‘Abortion now allowed’ in Ireland, inquest hears

Savita Halappanavar died after she suffering a miscarriage. Picture: The Irish Times/PA
Savita Halappanavar died after she suffering a miscarriage. Picture: The Irish Times/PA
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THE widower of an Indian dentist who died in hospital in Ireland after suffering a miscarriage has said a consultant told the couple an abortion was not allowed because “this is a Catholic country”.

• Widow of Savita Halappanavar tells inquest couple were told abortion not permitted because “this is a Catholic country”

Praveen Halappanavar speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Galway Courthouse. Picture: Getty

Praveen Halappanavar speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Galway Courthouse. Picture: Getty

• Mrs Halappanavar died of suspected septicaemia days after losing her baby

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when admitted to University Hospital Galway on October 21 last year and died a week later from suspected septicaemia, days after she lost her baby.

The 31-year-old’s widower, Praveen, today told an inquest that consultant Katherine Astbury twice dismissed requests for a termination and told the couple it was because the foetus was alive.

Mr Halappanavar said that on Tuesday October 23 last year, his wife requested a termination for a second time.

“Dr Astbury came in,” he said.

“Savita asked her, can you terminate the baby?’

“She said ‘unfortunately I cannot. This is a Catholic country, We are bound by the law. We cannot terminate the foetus when it’s still alive’.”