Savita's father wants her name for Ireland law

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Andanappa Savitha Halappanavar
Belgaum, Dec 19: Savita's father says it is just a minor relief. Ireland government has decided to amend abortion law to cover safety of pregnant women. Savita Halappanavar (31) died in Galway University Hospital in October. She was found to be miscarrying her 17-week pregnancy. Praveen Halappanavar has said she was repeatedly refused a termination. She died on Oct 28.

Agreeing that it was a minor relief, Savita's father Andanappa Yalgi wanted the new legislation to be named after Savita as mark of respect for his daughter. He also wanted punishment of guilty hospital staff. Yalgi thanked all those who campaigned for the law and supported their fight.

This is the first step in the process of getting the legislation on to the statute book. In January, the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) Committee on Health holds three days of hearings. After that the Government will publish draft legislation and then the Bill.

Meanwhile, the four Catholic Archbishops last night called for TDs (members of parliament in Ireland) to be given a free vote on the Government's legislation on abortion.

In a strongly worded statement, they encouraged "all to pray that our public representatives will be given the wisdom and courage to do what is right".

The archbishops said "public representatives must consider the profound moral questions that arise" in relation to the decision "by the Government to legislate for abortion".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his senior Ministers are planning to reassure worried Fine Gael TDs that legislating to allow the threat of suicide as a ground for termination will not lead to abortion on demand.

Up to 20 Fine Gael TDs have raised doubts in recent months about the inclusion in any legislation of the threat of suicide as a ground for abortion. They include Minister of State Lucinda Creighton, John O'Mahony, James Bannon, John Paul Phelan, Regina Doherty and Patrick O'Donovan.

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