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Ireland Probes Death of Woman Denied Abortion

  • VOA News

The Irish government is investigating the death of an Indian woman who died in an Irish hospital after being denied a termination of her pregnancy.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, February 9, 2012.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, February 9, 2012.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny told lawmakers Wednesday that he is awaiting the results of two investigations into the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian national living in Galway, in western Ireland.

The family of the 31-year-old Halappanavar said she was 17 weeks pregnant when she suffered severe pain as a result of a miscarriage. Her husband said the hospital refused to give her an abortion, saying Ireland was a Catholic country and as long as there was a fetal heartbeat, there was nothing they could do.

Halappanavar died of blood poisoning a week after she was admitted to the hospital, three days after the death of the fetus she had been carrying.

Ireland's constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling found it should be legal when it is necessary to save the life of the mother.

Opposition lawmakers are calling on the government to introduce legislation to make the judgment law.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.