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