Parents slam Irish abortion laws after woman dies

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 7:01 am •  Published: November 15, 2012
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It was only after the fetus died that its remains were surgically removed. Within hours, Savita was placed under sedation in intensive care with blood poisoning, her husband said. By Oct. 27, her heart, kidneys and liver had stopped working, and she was pronounced dead the next day.

Three separate investigations are looking into the cause of Halappanavar's death.

Ireland's constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling said the procedure should be legalized for situations when the woman's life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy. Five governments since have refused to pass a law resolving the confusion, leaving Irish hospitals reluctant to terminate pregnancies except in the most obviously life-threatening circumstances.

An estimated 4,000 Irish women travel next door to England every year, where abortion has been legal on demand since 1967. But that option is difficult, if not impossible, if the woman's health is failing.

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