Maternity hospital chief: Women and doctors need protection

The Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony, has said she is very disappointed that 20 years after the 'X-Case', there is still no legislation for medical abortions.

Hundreds of people protested in Dublin and Cork last night, following the death of Savita Halappanavar at University Hospital Galway last month.

The 31-year-old's husband said she was refused a termination a number of times before she died from septicaemia.

Dr Mahony said women and doctors need to be protected by the law.

She said: "I think it is very disappointing that, 20 years after the 'X-Case', we don't have legislation and I think that it really does need to happen.

"I think everybody needs to be protected, the women of Ireland need to be protected, they need to know that they are going to get the appropriate health care that they need.

"I think the doctors giving that health care need to know that they are also protected in their ability to do their job."

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