Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Legislate for X – Shocking Leak of HSE Halappanavar Report

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Joan Collins TD, Clare Daly TD Statement –13 Feb 2013 –
Legislate for X –Now No restrictions that make abortion unavailable

Today’s leaked report of the draft HSE investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar contains shocking confirmation of what was reported at the time of her death –and more. Commenting on the leaks in the press Joan Collins said

“The first person to see this report should have been Praveen Halappanavar. We hope this has happened and that he has not read about it in the papers. It is unacceptable that a report which was apparently concluded six weeks ago should be delayed for another ten days before being published. The leaks from this report confirm that a dying fetus was given priority over an increasing risk to Savita’s life. It says that even before her request for an abortion, ‘the clinical situation indicated a significant and increasing risk to the mother’; and that ‘… septic shock could have been avoided by an earlier termination knowing that –without a termination –the prognosis for the fetus and potentially for the patient was poor”

Yet a consultant is quoted as saying “our hands were tied” by the current legal situation as long as there was a fetal heartbeat and no immediate risk to the woman’s life.” Clare Daly said: “Whatever the interpretation of current guidelines by the doctors concerned, this must never happen again. There must be legislation so that doctors can perform abortions when pregnancy puts a woman’s life at risk. And as the Chief Justice said in the X Case ruling, that risk should not have to be ‘immediate or inevitable’ in order for abortion to be approved. The forthcoming legislation must not have restrictions so that abortion is unavailable in practice. The opinion of no more than two medical practitioners should be sufficient to unds of physical risk to life ocal practitioners should be sufficient to approve abortion –either on grounds of physical risk to life or risk of suicide. Abortion should be available throughout the country –as near as possible to women’s homes –and not restricted to just a few hospitals. And abortion should be available if a fetus has an abnormality that means it cannot survive.

Legislation for X might have saved Savita’s life. But what her death shows is that abortion must be available if a pregnancy puts a woman’s health at risk. There is overwhelming popular support for abortion in such situations, as well as for rape and incest, or fatal fetal abnormality. The most recent poll shows 60% support for ‘a woman’s right to choose’. Abortion in these circumstances, which we support, requires the repeal of Art 40.3.3 of the Constitution.

Savita’s unnecessary death must not be the fate of other women. There must be no more delays in legislating to the X case. Once that’s in place we will be campaigning for the repeal of Art 40.3.3 and the introduction of
free, safe, legal abortion in Ireland.

Written by tomasoflatharta

February 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

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