LONDON: The death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died in an Irish hospital last year after she was denied an abortion, has not gone in vain.
After the global outcry over denial of abortion to 17-week pregnant Indian dentist and her subsequent death forced the Irish Government on Thursday into passing a law that allows women to go for abortion in the Catholic-dominated country.
The landmark Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 sailed through 127-31 to give women the right to terminate pregnancy if their life is at risk.
Ireland’s parliament called Dail sat late into the night to pass the historic bill.
Savita Halappanavar, who was miscarrying 17 weeks into her pregnancy in October last year, wanted to go for termination of her pregnancy. But she was told that she couldn’t do so in a Catholic country, according to her widower Praveen Halappanavar.
The denial of abortion led to her death because of blood poisoning, causing a global hue and cry.
Since Catholic Ireland did not allow abortion till today, 11 women, on average, went to Britain each day last year for abortion.
“We had 21 years of inaction, 21 years of inaction. What’s going on here is medical clarity and legal certainty for the women of our country who have had a constitutional right conferred upon them,’’ said Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Taoiseach is the term used for the prime minister or the head of government in Ireland.
Catholic priests had threatened Kenny with excommunication if the bill to allow abortion is passed.
Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton resigned following the vote in favour of abortion.
Savita came from Belgaum in Karnataka where her mother Mahadevi and father Andanappa Yalagi live.