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November 14, 2012

#Savita's death triggers abortion debate

Irish citizens express outrage and call for legislative action after pregnancy-related death.
Irish citizens gather for a candlelight vigil for Savita Halappanavar in Cork, Ireland. (Photo via Sarah McAlpine @sazza_jay)

Ireland’s vague laws on abortion have been brought to the forefront of citizens’ minds after the death of Savita Halappanavar, who suffered from septicaemia and died on October 28 after being denied an abortion.

Halappanavar, a 31-year-old of Indian descent, was told of her miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy and subsequently requested an abortion after experiencing acute pain. The hospital rejected her request because the foetus still had a heartbeat and she was reportedly told, “this is a Catholic country”.

The issue has highlighted Catholicism’s strong influence over the country as well as political inaction to resolve the abortion debate.