Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2015 12pm

Ireland to repeal abortion laws in the wake of Indian mother's death

The Irish government is to legalize abortions in the country following the death of an Indian mother who died after doctors refused her pleas for an abortion.


Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist originally from Belgaon in Karnataka, died of septicemia and multiple organ failure in October after medical staff at University Hospital Galway refused to terminate the pregnancy despite Mrs Halappanavar suffering a miscarriage.


Her death caused widespread condemnation in the Republic as well as around the world.


The Irish cabinet has now decided to repeal legislation that makes abortion a criminal act and to introduce new rules setting out when doctors can perform an abortion when a woman’s life is at risk, significantly including suicide.


Ireland’s abortion laws are the most stringent in Europe and experts say the new regulations will divide the staunchly Catholic country.


Meanwhile, the parents of Savita Halappanavar have called for the new Irish abortion law to be named after their daughter.


“I appeal to the government to name the legislation in her memory”, Savita’s father Andanappa Yalagi told the BBC.


Mr Yalagi also said the doctors at Galway Hospital should be held accountable for her daughter’s death: “They watched her die.  They should be punished.”


Both the Hospital and the Irish government have launched separate enquiries into the incident.



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