Thousands Honor Savita Halappanavar Who Died At The Hand Of Ireland’s Anti-Abortion Law (And How You Can, Too)

This shouldn't have happened, and we can't allow it to happen ever again.

The horrible and despicable way in which Savita Halappanavar died over a month ago in Galway, Ireland still has pro-choice and humanitarians all over the world disgusted by the events that led to her death. Savita, only 31 years old, died on September 28th of septicaemia due to miscarrying her baby 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

For days, Savita suffered the intense agony of dying simply because her baby, although having had miscarried, still had a foetal heartbeat. Under Irish law, that heartbeat prevented Savita and her husband, who begged for the life of his wife, to be given the abortion that would have saved her. Instead, the “life” of the baby, the fetus, outweighed the importance of Savita’s and she died in the Galway University Hospital.

Today, vigils are being held in Galway, Cork, Dublin and London to honor the woman who died in the name of someone else’s religious beliefs and laws. Thousands took to the streets of Dublin earlier today to march in protest of the way Savita’s life came to an end, and in the hopes of changing the way Ireland handles the issue of abortion.

Even if you don’t live in one of these cities that is having an organized vigil in the name of Savita, you should take the time today to honor her in your way. Savita could be any of us should we find ourselves in a backward society that does not regard a woman’s right to choose as an essential human right. No matter where you stand on the abortion debate, this death that could have been prevented by an abortion is something that should anger and devastate anyone with a pulse and a brain. Savita did not need to die, and if you’re pro-life, you should be able to see that and respect that life that belonged to her, the life that was taken away too soon and under excruciatingly tragic circumstances.

Abortion will continue to be an argument, with the two sides butting heads, for as long as people in control of the laws want to inflict that control upon the ovaries of women everywhere. Maybe you don’t have to march through the streets of your town or city today, but at least take the time to remember a woman you never knew, but who will now forever be associated with something that should be a basic human right. Tell someone who may not have heard of her, her story, donate to your local Planned Parenthood — do something, anything today to show your support to not just the cause, but the life that should not have ended the way it did.


Photo: Tal Cohen/UPPA/ZUMA

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    • Tania

      This is so incredibly awful. It’s one thing to die for your own beliefs; it’s another thing entirely to die for someone else’s. Her poor husband.

    • nav

      One of the worst happenings on 2012. Support and join the clause :

    • Cazamaline

      I was going to post to say that I am so deeply ashamed to be Irish right now, however then I realise that the majority of Irish people are horrified by this harrowing story and it is not something that we, the greater Irish public ever wanted to happen. Numerous Irish women go to England for abortions every year. Successive has governments have failed to legislate for this eventuality, despite the infamous “X Case” in 1992

      It makes me so sad that a life had to be lost for our current goverment to tackle this issue, but that is so very typical of Irish government. I cannot even find the words to explain how upset this whole thing makes me.

      What makes my blood boil even more than the government’s prior inaction though is Youth Defense and other Pro-Life groups who are accusing the Pro-Choice groups of manipulating this story for their own evil gain.

      Check out some of Youth Defence’s shenanigans earlier this year.

      I could just vomit with disgust at them.

      Thank you for covering this story, Amanda

      • Amanda Chatel

        Don’t EVER say you feel ashamed for being Irish at the moment. The world KNOWS that much of Ireland is as equally appalled buy this horror as the rest of us.

        What commenter Niamh missed, was that my use of “backward” was generally speaking and not specific to Ireland. I want you to know that the world is well aware that so many of you are dealing with heartbreak over this tragic situation, just as the rest of us are. But unlike us, Ireland is your country, so it hits even closer to home. I would never think ill of Ireland because of such an incident. I would think ill of its lawmakers, but I know, WE ALL KNOW, that so many of you are on Savita’s side. And that’s what truly matters.

        Lots of love to you, my Irish friend.

    • Niamh

      Do not write off an entire country of people as ‘backward’, no matter what the context. Yes, this was tragic, however it was a failure on the part of one doctor, working in a country which *does* permit abortion in cases where it will save the life of a mother, to take the correct action.

      Ireland’s government ought to make clearer the legal implications of Case X, which dictates abortion law in the country, but making ill-advised and offensive remarks without care is not the way to make them do that. We, the people of Ireland, are disgusted that the laws which are in place to protect us were blatantly disregarded in this instance, but this is a debate about legislation and the machinations of the application of case law, not anything to do with religion, and to paint it that light is to detract from the discussion we ought to be having in this country.