Abortion Debate:Indian government to seek justice for Savita

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Dublin, Nov 16: Indian government is going to take up the case of tragic death of an Indian women, who was denied abortion after developing medical complications in Ireland. According to sources, Indian ambassador in Dublin will be meeting Irish authorities on Friday, Nov 16 to discuss the tragic death of a 31-year-old Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar in Ireland.

Savita Halappanavar

Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs is also in touch with Irish government. Ireland has ordered two probes into the incident that took place earlier this week after doctors refused to abort Savita's baby despite a miscarriage. India will, however, not conduct an independent probe of its own.

Karnataka-born Savita died on Oct 28, three days after she was admitted to the university hospital, Galway, for treatment of a messy 17-week pregnancy that had left her in agony. Doctors denied their request for an abortion stating that "This is a Catholic country".

Her death has triggered calls for a review of the Catholic nation's complete ban on termination of pregnancy, even on medical grounds.

There were protests outside the Irish Parliament on Thursday as leaders discussed abortion laws for the second day in a row. Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore said there was a need to bring legal clarity to the matter.

Grief stricken parents of Savita have demanded amendment of Irish abortion laws to prevent such incidents. Andaneppa Yalagi and Mahadevi Yalagi, parents of 31-year old Savita, who have been passing through the trauma of the sudden loss of their daughter, also appealed to the Indian Government to prevail upon Ireland to amend the Irish law banning abortions. "The Irish law on abortion should be amended to prevent incidents such as my daughter's death from occurring in future," they said.

According to British newspapers, an Irish deputy, Patrick Nulty, said, Halappanavar's death points at the "pressing and urgent need" for parliament to "show responsibility and legislate", calling on his party to press for reforming the abortion law. Ireland's constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling found the procedure should be legalised for situations when the woman's life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy.

Five governments since have refused to pass a law resolving the confusion, leaving Irish hospitals reluctant to terminate pregnancies except in the most obviously life-threatening circumstances. The vast bulk of Irish women wanting abortions, an estimated 4,000 per year, simply travel next door to England, where abortion has been legal on demand since 1967. But that option is difficult, if not impossible, for women in failing health.

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