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Savita death: MEA summons Irish envoy after row over abortion

Updated: November 16, 2012, 3:56 PM IST
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Savita death: MEA summons Irish envoy after row over abortion
India will, however, not conduct an independent probe of its own in the death of dentist Savita Halappanavar.

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday summoned the Irish ambassador following the uproar over the death of an Indian woman in Ireland after a hospital denied her an abortion. Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar was denied the termination of her pregnancy under the country's anti-abortion law even though her life was in danger. The Indian government took up Savita's death directly and the Indian ambassador in Dublin met Irish authorities on Friday after there were protests outside Irish Parliament on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women on Friday said it would take up with the External Affairs Ministry the death of the Indian dentist in Ireland after doctors allegedly refused to terminate her pregnancy on the ground that it was a 'Catholic country'. "Indian Government should take action and I will take it up with the External Affairs Ministry on Monday that the Irish government ease the strict abortion rules on humanitarian grounds," NCW chairperson Mamata Sharma said.

Ireland has ordered two probes into the incident that took place earlier this week after doctors refused to abort Savita's baby despite a miscarriage. India will, however, not conduct an independent probe of its own.

Grief stricken parents of Savita have demanded amendment of Irish abortion laws to prevent such incidents. Andaneppa Yalagi and Mahadevi Yalagi, parents of 31-year old Savita, who have been passing through the trauma of the sudden loss of their daughter, also appealed to the Indian Government to prevail upon Ireland to amend the Irish law banning abortions. "The Irish law on abortion should be amended to prevent incidents such as my daughter's death from occurring in future," they said.

Political parties termed the incident it as a violation of human rights while Savita's parents demanded an international probe. The Delhi Catholic Archdiocese said the mother's life should not have been risked though abortion was a complete no for them.

Activists protested on Thursday night in Belfast a day after thousands rallied in London, Dublin, Cork and Galway in memory of Savita. Irish gynecologists on Thursday demanded that the government close a 20-year-old hole in the country's abortion law that leaves them fearing prosecution if they abort a fetus to protect a woman's life.

31-year-old Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, was found to be miscarrying and wanted an abortion. But the doctors declined saying theirs is a Catholic country and they cannot abort a foetus. The dead foetus was later removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on October 28. An autopsy carried out two days later found she died of septicaemia "documented ante-mortem" and E.coli ESBL. Irish authorities have launched a probe into the death of Savita.

Savita's father said if hospital authorities had heeded to his daughter's request to terminate the pregnancy she would have survived. He claimed Savita's kidney and liver was damaged due to inadequate care taken by hospital authorities. Andaneppa said having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Savita asked for a medical termination. This was refused, he said, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and my relatives were told (by doctors) "this is a Catholic country". Abortion is illegal in the Republic of Ireland.

With Additional Inputs from PTI

First Published: November 16, 2012, 3:56 PM IST
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