Press Release: Abortion Rights Campaign call for legislation after return of inquest verdict

Speaking following the return of the inquest verdict in to the death of Savita Halappanavar, Abortion Rights Campaign spokesperson Cathie Doherty said the verdict confirmed that Savita’s death was preventable and urged the Irish Medical Council to implement the recommendations given by the Coroner as a matter of urgency. 

Spokesperson Ms Doherty said: “Our thoughts are with Praveen and the Halappanavar family on this very sad day. Mr Halappanavar has conducted himself with dignity and integrity throughout this heartbreaking ordeal. Our deepest sympathies are with him. The verdict returned by the the jury of medical misadventure confirms that her tragic and untimely death was wholly unnecessary; and the strongly worded recommendations from the Coroner that the Irish Medical Council needs to ensure which doctors feel safe in offering women medically necessary abortions – without fear of prosecution. This emphasises the urgency in ensuring that Irish legislation reflects that need.”

Further commenting spokesperson Sinéad Redmond said: “We urge the Irish government in the strongest possible terms to legislate immediately to give pregnant women’s lives legal protection here under the terms upheld in two referenda. The delay is unjustifiable.”

“Medical experts involved in the case agree that if Savita’s request for an abortion had been granted when she first made it she would in all probability be alive today. The cruel distinction made in Irish law between a woman’s health and her life is unsafe and unworkable in practice. The 8th amendment to the Irish constitution has played a huge part in Savita Halappanavar’s death and needs to be repealed immediately to ensure the safety of pregnant women in Ireland.”