Praveen Halappanavar, who did not respond to a request for comment, told The Guardian in 2013 The investigation into his wife’s death “proved” his version of events. He told interrogation that a doctor told him that an abortion could not be performed because “this is a Catholic country.
After the report was released, Galway University Hospital apologized to the Halappanavar family in a statement that said it was “obvious” that “there were failures in the standards of care provided.”
“We can reassure everyone involved that we have already implemented changes to avoid a recurrence of such an event,” she added.
A threat to the life of the mother
While some US states have enacted “release laws” banning abortion – some offer exceptions such as in the case of rape or incest, and all currently allow abortion if the mother’s life is in grave danger – many experts question how easy it is to get such an exception. Additionally, requiring doctors to interpret complex legislation in the middle of a medical emergency can lead to dangerous decisions, they said.
Irish law in 2012 allowed abortion to prevent “a significant risk or potential threat to the life of the mother”. But the Halappanavar report said the doctor had decided the point had not been reached where abortion was “allowable under Irish law”.
That’s not a theoretical scenario in the United States, said Dr. Jane Gunter, a California-based obstetrician and gynecologist and author of The Vagina Bible.
“I was personally in a situation where abortion was illegal in our medical center, due to state law, and we had a patient who needed one,” she said in an interview, refusing to share any other details of the case other than the fact that he was in Kansas, Where abortion is legal for up to 22 weeks with some restrictions.
“It was not a pregnancy complication, her organs were failing due to the extra burden of pregnancy due to her underlying condition,” she added.
Lawyers at Kansas Gunter Medical Center told that she could only have an abortion if the woman was in “imminent danger.”
I said, ‘What does that mean? Their explanation was that she would die in the next three minutes. Gunter said the hospital’s attorneys placed a call with the state politician involved in the legislation, who told her, “Do what you think is best, Doctor.”
And she said, “So I thought, ‘So why do we have this law?’ “
She said an ectopic pregnancy — where a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes, and can put the mother’s life at risk — could cause further confusion and unsustainable delays in treatment under the new laws.
Gunther is unrelenting in her predictions of what stricter abortion laws might mean in the United States
She said women can die despite better antibiotics to treat septic abortion
“Halabanavar? It’s not going to change things in the United States when it happens here, and it will.”
Legislator Ivana Pasek, the leader of the Irish Labor Party and a long-time advocate for abortion rights, led a protest against the Supreme Court’s decision outside the US Embassy in Dublin on Monday “in solidarity with American women and girls”.
Our experience here is that banning and criminalizing abortion puts women’s lives at risk. “It’s very clear that this is the shocking reality right now for American women,” she said.
“If you abolish the right to abortion for women and girls, you put lives at risk. The truth is that there will be life-threatening conditions during pregnancy that threaten life and health.”
Bacik said Halappanavar’s story was instrumental in shifting public opinion toward a “yes” vote in 2018. As was the case for a brain-dead woman in Ireland whose life support system was turned off just over three weeks after she was declared clinically dead in 2014 after a battle Prolonged legal because she was eighteen weeks pregnant.
In their report to Ireland’s ongoing government review of abortion laws, a group of 20 women’s rights and healthcare charities included delegated ballot In March it showed that 67% of people across the island support free access to abortion – reflecting support for a “yes” vote in 2018.
However, opponents of abortion rights in Ireland are still fighting. On Saturday, the Right to Live March will take place in Dublin, where sympathetic organizers are calling “to be a voice for the 6,500 children killed by abortion each year”.
Carol Nolan, an independent lawmaker representing Central Ireland’s Laois-Offaly constituency, opposed the law change in 2018 and says Halappanavar’s death was “deliberately and persistently” misrepresented by women’s rights advocates.
“Factors that contributed most to Savita’s death were, then, medical negligence and poor management of maternal sepsis,” she said by email, adding that she believes the pre-2018 law — known as the Eighth Amendment — was not an impediment to Halappanavar receiving proportionate and effective care.
“Following the repeal of the constitutional amendment, we have seen a rise in abortion numbers and the application of relentless political and nongovernmental pressure to expand the standards of the post-2018 law,” Nolan said.
There were 32 abortions in Ireland in 2018 and more than 6,000 abortions in each of the next two years, according to the most recent figures available from the country’s government.
“This was totally expected,” Nolan added. “However, it only served to prove my own view that the Eighth Amendment was a beacon of proportionality and sound law grounded in a true vision of human rights.”
The sometimes fatal intersection of law and medicine in the debate has also preoccupied those who support abortion rights.
Bacik, a Dublin legislator, cited the case of Andrea Prudente, an American woman who was denied an abortion after severe bleeding in Malta on June 12. She was flown to Spain, where she is. received treatment The fetus was removed.
Multiple cases of women dying after being denied abortion have emerged from Poland, which bans almost complete abortion. Last year, a 30-year-old woman known only as Isabella, who was 22 weeks pregnant, died from septic shock, her family said. Reuters reported that tests showed multiple problems with the fetus, but doctors refused to terminate the pregnancy while the fetus was having a heartbeat.
After the fetus dies, doctors can legally perform the surgery. But Isabella’s heart stopped on the way to the operating room for a C-section.
At subsequent mass protests in Poland, flags were raised bearing the slogan: “Her heart beats too.”