Mother dies as termination is refused

A miscarrying mother has died in a major public hospital after being denied a medical termination for three days because Ireland is a “Catholic country”.

The shocking situation occurred at University College Hospital Galway on Sunday, Oct 28, and has caused outrage in the area.

The previous Sunday married Savita Halappanavar, 31, was taken to hospital with severe back pain. While her doctor told the Indian native there was nothing wrong, it soon emerged she was miscarrying.

Medics said the foetus would not survive and the miscarriage would be over within hours. Three days later the foetus had not been passed, and a heartbeat remained.

Ms Halappanavar and her husband asked for a medical termination to help the process, but were denied as the foetal heartbeat remained. Her husband is reported to have been told by a medic this was because Ireland is a Catholic country.

Ms Halappanavar’s condition deteriorated. She developed a fever, collapsed while attempting to walk, and contracted septicaemia.

The foetus was finally removed on Wednesday afternoon, after the foetal heartbeat stopped, and Ms Halappanavar was taken to the hospital’s high dependency unit. She died from her poor condition — which her family insist was linked to the termination delay — on Sunday, Oct 28.

Speaking on TV3’s Tonight With Vincent Browne last night, local Labour TD Derek Nolan said he will demand answers over the tragic death. A Galway Pro Choice vigil will take place this Sunday.

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