Please change Irish abortion laws, Savita’s father urges Taoiseach

The father of Savita Halappanavar has urged Taoiseach Enda Kenny to change the country’s abortion laws.

In a direct appeal to Mr Kenny, grieving Andanappa Yalagi said altering the legislation would “save the lives of so many women in the future”.

Mr Yalagi’s daughter Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at Galway University Hospital on Oct 28 after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.

Her husband Praveen alleged his wife, who was a dentist, pleaded with doctors to perform a medical termination.

Doctors are said to have denied her requests because the foetus’s heartbeat was present — reportedly telling her: “This is a Catholic country.”

In an interview with the Observer, Mr Yalagi added his voice to a growing number of calls urging

the Government to reform complex abortion laws.

Addressing Mr Kenny, he said: “Sir, please change your law and take consideration of humanity.

“Please change the law on abortion, which will help to save the lives of so many women in the future.”

Mr Yalagi also called on the Indian government to take up the issue with their Irish counterparts.

“We want the government of India to put pressure on Ireland to change the law so that this cannot happen in the future,” he said.

Mr Yalagi revealed that he and his wife are considering legal action against the hospital and said that no health officials or anyone from the Government had been in touch with them to express remorse.

Speaking at his home in the southern Indian town of Belgaum, he added: “I want to take legal action against them over the inhumane way they treated my daughter.”

“They are doctors but they were not humane. If they had been humane, they would have treated her.

“I do not want this to happen to other people. I am very angry.”

Ireland’s ambassador to India met with government and opposition figures in New Delhi on Friday to ease concerns over the death.

The tragedy comes 20 years after a separate controversial abortion case split the country and two years since European judges called for clear direction on when a termination is legal.


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