Monday 20 May 2019

Savita husband admits he could be 'confused' over timing of abortion requests

Praveen Halappanavar and his legal team arriving at Galway Coroner Court for the Inquest into the death of his wife Savita at Galway University Hospital.
Praveen Halappanavar and his legal team arriving at Galway Coroner Court for the Inquest into the death of his wife Savita at Galway University Hospital.

Greg Harkin

THE husband of Savita Halappanvar has admitted that he could be ‘confused’ over when requests were made for a termination of her pregnancy.

Praveen Halappanvar was giving evidence under cross-examination this afternoon at the inquest into the death of his wife at  University Hospital Galway in October last year.

In his earlier statement which he read to the hearing at Galway courthouse, the engineer said three requests were made for terminations.

He said two had been made on Monday October 22 and a further request the following day.

However Declan Buckley, a barrister for the HSE, said consultant Dr Katherine Astbury will tell the inquest later this week that there was one request for a termination - and that Praveen wasn’t there when that request was made.

Mr Buckley told the hearing before a 10-member jury and Coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin that Dr Astbury noted a termination request on Tuesday October 23 at 8.20am.

Praveen, he said, could not have been there as he was leaving Savita’s parents to Dublin airport so they could catch a flight back to India.

Dr Astbury will also ‘categorically deny’ ever making any reference to Ireland ‘being a Catholic country’ said Mr Buckley.

Reading from the consultant’s statement, Mr Buckley said she would say: “The pregnancy could continue for several weeks. I recall informing her (Savita) of the legal position in Ireland did not permit me to terminate her pregnancy at that time.”

Mr Halappanavar accepted that he may be confused with some of the timings, but insisted conversations about the termination and references to Catholicism did take place.

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