Here is a video of our march on Saturday December 1st. Thank you so much for everyone who came! This wonderful video was made by Paula Geraghty, whose other amazing videos can be found on Youtube @ ‘Trade Union TV’.
Labour, Fine Gael, and Fianna Fáil Deputies have yet again displayed their hypocrisy and cowardice on the issue of abortion. Tonight in Dáil Éireann they voted against the ‘Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Women) (No 2) Bill’. It was defeated by 101 votes to 27.
The primary reasons given by Government TD’s for rejecting the Bill were that they did not have enough time to discuss it and that the Bill itself was flawed. However, these excuses are not valid.
The Government had at least two means by which they could have given the issue proper time for debate. As was pointed out by Deputies Barrett and Halligan, the Government could have either given over some of their own Dáil time to the discussion, or shortened the Christmas Holiday period.
If Clare Daly’s Bill contained imperfections, those could have been addressed at the Committee Stage. The vote on the Second Stage of a Bill is intended to determine whether Deputies agree with the principle of the Bill. Yet, almost all Government Deputies who spoke insisted that they are determined to legislate for the X Case. One must conclude that their reasons for voting the Bill down were purely political.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s remarks in the Dáil today were a gross and insensitive abuse of parliament. The inappropriate nature of directly addressing Savita’s grieving husband from the Dáil chamber cannot be emphasised enough.
Praveen Halappanavar’s refusal to cooperate with the HSE inquiry is completely understandable. Like Galway Pro-Choice, he believes that only a fully independent public inquiry has the ability to objectively investigate this matter. Mr Kenny’s attempt to persuade Mr Halappanavar to cooperate with the HSE was a shameful abuse of his position.
How Mr. Kenny believes that it is acceptable to comment in the Dáil on the actions of a bereaved husband is inconceivable. Praveen feels that his wife’s death was avoidable. Acting through his solicitor is the most reasonable and sensible course of action.
Mr Kenny’s actions seem even more incredible in light of the fact that Savita’s family have received no personal apology or expression of condolences from any Government or HSE official.
For Release 21/11/12
As was made clear by Sarah McCarthy of Galway Pro Choice on last night’s Prime Time programme on RTE, Galway Pro Choice were approached by the friends of Savita Praveen Halapannavar on 3rd November 2012. They came to us before going public with her story. Their only wish was to try to make sure that what happened to Savita would never happen to another woman again in Ireland.
After an initial phone call on 3rd November from a friend of Savita and Praveen’s, Savita’s friends sent Galway Pro Choice an email containing more details of the case. A meeting between Galway Pro Choice and approximately ten of Savita’s friends then took place, during which they explained the facts of the case as they saw them. They believed that a termination may have saved Savita’s life. They requested the assistance of Galway Pro Choice in deciding how to proceed.
Galway Pro Choice presented Savita’s friends with a number of options, including the option of not releasing the story at all. The option of releasing the story anonymously, without a name or place being mentioned, was also discussed. However, Savita’s friends and her husband Praveen felt that going fully public with the tragic story of Savita’s death was what they wanted to do in order to bring home to the public how Ireland’s abortion laws can place pregnant women in danger. A phone call between Galway Pro Choice and Savita’s husband Praveen, in India, also occurred, in which Praveen reiterated his desire to go public with the story.
The country is still reeling from the news of Savita’s tragic and needless death. Demonstrations from a range of outraged groups and individuals have spontaneously taken place around the country, and across the world. The lack of swift action from the Government is a concern for many.
In Galway City, a vigil will be held for Savita on Saturday at 5.00pm, in Eyre Square.
Galway Pro-Choice believes:
We must legislate on the X Case immediately; Government statements that it will take months to get legal clarity are unacceptable. Minister Reilly has indicated that it may take weeks or months for him to bring the Expert Group Report to Cabinet. It has also been stated that the Government will not act until the investigations are completed, which are due to take at least three months. We cannot afford to wait such a length of time for action on life-saving abortion in this country. The impossible limbo that doctors are in has been illustrated by this tragedy. Legislation must be implemented immediately, or more women may die.
