NEW YORK, November 23 (C-FAM) Irish pro-life groups are dismayed by the deluge of pressure pouring on Ireland to change its abortion laws following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar from a complicated miscarriage on October 28th at University College Hospital Galway.
Despite the paucity of information surrounding Savita’s death, media outlets and abortion activists have blamed laws prohibiting abortion and even the Catholic Church for her death, relying on emotional accounts of Savita’s husband, Praveen. The Indian couple’s ordeal was publicized in the Irish Times on November 14, a week after Kitty Holland of the Irish Times first contacted Praveen, on November 8.
Praveen told the Irish Times his wife requested and was denied an abortion during the miscarriage that led to her death after she contracted septicemia and E. Coli. The miscarriage lasted four days. The couple was reportedly told by doctors that she could not be induced so long as the unborn child had a heartbeat.
Irish pro-life groups are dismayed at how Savita’s death has been exploited by abortion campaigners and media. Patrick Carr, a Bio-Ethics Consultant with Family and Life, told the Friday Fax that if the facts are as reported in the Irish Times, Savita’s request to be induced prematurely once the miscarriage had begun should not have been denied. The Irish Medical Council’s guidelines do not rule out a termination of the pregnancy in those circumstances.
Two investigations into the tragedy are still ongoing, and no results have been published. Holland, a renowned abortion campaigner in Ireland, admits that Savita’s death may not have been caused by Irish abortion laws. Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, is lead investigator of the government inquiry. He is known for urging countries to consider legalizing abortion in view of the risks posed to women by unsafe illegal abortions.
The Irish Independent has uncovered scheming by abortion campaigners to exploit Savita’s death. Abortion campaigners were aware of Savita’s story three days before it broke in the Irish Times, and they organized accordingly, staging rallies that were reported in the media as “spontaneous,” and issuing statements condemning Ireland’s abortion laws.
Human Rights Watch, the Center for Reproductive Rights and other international groups seized the occasion to present abortion as a human right, despite the fact that no such right is agreed upon in international law.
In the political sphere, India mobilized its diplomatic apparatus and conveyed messages to Ireland indicating it hoped that this would never happen again. India’s foreign minister, Salman Khurshid disparaged Ireland’s laws as “rooted in religion” in a televised interview.
Those who raise questions about Irish medical practices relating to maternal health face an uphill battle. Ireland has consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world in providing maternal health care for over thirty years.
Savita’s chances were better in Ireland than elsewhere. The most recent data from the WHO (2010) indicates that only 6 out of 100,000 women die in Ireland as a result of complications related to pregnancy. That is half those who die in the UK (12), one third less than in the US (21), and thirty-three times less than India (200), all countries where abortion is legal.