independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Women take termination cases to UN

Savita Halappanavar died on October 28 last year at Galway University Hospital following a miscarriage

Three Irish women forced to travel to Britain to terminate their pregnancies following diagnoses that their babies would not survive are to take their cases to the United Nations next week.

They will call on the organisation to put pressure on Ireland to legalise abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, according to the Irish Times.

The women will allege that the fact that they were forced to leave the country to end their pregnancies amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

On October 28 last year Savita Halappanavar, 31, died at Galway University Hospital.

The Indian dentist was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the hospital a week earlier, undergoing a miscarriage. She suffered from septicaemia.

Her widower has maintained that she repeatedly requested a termination but was refused because a foetal heartbeat was present.

An inquest in April into Mrs Halappanavar's death returned a verdict of medical misadventure, but no blame was attributed to any individuals.

A separate inquiry found that medics in the Galway hospital missed an early opportunity to terminate her pregnancy on health grounds and unacceptable clinical practice.

The case sparked a massive debate among obstetricians and politicians over whether the guidelines medics had been operating under were clear.

It also caused a worldwide outcry and led to the Government eventually passing legislation for the first time to allow abortion in limited circumstances, which was enshrined into law during the summer.

Press Association

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