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Monday 25 September 2017

Still no justice for Savita, say grieving parents

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar
Praveen Halappanavar at home with a picture of his wife Savita and the couple on their wedding day
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

THE grieving parents of Savita Halappanavar said their daughter still has not got justice as no one has taken responsibility for her death.

And Savita’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, said that if successive Governments had acted on the Supreme Court ruling on the X Case over the past two decades, “my Savita would have been alive today.”

He said the proposed legislation currently before the Dail does not go far enough and he believes the Irish people do not want a law “that doesn’t save women”.

“They must change the law to save women’s health. Women’s health is as important as a man’s. If the law does not do that, Savita has been sacrificed for nothing.

“How many Savita’s do they want? They must look after Irish women. We would like a law that saves women,” added Mr Yalagi.

Savita died at Galway University Hospital on October 28 last year. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the hospital a week earlier suffering a miscarriage and later developed sepsis.

An inquest into her death held in April found that the 31-year-old dentist’s death was due to medical misadventure.

A review of the case carried out by UK obstetrician Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran and published earlier this month found that doctors in Galway had decided on a conservative approach by waiting for the foetal heartbeat to stop before considering an early delivery.

He concluded that the manner in which the doctors interpreted the law was a “material contributory factor” in Savita’s case.

Savita had repeatedly requested an abortion but was told this was not possible as Ireland was a “Catholic country.”

Mr Yalagi said Savita’s request for an abortion should have been granted.

“We were shocked when we heard about this law about abortion in Ireland. This is an evil law. How can this be a called a Christian law? God is merciful. He does not want women to die. Religion should have nothing to do with medicine,” he added.

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