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    Posted on 16 November 2012

    Savita death: MEA intervenes, asks Irish govt to take action

    Indian government asks Indian Ambassador to Ireland to follow up after protests erupt over the pregnant dentist’s death

    Tehelka.com Bureau
    New Delhi

    BJP held a protest outside the Irish embassy in New Delhi on Friday 16 November

    Photo: Vijay Pandey

    Union Minsiter for External Affairs Salman Khurshid has asked the Indian Ambassador to Ireland to speak to the Irish government to take urgent action in the investigations into the death of pregnant Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar. The death of the dentist due to septicaemia has sparked a major debate. It has been alleged that Halappanavar died of complications after doctors refused to terminate her 17-week-long pregnancy because Ireland is a Catholic nation and abortion of a living foetus is not permitted by law.

    Thirty-one-year-old Halappanavar died on 28 October 2012 following which the an outrage erupted. Since then, both pro choice and pro life activists have been engaged in a debate that has now seen protests both in parts of Ireland, London, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore among others.

    According to Khurshid, the Indian Ambassador to Ireland has also been told to keep the MEA informed of the steps the Irish government has taken to investigate the matter. “Two inquiries have been instituted: one by the hospital and one by the government. We have to await outcome of the inquiry,” said Khurshid. According to the minister the Irish parliament is also looking into the matter. “It’s complex in nature, there are constitutional provisions that prevail but within those provisions the interpretation of when they can intervene to save the life of the mother is something for which there must have been an opportunity for medical assistance. Why it didn't happen, will only be known after inquiry,” said Khurshid who also expressed sympathy with Halappanavar’s family.

    The Embassy of Ireland had also stated that their government was committed to finding out the circumstances and facts about the case. It has been reported that the Irish Prime Minister and the Minister for Health spoke on the matter in the Irish Parliament and expressed their deepest condolences to the family.

    Halappanavar's mother A Mahadevi and father Andanappa Yalagi have been on various news channels demanding Ireland's abortion laws be changed. They allege that the lack of medical assistance due to the anti-abortion law of Ireland was the cause of their daughter's death.

    Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a protest outside the Irish embassy in New Delhi. Senior Communist Party Marxist leader Brinda Karat also asked the Indian government to intervene.

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    Posted on 16 November 2012



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