Minister Reilly must instigate a fully independent public inquiry now.
The presence of only one independent expert in the HSE’s investigation is intolerable. We cannot expect UCHG or the HSE to be truly objective in this situation and to reach independent conclusions. Therefore we are calling for a fully independent public inquiry, to be commissioned immediately.
The Expert Group Report should be released to the public immediately.
There is a need for full transparency with an issue as grave as this, and we call on Minister Reilly to make the report public immediately. There is no good reason not to share this information with the public.
On the 28th of October, a woman died in this country because she was refused an abortion. She was 31 years old.
Savita Praveen first presented at University College Hospital, Galway on Sunday October 21st at 17 weeks pregnant, suffering from severe cramps. After being examined, she was told on Sunday evening that the foetus would not survive, and that no treatment could save it. The foetal heartbeat, however, was still present.At this stage, Savita’s waters had broken, which left her at serious risk of infection. On Monday 22nd October Savita was told again that the foetus would not survive. She now requested an abortion. Doctors refused to carry out the procedure. Later that evening, according to her friends, she again ‘begged’ for an abortion to be performed. Again she was refused. According to her friends, one of the reasons given for refusing her the procedure was that Ireland “is a Catholic country”.
On Tuesday 23rd October Savita developed septicaemia.
On Wednesday 24th October the foetal heartbeat could no longer be detected. Only at this stage was Savita brought to the theatre to have the foetus removed. After the procedure she was brought straight to the intensive care unit.
Her condition never improved. Four days later, on the 28thof October, tragically and needlessly, Savita died.
Still proud to be Irish? Read more
Did you know that a 31-year-old woman recently died in University College Hospital, Galway after being refused an abortion, even though doctors had already determined that there was no chance of the foetus surviving?
Last year, 4149 Irish women were forced to travel to the UK to obtain an abortion, undergoing added financial and psychological strain, as well as increased medical risk, because they could not obtain an abortion in Ireland.
A recent Sunday Times poll showed that 80% of the Irish population are in favour of legal abortion where the woman’s life is at risk.
Since the 1992 X Case, where a 14-year-old rape victim was obstructed from obtaining an abortion, successive Irish governments have failed to introduce legislation dealing with such cases.
The current government is no different – Minister James Reilly promised to publish a report on the matter by the end of June this year. It has yet to be published.
Demand action to finally provide access to safe and legal abortion for Irish women!
Galway Pro Choice
On Sunday the 28th of October, Savita Praveen died at UCHG after being denied a termination which would most likely have saved her life. She was 31 years old, married for four years and hoping to start a family.
If legislation is not introduced immediately, more women will die. Under the X Case ruling, women in Ireland are legally entitled to an abortion when it is necessary to save their life. However, legislation has never been passed to reflect this. It is the failure of successive governments to do so that led to Savita’s death.
Savita was first admitted to the hospital on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. Her doctor initially told her that she would be fine, but she refused to go home. It became clear that her waters had broken, and she was having a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). She was told that the foetus had no chance of survival, and it would all be over within a few hours.
However, her condition did not take its expected course, and the foetus remained inside her body. Although it was evident that it could not survive, a foetal heartbeat was detected. For this reason her repeated requests to remove the foetus were denied. By Tuesday it was clear that her condition was deteriorating. She had developed a fever, and collapsed when attempting to walk. The cervix had now been fully open for nearly 72 hours, creating a danger of infection comparable to an untreated open head wound. She developed septicaemia.
Despite this, the foetus was not removed until Wednesday afternoon, after the foetal heartbeat had stopped. Immediately after the procedure she was taken to the high dependency unit. Her condition never improved. She died at 1.09am on Sunday the 28th of October.