Savita Halappanavar, 31 years old and 17 weeks pregnant, presented with back pain at Ireland’s University Hospital Galway on October 21st, and was found to be miscarrying.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
Even though Halappanavar, a Hindu, was emphatic that she was neither Irish nor Catholic, and even though she developed shakes and shivering and was vomiting, the hospital said there was nothing to be done.
Two and a half days later, the fetal heartbeat stopped. Heartbreaking, but the story gets even worse.
After the dead fetus was removed, Halappanavar was taken to intensive care where she died on the Oct. 28. Two days later, an autopsy found she succumbed to septicaemia and E.coli ESBL.
No woman should ever lose her life when medical treatment could have saved her life.