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When Ireland voted for Savita

When Ireland voted for Savita
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Highlights

Savita was 31 when she was pregnant. Trouble began when she and her Engineer husband realised that the 17-week fetus will not survive, and she will have to go for an abortion. The court refused the fetus to be removed and she had to wait until its heartbeat stopped. However, the very next day Savita died of an infection, septicemia — caused due to miscarriage. 

Savita was 31 when she was pregnant. Trouble began when she and her Engineer husband realised that the 17-week fetus will not survive, and she will have to go for an abortion. The court refused the fetus to be removed and she had to wait until its heartbeat stopped. However, the very next day Savita died of an infection, septicemia — caused due to miscarriage.

It was a rude shock to the women, especially the younger ones, for whom the death was like a mirror to the what the Eighth Amendment could bring on; they learnt of the past instances when young rape victims too were denied the right to abortion.

Even though Pro- Abortion brigade held that she died of infection, hence it cannot be related to Abortion Rights, the people’s vote prevailed. An official investigation Ireland’s national health service determined that the abortion law was indeed the reason for her death.

The sentiment prevailed, and evidently led to the landslide vote in favour of repealing the amendment that was announced on Saturday at Dublin Castle, states The Irish Times. Dr. Halappanavar’s name was on the lips of supporters. They chanted ‘Savita’ and held posters of her image, it said.

According to a report in New York Times, Ireland now plans to introduce legislation to allow for relatively unrestricted abortions up until 12 weeks of pregnancy, subject to consultation with a doctor and a short waiting period. Beyond 12 weeks of pregnancy, termination would still be possible — up to 24 weeks — if two doctors determined that a woman’s life was threatened by the pregnancy or that there was serious risk to her health.

This is indeed a welcome change, and Savita’s father wishes that the law is named after her and called - ‘Savita’s law’. The law is expected to be passed by the end of the year.

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