Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is being pressured to address the thorny topic of Irish abortion law when she visits Dublin Thursday on one of her last official foreign trips.
A group of high-profile artists and academics, mostly Irish citizens based in the United States, has issued an open letter suggesting that Clinton publicly raise the issue of Ireland’s unclear yet restrictive abortion laws when she delivers a speech on human rights in the Irish capital.
Among the signatories to the letter are actor Gabriel Byrne, Riverdancecomposer Bill Whelan and a number of prominent novelists, including Colum McCann, Colm Toibin, Peter Quinn and Belinda McKeon.
The letter asks Clinton to “consider addressing this very real and present danger to the lives and health of pregnant women.”
Read full article by Niall Stanage here
From Dr. Jen GunTer - 'Irish Catholic Bishops reveal ignorance in statement on death of Savita Halappanavar'
The Irish Catholic Bishops have seen fit to clarify the church’s view on gynecology given Savita Halappanavar’s death from sepsis at 17 weeks in her pregnancy and the concern that evacuating her uterus was delayed because the fetus still had a heart beat. The full statement is here, but this is the excerpt I find most troubling:
Over 2,000 attend another vigil and protest at the Dail. We will not be ignored. Never again! The next protest is on Wed 28th at 7pm - details HERE.
Tweets during Sinead Redmond's emotional speech
Sinead Redmond, Pro-Choice activist and heavily pregnant talks about the 8th amendment as a '152' year old relic. #Savita
Video of Clare Daly at the protest tonight
Photos from the march tonight
Interest in Savita Halappanavar’s story won’t wane any time soon - if the trend of vigils cropping up worldwide is anything to go by.
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has ordered Labour ministers to push for action on the controversial abortion issue despite his absence from Cabinet today.
And his party colleague, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, has warned there will be "consequences" for TDs who vote against the Government on the contentious issue.
The death of Savita Halappanavar has propelled the issue to the top of the political agenda and the Cabinet will today decide on the coalition response to a Sinn Fein motion calling for immediate legislation.
But Mr Gilmore will miss the key meeting as he is attending a crucial gathering of EU foreign affairs ministers in Brussels about agreeing the €1 trillion EU budget for 2014-2020.
A Labour source said its ministers were "very clear" about Mr Gilmore's desire to get legal clarity on abortions when a pregnant mother's life was at risk.
"We want a decision as quickly as possible," the source said.
Full article here
By now news of Savita Halappanavar's senseless death has traveled around the world, drawing attention to Ireland's near-total ban on abortion and the horrific consequences of such policies. This is not a stand-alone case. Every 90 seconds a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, totaling more than 350,000 deaths worldwide each year. Nearly all of these deaths occur in developing countries, where access to modern medical care is scarce.
What makes Savita's story so shocking is that she died in a modern hospital in a developed European country. We health advocates spend a lot of time and energy fighting for the kind of access Savita (almost) had. Hers was a planned pregnancy. She herself was a medical professional, a dentist, who recognized the warning signs of pregnancy complications. When she felt severe pains, she and her husband didn't have to travel far to reach a clean, modern hospital where her health problems were quickly diagnosed. And when she learned that she was miscarrying and that her life was in danger, she asked her doctor about her options and requested that her pregnancy be ended before it killed her.
Lack of access to medical care did not kill Savita -- politics did.
Full article here
From Upworthy.com 'Dear America, This Is What Happens When You Ban ALL Abortions. Sincerely, Ireland. '
'Just a few months after Irish doctors reaffirmed Ireland's abortion ban by determining that in zero cases an abortion would be medically necessary to save the life of the mother, 31-year-old Hindu dentist Savita Halappanavar died tragically after miscarrying 17 weeks into her pregnancy when doctors refused to abort the fetus. She spent three days in agonizing pain, asking for the abortion that could save her life, but each time the doctors refused, telling her, "Sorry, this is a Catholic country." Savita was not Catholic. There was nothing her doctors could've done to save the fetus. But an abortion would have saved her life.'
Full article here.
At a press conference this afternoon, the HSE said the investigation will seek to identify any shortcomings that may be identified in the clinical care provided to Ms Halappanavar.
The seven-member investigating team will be chaired by Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George's Hospital, University of London.
The team is made up of a number of experts in the relevant disciplines; including anaesthesia, midwifery, obstetrics and gynaecology. They are Cora McCaughan, head of the executive’s Serious Incident Management Team; Geraldine Keohane, director of midwifery at Cork University Hospital; Dr Catherine Fleming, Infectious Diseases Consultant at Galway University Hospital; Dr Brian Harte, Consultant in Anaesthetics, Galway University Hospital and Prof John Morrison, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Galway University Hospital.
Full article here
The HSE has announced the details surrounding the upcoming investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar.
Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, an independent expert in obstetrics and gynaecology, will chair the Investigation Team into her death.
He is a Professor and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Deputy Head of Clinical Sciences at St George’s University of London, as well as President of the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The Investigation Team comprises a number of experts in the relevant disciplines; including anaesthesia, midwifery, obstetrics and gynaecology, to review the full range of clinical care provided to Ms Halappanavar. The team also includes an independent patient representative.
The HSE’s National Incident Management Team (NIMT) will oversee and support the investigation into the circumstances of Ms Halappanavar’s tragic death.
Full article here