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Amnesty International urges Ireland to relax abortion laws

posted 17 Nov 2012, 12:23 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Nov 2012, 12:24 ]

In the wake of the tragic death of a young Indian national Savita Halappanavar, who succumbed due to septicaemia following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy after being refused termination by a hospital, the Amnesty International urges Ireland to amend its law on abortion.

BANGALOREKARNATAKAINDIA (NOVEMBER 17, 2012) (ANI) -  Consequent to the tragic incident of a young Indian national Dr. Savita Halappanavar, who succumbed due to septicaemia following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy on being refused termination by a hospital, the Amnesty International has urged Ireland to amend its law on abortion.

A senior representative of this pro-active global human rights group, Tara Rao disclosed this at Bangalore in southern India on Saturday (November 17).

She mentioned that Amnesty International has appealed to Ireland to initiate in right earnest, legislative measure so as to prevent loss of life like the young dentist.

"I think the issue is more about how the alignment of the Irish law has to find its alignment with international human rights for abortion - which is quite clear on how the woman has access to abortion when her life is at risk. This is an extremely basic human right, which of course is linked to the right to life. So I think this is something that holds up a torch for human rights itself that there is a disconnect between what is law, what is policy and what actually gets implemented through a legislative framework let us say," said Tara Rao.

Dr. Savita Halappanavar died of septicaemia on October 28, following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy. \

She was admitted to hospital in severe pain on October 21 and she sought a termination after doctors told her that the baby would not survive, according to her husband Praveen.

The foetus was surgically removed when its heartbeat stopped days later. However, her family believes refusal by doctors to terminate the pregnancy earlier contributed to the blood poisoning that killed Halappanavar.

On this aspect, Tara Rao stressed that the amendment in the Catholic country's law was much needed in order to protect women's human rights.

"If tomorrow people do not have access to those human rights what is the point of international human rights at all? So we need to make sure and we need to make sure and this is a very fundamental thing for all of us- that human rights belongs at ground level with people and not in the chambers of policy and negotiations," added Tara Rao.

Earlier on Friday (November 16) Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he would not rush into making a decision on the issue of abortion, an issue that has divided Irish society for decades, despite a pledge by the government to clarify its abortion laws.

A wave of protests have unfolded across Ireland, which has some of the world's most restrictive laws on abortion, in response to the death of the 31-year old.

According to the Kenny, a delayed expert report on abortion was submitted to the Health Ministry this week and it would l be published after the government discusses it in detail.


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