Savita wanted termination of pregnancy she cherished

New Delhi, April, 8: On the first day of the inquest into the death of Savita in Galway (Ireland) today, her husband Praveen Halappanavar recounted the events leading to her death and how she repeatedly asked doctors at University Hospital Galway for a termination of pregnancy (abortion).

But this was refused because her foetus was still alive, Praveen said. He and Savita asked consultant obstetrician Dr Katharine Astbury for a termination last October after learning that she was miscarrying at 17 weeks.

Savita Halappanavar died of septicaemia one week after being admitted to the hospital.

His deposition was halted at midday after he broke down crying in the dock.

In the 90 minutes statement, Praveen recounted how he met and married Savita. "Savita found Ireland so peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of India," he said.

He said they always planned to have a baby in 2013 and were delighted when they found out last July that she was pregnant.

Savita was in excellent health, she did yoga and she never visited the doctor.

Then came the horrible month of October. On October 11th last year, Savita experienced some back pain for which she attend a physiotherapist.

On October 21st, the couple came back to the hospital after Savita experienced severe back pain. They were told everything was fine and she was sent home.

However, at home during breakfast, Savita went to the toilet and emerged crying. She said that she had felt "something hard coming out" and she had tried to push it back.

When the Halappanavar couple went to the hospital, they were told to wait for about half and hour because the midwife was busy. When Savita was finally seen by the doctors, they were told that her cervix was dilated and she would suffer a miscarriage.

They were told it would all be over in a few hours when she miscarried. On October 23rd Dr Astbury sent Savita for an ultrasound. Dr Astbury told her that "unfortunately" the foetus was still alive.

He said when they asked Dr Astbury for a termination she told them this was not possible. Praveen told at the inquest that Dr Astbury twice dismissed requests for a termination and told the couple it was because the foetus was alive.

"She said, 'unfortunately, I can't. This is a Catholic country," the doctor told them.

Savita pointed out that she was a Hindu and wasn't an Irish citizen, but Dr Astbury said sorry and walked away. The doctor did not come back that day.

Even after all this trauma, Savita was made to suffer. He said by late Tuesday night her teeth were chattering and she was cold. A nurse brought an extra blanket but couldn't get the heater in the room working.

The next day, she couldn't hold down fluids. The fetal heartbeat stopped and Savita delivered the baby girl at 4pm on October 24.

Praveen was again in tears as he told the inquest about the last time his wife spoke to him. She asked if her parents, who were visitng them, had returned safely to India.

OneIndia News

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