Savita Halappanavar

Savita Halappanavar, 31. Died of religious dogma.

It is with deep sadness that I announce the death of Savita Halappanavar, 31 a resident of Ireland, on October 28, 2012 at a Galway hospital.  A native of India, she was residing with her husband in Ireland at the time of her death.  Dr. Halappanaver was a dentist and was married to Praveen Halappanavar, 34, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway.  She was 17 weeks pregnant at her passing.  Her husband told reporters the couple was excited about her first pregnancy and she was “on top of the world”.   Praveen Halappanavar took his wife’s remains back to India for a Hindu funeral and cremation November 3rd.  The official cause of death was listed as “septicemia”, but the sad truth, is Savita died of religious dogma and intolerance for opposing ideas.

From the Huffington Post: “Ireland’s constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling found 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.”

From the Irish Times: “Savita Halappanavar presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.  Her husband, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.  This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.  She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.  The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.”

Still hear the words of Deadbeat Dad, soon-to-be ex-Congresman Joe Walsh ringing in your ears?  The guy who says abortion is never needed to save a woman’s life?  The guy who says abortion is merely a tool of the Left to make “pro-lifers” look unreasonable?  See for yourself:

Turns out “Dr.” Walsh was wrong.

This should be a cautionary tale for American women.  This will be our reality if we don’t stop the same madness that is pounding on our doors this very moment, as the State of Ohio attempts to pass the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill“.  Those zealots who insist that America is a “Christian nation” and we should all abide by “Christian law” have absolutely no respect for the personal beliefs of others.  The death of Savita Halappanavar is precisely what happens when the religious dogma of some result in the death of others.  And they don’t care.  In essence, Irish law has placed the value of a man first and foremost – the value of an unborn fetus second and women come in dead last.  Dead last.  Dead.  Savita Halappanavar was a Hindu woman who only wanted the chance to live, perhaps to have another child someday.  The Church decided she didn’t have that right because Ireland is a Catholic country and the laws of that country have been based on Catholic dogma.

As a woman, I ache for the lost future of Savita Halappanavar.  I ache for her family.  As a humanitarian, I realize that it was a wholly unnecessary death.  The majority of Irish women in need of reproductive freedom, approximately 4,000 a year, travel to England where abortion has been legal since 1967.  Sadly, that is never an option for women in medical distress.

To the American “Pro-Life” movement, may I suggest you choose another name for yourselves?  You’re the disgusting lot who support political candidates who work feverishly every day to make sure abortion is no longer safe or legal.  These same politicians are the ones cutting school lunch programs, working to eliminate healthcare for pregnant women and children and cutting off welfare and food stamps.  These same politicians love the death penalty too.  You have some nerve calling yourselves “Pro-Life” when all you are is “Pro-Pregnancy”.  Any old pregnancy.  Rape pregnancy.  Incest pregnancy.  Pregnancy where it’s killing the incubator (no sense calling them women – that only serves to humanize them, right?).  You love those “innocent little babies” but you sure as hell loathe the people carrying them.  And you can feel free to come here en masse to attack me for my views, because I’m still alive.  I’ll say to you what Savita can’t: “I wanted this child and I wanted to live.”  And I’ll condemn you to the same Hell the Catholic Church condemned this beautiful, vibrant young women to for the last torturous days of her life.  Abortion is a fact of life and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  Your actions only mean that many of the women who have these abortions will die too.  You’re not stopping abortion.  You’re only stopping safe abortion.  Please, tell me some more about how much you value life.

Savita was a beautiful woman with a bright future and we will never know what her life may have become because the church decided she wasn’t worth it.

I will weep for you, Savita Halappanavar.  You will remain forever in my heart.

You will never be forgotten – because it didn’t have to happen.


Carol Baker is a free-lance political writer.  She is a regular contributor to Here Women Talk.

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