Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Thousands march for abortion rights in Ireland

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-19

Thousands in Dublin marched for abortion rights this weekend, following the October death of an Indian dentist in Ireland who died of blood poisoning after doctors allegedly denied her an abortion, even though she was in the midst of a miscarriage.

Thousands of people marched Saturday through the streets of Dublin, demanding abortion rights and paying tribute to the Indian dentist who died on Oct. 28 in an Irish hospital after allegedly being denied an abortion.

Speakers from Irish socialist parties, women’s groups and abortion rights activists addressed the crowd from atop a flat-bed truck. They decried the fact that two decades had passed without any political decision to define when hospitals were allowed to perform abortions.

Pro-choice organizers of the march in the Irish capital said as many as 10,000 showed up for the event, which ended with a candlelight vigil outside the office of Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Marchers, many of them mothers and daughters walking side by side, chanted “Never again!” and held pictures of Savita Halappanavar.

The 31-year-old resident of the city of Galway, who was 17 weeks pregnant with her first child, was hospitalized in mid-October with severe pain at the start of a miscarriage.

She died days later of blood poisoning, and after repeatedly being denied requests for an abortion by doctors, her husband Praveen has said.

Shock in Galway

In Galway on Ireland's west coast, where the Halappanavars settled in 2008, hundreds of people carrying candles took to the city's Eyre Square on Saturday.

“I came here out of anger, sadness and disappointment. My own mother died in similar circumstances 50 years ago," Margaret Geraghty told the AFP news agency, while holding a lit candle.

“This whole week has been a memory of that. I just can't believe this can still happen in today's world. I'm just glad Praveen had the bravery to tell the world about this.”

Halappanavar’s death has highlighted Ireland’s long struggle to come to grips with abortion.

Abortion is illegal in the predominantly Roman Catholic country, except when it is necessary to save a mother’s life.

But successive governments have refused to pass legislation spelling out the rules governing that general principle, leaving the decision up to individual doctors in an environment of secrecy.

Probe pending

Meanwhile, the Indian government cranked up the pressure on Dublin over Halappanavar’s death, while outraged demonstrators staged protests outside the Irish embassy in India on Friday.

India's ambassador to Ireland met Irish authorities on Friday to seek assurances of a transparent investigation into the incident.

“It is a sad issue,” Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said in a televised interview. “They have a legal framework that is rooted in religion. But there can’t be a bigger goal in religion than to save the life of a mother.”

According to the Indian daily The Hindu, Halappanavar’s father has asked Ireland’s prime minister to change the abortion laws to prevent others from meeting his daughter's fate.

Her family also said that it was considering legal action against the hospital and that no health or government officials had been in touch with them to express any remorse, the Hindu reported.

Halappanavar’s husband took her body back to India for a Hindu funeral service and cremation on November 3 but intends to return to his job as a medical devices engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway.

(France 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-11-18

  • FRANCE 24 BLOG

    Hindu woman denied abortion in ‘Catholic’ Ireland

    Read more

  • NORTHERN IRELAND

    Belfast's first abortion clinic reignites bitter divide

    Read more

COMMENT(S)