Doctors: No Reason to OK Abortion After Savita Halappanavar’s Death

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2012   |   5:29PM   |   Dublin, Ireland

An American organization of pro-life obstetricians and gynecologists has released a statement on the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant Indian woman who died recently in Ireland.

Abortion campaigners in the mostly Catholic nation are exploiting Savita’s death in their push to get the country to legalize abortion. But the medical group from the U.S.has looked into the case and said it doesn’t believe abortion would have saved Sativa’s life.

The statement from the doctors’ group follows:

The American Association of ProLife Obstetricians and Gynecologists expresses our sincere condolences to the family of Savita Halappanavar. The death of Savita and her child are a tremendous loss. We await the results of the investigations taking place by the Galway University Hospital and the Irish government as to the cause and circumstances of her fatal infection. As obstetrician-gynecologists involved with the care of women, we know that fatal infections can progress rapidly and have observed deaths from infections in pregnant women of a similar gestational age in our own institutions in the U.S. where abortion is legal.

We abhor the exploitation of this tragic case to advocate legalization of abortion on demand in Ireland. Ireland has a sterling record of maternal safety in the world. The lack of a permissive abortion law did not cause Savita’s death. The Irish Medical Council has guidelines that allow necessary interventions, even if that treatment results in fetal death., when life-threatening maternal illness is present:

“In current obstetrical practice, rare complications can arise where therapeutic interventions (including termination of a pregnancy) is required at a stage when, due to extreme immaturity of the baby, there may be little or no hope of the baby surviving. In these exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to intervene to terminate the pregnancy to protect the mother, while making every effort to preserve the life of the baby.”



We do not yet know if failure to follow these guidelines contributed to the unfortunate outcome in Galway. In the U.S. we see frequent reports of women injured or dead in abortion clinics, as well as a high rate of preterm birth, cerebral palsy and mental health problems as a result of policies permitting abortion on demand. Ireland has thus far minimized these complications with their current policy, and should not allow Savita’s tragic death to alter their current practices protecting their women and children.