[ View the story "Ireland's abortion standoff" on Storify] Ireland's abortion standoff Savita Halappanavar's death calls abortion laws into question
Storified by The Stream · Mon, Nov 19 2012 09:41:50
After requesting an abortion, Halppanavar's doctors refused because the foetus still had a heartbeat,
saying "this is a Catholic country". She died on October 28.
On Saturday, Irish citizens marched in Dublin, Limerick, and Galway in remembrance of Savita Halappanavar and in protest of Ireland's abortion laws.
Below is footage from the Dublin rally, attended by thousands.
Savita Halappanavar Vigil / Pro Choice Rally - Dublin 17 Nov 2012conortalbot
At the Dublin rally, Socialist Party parliamentarian, or Teachta Dála (TD),
spoke to the crowd about what many are calling the need for clearer legislation on abortion in Ireland.
Clare Daly: Never Again - Vigil for Savitaellenjco
Pro-choice advocates have drawn parallels between Savita's case and Ireland's nominal 1992
. The Supreme Court case ruled that a 14-year-old girl, who had become suicidal after being impregnated by rape, had the right to travel to receive abortion. The ruling:
found that a woman had a right to an abortion under Article 40.3.3 if there was “a real and substantial risk” to her life. This right did not exist if there was a risk to her health but not her life; but it did exist if the risk was the possibility of suicide.Tragedy, shame and outrage as pregnant Savita dies in Irish hospital because of Catholic dogma and political cowardice
In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights
for clarification of the law, saying that fear of persecution could prevent doctors from performing legal abortions.
Public referenda have been introduced to pass
on the X Case, but all so far have failed. Savita's death has reignited the push for legislation. Netizens tweeted their commentary with the hashtag #actiononX.
Many in Ireland say Catholicism's strong influence has an impact on individual doctor's decisions to perform abortions and is stalling larger legislative action.
@sherqui well, Catholicism is reason that most people in Ireland are against on demand abortion. But no legislation re X is pure cowardiceDeirdre OShaughnessy
@deshocks I suppose that's why we've got this issue now, but think majority of right-minded Catholics would say #savita should not be dead.Sharon Ní Icí
Medical student Evelyn Fennelly writes:
If anyone at University College Hospital Galway justified withholding a legal treatment (that was also permissible by the Catholic Church) on the assertion that “this is a Catholic country”, I suggest they read this, this, and this – and also get a new job.Secular Pro-Life Perspectives: What does Savita Halappanavar's death mean?
An unofficial online poll
by Irish news website The Journal shows that, apart from an overall opinion on abortion, a majority responding favour legislation on the X Case ruling.
Ireland's Sinn Féin party is pushing the government to enact legislation. Party leader Gerry Adams
a non-binding motion in favour of legislation on Friday. Below, party member Kathryn Reilly addresses the Irish parliament or Dáil:
Failure of government to legislate for X-case unacceptable - Kathryn Reillysinnfeinireland
Many cited inaction by parliament, particularly Labour Party representatives:
Good to see @AodhanORiordain @gednash @ivanabacik @emercostello and so many other @labour reps on the march today. #actiononXDamian O'Broin
@JanOSullivanTD Sad not to see any Labour councillors at Limerick #Savita event today. I hope you personally support #LegislationOnX?Luigina Ciolfi
@ivanabacik why did your colleagues not support Clare Daly's Bill? #savita #ActiononX #prochoiceEugeniaPhelan
I would hate to be a Labour TD tonight #actiononx #savitaPeter Stafford
Some in Ireland say that the linkage between the X Case and Halappanavar's death is unwarranted.
@MrSeamusKearney The worst I've heard in this whole situation is people saying pro-choice activists are piggybacking on this tragedy.Jason Kennedy
@jasonpkennedy They are. Majority just advocating X case legislation. Pro-choice lobby also making unfounded statements on #Savita death.Seamus Kearney
Irish Independent columnist David Quinn questioned the motives of protesters:
Legislating for X which had to do with suicidal intent would have done nothing whatever to help #Savita. Why are they being linked?David Quinn
into Halappanavar's death, some who support legislation say that the issue is less about abortion and more about preventing medical malpractice.
Doctors in #Savita case say they "did nothing wrong." That statement is one word too long.Drew Bowie
It's interesting that the person who broke the #savita story even admits that abortion has nothing to do with it.Evert Bopp
@KennedySinger It's the grey interpretation of our law that's in question, or at least, that's what I see it as. Dreadful. Stay vocal!Ciarán Behan
Both pro-life and pro-choice Irish citizens are
that now is the time for the government to act.
For more background on the Savita case, read The Stream's coverage here:
#Savita's death triggers abortion debateView the story "#Savita's death triggers abortion debate" on Storify] Irish citizens express outrage and call for legislative action afte...