A leaked copy of the report the government of Ireland is expected to release in response to the death of Savita Halappanavar conducted by an expert panel named to examine the nation’s pro-life laws on abortion suggests some abortions should be allowed.
The report, which the British pro-life group SPUC has obtained, recommends “limited abortion” be available and an appeals process be established for women who are denied an abortion under the laws protecting unborn children.
“Termination of pregnancy should be considered a medical treatment regardless of whether the risk to the woman arises on physical or mental health grounds,” the leaked report suggests. “In the case of a risk to the mother it must establish criteria or procedures by which a doctor is to assess that risk; and set up an independent review system where a patient disputes her doctor’s refusal to certify that she is entitled to a lawful abortion and where there is a disagreement between doctors as to whether one is necessary.”
“Ultimately, the most politically contentious aspect of the report is likely to be its analysis of whether non-statutory guidelines on the rights of a woman to an abortion in Irish hospitals, or a legislative response, will meet the requirements of the European Court of Human Rights,” it says.
In an email to LifeNews, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children responded to media stories about the leaked report, due to be published later this week, saying it would wrongly open the door to legalized abortions.
John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: “According to a leaked copy of the report, the so-called experts recommend that ‘termination of pregnancy should be considered a medical treatment regardless of whether the risk to the woman arises on physical or mental health grounds.'”
“If this principle is followed to its logical conclusion, Ireland will end up with a similar abortion regime to Great Britain. Britain’s Abortion Act 1967 is based on the false premise that there are circumstances in which abortion is a clinically-indicated medical treatment, such that abortionists should be automatically exempt from prosecution under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, under which abortion is a criminal offence,” Smeaton said. “It is no surprise, therefore, that the report calls for the 1861 Act’s provisions on abortion to be removed from Irish law. The Irish people must rise up and demand that the Irish constitution’s ban on abortion be upheld against this report, which is the fruit of the international pro-abortion lobby’s machinations.”
Irish pro-life groups are dismayed by the deluge of pressure pouring on Ireland to change its abortion laws following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar from a complicated miscarriage on October 28th at University College Hospital Galway.
Despite the paucity of information surrounding Savita’s death, media outlets and abortion activists have blamed laws prohibiting abortion and even the Catholic Church for her death, relying on emotional accounts of Savita’s husband, Praveen. The Indian couple’s ordeal was publicized in the Irish Times on November 14, a week after Kitty Holland of the Irish Times first contacted Praveen, on November 8.
Irish pro-life groups are dismayed at how Savita’s death has been exploited by abortion campaigners and media. Savita’s request to be induced prematurely once the miscarriage had begun should not have been denied. The Irish Medical Council’s guidelines do not rule out a termination of the pregnancy in those circumstances. Two investigations into the tragedy are still ongoing, and no results have been published.
The Irish Independent has uncovered scheming by abortion campaigners to exploit Savita’s death. Abortion campaigners were aware of Savita’s story three days before it broke in the Irish Times, and they organized accordingly, staging rallies that were reported in the media as “spontaneous,” and issuing statements condemning Ireland’s abortion laws.
Savita’s chances were better in Ireland than elsewhere. The most recent data from the WHO (2010) indicates that only 6 out of 100,000 women die in Ireland as a result of complications related to pregnancy. That is half those who die in the UK (12), one third less than in the US (21), and thirty-three times less than India (200), all countries where abortion is legal.
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“There has been understandable public sympathy following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. This is a hugely difficult time for the family of Savita Halappanavar, and we hope that the official investigations will shed full light on this tragedy,” Precious Life added. “The tragic loss of Savita Halappanavar’s life was not caused by Ireland’s law against abortion. In every pregnancy in Ireland it must always be ensured that both mother and baby are best protected; but abortion is not part of best medical practise. Doctors are always obliged to intervene to save the life of the mother – even if there is a risk that the medical treatment could result in the unintentional death of her baby.”