted to the University Hospital Galway in the west of the country with complaints of back pain on October 21 and was found to be miscarrying. She died on 28th October of septicaemia, a week after she was admitted to the hospital.

Ireland’s government on Wednesday confirmed that Savita suffered from blood poisoning and died after being denied an abortion, reigniting the debate over legalizing abortion in the predominantly Catholic country.

Praveen Halappanavar (34), her husband an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, said that Savita asked many times over a period of three-days for terminating her pregnancy. He said that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, her water had broken and she was vomiting frequently. Unbearable, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

Praveen said his wife vomited repeatedly and collapsed in a restroom that night, but doctors wouldn’t terminate the foetus because its heart was still beating and the couple were told, “Ireland is a Catholic country”. Abortion is illegal in Ireland unless a woman’s life is in danger if she continues her pregnancy. Savita spent 2½ days more “in pain” until the heartbeat of the foetus stopped.

Then dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on 28th.

Andanappa Yalagi, Savita’s father, said combination of Irish abortion laws and medical negligence led to the death of his daughter.

Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny termed the death of the young pregnant dentist as a “tragedy”.

Thousands of people rallied outside Ireland’s parliament on Wednesday to demand strict abortion rules. Left-wing MPs Joan Collins and Clare Daly, who had presented a bill earlier this year in the Parliament to permit an abortion in some definite life-threatening situations, said had their suggestions been recognised, Savita would have been alive.

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