Four times today I have sat down and tried to write something about Savita Halappanavar. Four times I have failed.  It’s not that I can’t find the words, I can and I have, but there is just too much to say.

‘This is a Catholic country’, is the response that Praveen, Savita’s husband received when he sought and was refused a medical termination for his gravely ill wife. Despite being aware that the foetus had no chance of survival, and his wife’s agony and subsequent death, the law of the land was upheld.  Although loyalty and respect for the institution of the Catholic Church being at an all-time low, this incident proves that we are still shackled by the antiquated and narrow-minded views of this once all-powerful body.

A woman’s body is her own, and no doctor, clergyman or politician should be allowed to overturn a decision which will culminate in her preventable excruciatingly painful death. Savita’s right to life was disregarded for as long as the foetal heartbeat was present; her heartbeat was considered secondary to that of a foetus that could never have taken a breath. This refusal to carry out a termination of the already perishing foetus led to the development of septicaemia, and her eventual death.

While I understand that the medical staff of University Hospital Galway are not to the blame, I find it increasingly hard not to feel angered that no-one dealing with Savita stepped in, broke this archaic rule, granted her the right to protect her own body, and in essence, saved her life.

I, as an Irish woman am ashamed of how Savita was treated. I am terribly saddened for Praveen and his family, and I am disgusted at what society’s laws deem as right and wrong.  In these times of economic turmoil and political disillusionment, uncertainty clouds much of the daily news, but of this I am sure; no clause or article should be adhered to if it results in the unnecessary death of a beautiful woman.



7 thoughts on “Savita.

  1. Such a tragedy, which, as you said, could have been prevented. What a loss for her family and friends. I take a tiny bit of solace in the fact that the reaction has been quite strong and in this age of blogging, facebooking, twittering etc. people all over the world will hear about this. I think people will cry louder than ever for some real legislation regarding the terminations required to save women’s lives. Savita was failed by our society but her death will go on to save lives. She will not be forgotten, though, our society’s failure to save her should not be forgotten either.

    As you mentioned, there’s so much to say and I’m glad that people are talking about this.

  2. Let us hope the politicians have the courage to address this dilemma for so many pregnant women. Women need to have a choice in a situation like this. Some may want to carry a foetus that cannot survive to term . In this case when the woman’s life is endangered there should be no question of not taking action.

  3. Pingback: Love and Shame in the Wake of Savita | Consider the Tea Cosy

  4. Pingback: Savita Death ‘Catholic Church Should Be Ashamed,Not The Irish’ « Ramani's blog

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