Monday, November 19, 2012

Ireland's Abortion Law Needs More Scrutiny

Irish History
An article in The Guardian sheds more light in the case of Savita Halappanavar, a young married woman who died in an Irish hospital after doctors refused her pleas to abort her miscarried baby. It is safe to say that Ireland's laws on abortion need a serious review.
Mrs Halappanavar died in agony at University Hospital Galway after doctors refused her pleas to abort her miscarried baby and told her that Ireland was a Catholic country and that she had to abide by its laws on abortion. Her family say their only solace is that her husband was able to tell her, moments before she was rushed into intensive care, that she had been carrying a baby girl – which had been her greatest desire.
The case has prompted a furious reaction in Ireland and around the world and brought calls for the law to be clarified to allow an abortion to be carried out if the mother's life is in danger. Even the Catholic church in India has expressed surprise at the hospital's refusal to permit the abortion. In their first full interview with a British newspaper, her parents described their heartbreak and devastation at the loss of a beautiful and vivacious young woman who had brought only joy to their lives until her death on 28 October.
Of her treatment at the Galway hospital, Mr Yalagi said: "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." He said that his daughter and her husband, Praveen, had pleaded with the hospital to carry out an abortion after she began to miscarry, but doctors refused because they could still detect a foetal heartbeat. Only when that stopped did they finally carry out an emergency operation to remove the foetus, but by then it was too late to save the mother.
That the doctors acted wrongly is not debatable; that they acted inhumanely is also not arguable. But the heart of the problem lies in Ireland's abortion laws, which are both out of step with and unnecessarily strict in the modern age. Even practicing Catholics would admit that the life of the mother takes precedence over that of an unborn child. Even so, such shows the problems when religion clashes with both modern science and modern sensibilities. Let's hope that this is the last such needless death of this type. It's time for Ireland to change its abortion laws.

You can read the rest of the article at [The Guardian].