Tag Archives: abortion

State imposed ‘Catholic’ care leads to death of pregant Hindu woman in Galway.

The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1114/1224326575203.html

KITTY HOLLAND and PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

Intensive care

The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the Health Service Executive had begun an investigation while the hospital had also instigated an internal investigation. He said the hospital extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar but could not discuss the details of any individual case.

Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

Critically ill

At lunchtime the foetal heart had stopped and Ms Halappanavar was brought to theatre to have the womb contents removed. “When she came out she was talking okay but she was very sick. That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

At 11 pm he got a call from the hospital. “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren’t functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

Mr Halappanavar took his wife’s body home on Thursday, November 1st, where she was cremated and laid to rest on November 3rd.

The hospital spokesman said that in general sudden hospital deaths were reported to the coroner. In the case of maternal deaths, a risk review of the case was carried out.

External experts were involved in this review and the family consulted on the terms of reference. They were also interviewed by the review team and given a copy of the report.

This is a personal nightmare.
There are are issues with high blood pressure in my family.
This could have been my sister, my cousin or in years to come my daughter.

Galway Pro-choice statement re the death of Savita Praveen

https://www.facebook.com/GalwayProChoice/posts/379753642107027

For Release: Woman Dies in UCHG after Being Denied a Life-Saving Abortion

On Sunday the 28th of October, Savita Praveen died at UCHG after being denied a termination which would most likely have saved her life. She was 31 years old, married for four years and hoping to start a family.

If legislation is not introduced immediately, more women will die. Under the X Case ruling, women in Ireland are legally entitled to an abortion when it is necessary to save their life. However, legislation has never been passed to reflect this. It is the failure of successive governments to do so that led to Savita’s death.

Savita was first admitted to the hospital on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. Her doctor initially told her that she would be fine, but she refused to go home. It became clear that her waters had broken, and she was having a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). She was told that the foetus had no chance of survival, and it would all be over within a few hours.

However, her condition did not take its expected course, and the foetus remained inside her body. Although it was evident that it could not survive, a foetal heartbeat was detected. For this reason her repeated requests to remove the foetus were denied. By Tuesday it was clear that her condition was deteriorating. She had developed a fever, and collapsed when attempting to walk. The cervix had now been fully open for nearly 72 hours, creating a danger of infection comparable to an untreated open head wound. She developed septicaemia.

Despite this, the foetus was not removed until Wednesday afternoon, after the foetal heartbeat had stopped. Immediately after the procedure she was taken to the high dependency unit. Her condition never improved. She died at 1.09am on Sunday the 28th of October.

Had the foetus been removed when it became clear that it could not survive, her cervix would have been closed and her chance of infection dramatically reduced. Leaving a woman’s cervix open constitutes a clear risk to her life. What is unclear is how doctors are expected to act in this situation.

Rachel Donnelly, Galway Pro-Choice spokesperson stated:
“This was an obstetric emergency which should have been dealt with in a routine manner. Yet Irish doctors are restrained from making obvious medical decisions by a fear of potentially severe consequences. As the European Court of Human Rights ruled, as long as the 1861 Act remains in place, alongside a complete political unwillingness to touch the issue, pregnant women will continue to be unsafe in this country.”

Sarah McCarthy, Galway Pro-Choice member said:
“Galway Pro-Choice believes that Ireland must legislate for freely available abortion for all women. Deaths like Savita’s are the most severe consequence of the criminalisation of abortion, yet it has countless adverse effects. We must reflect long and hard on the implications of Savita’s tragic and untimely passing, and we must act to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”

For more information please contact Galway Pro-Choice on 087 706 0715 or Sarah McCarthy on 085 7477 907

Legislate for X Action, a reply from Leo Varadkar T.D.

06/11/2012 15:44, Minister Varadkar Constituency wrote:

6th November 2012

Dear Ms [Sharrow]
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. You can be sure that I will take your views into account.

As committed to in the Programme for Government, an Expert Group, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise, was established in January to study the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the ABC v. Ireland case. In that judgement, the European Court held that the Irish State had failed to legislate to implement existing rights to lawful abortion when a mother’s life is at risk.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution states that: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. “

The interpretation of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution arose in the “X case” in 1992. A majority of the members of the Supreme Court of Ireland held that, if it were established, as a matter of probability, that there was a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother and that this real and substantial risk could only be averted by the termination of her pregnancy, such a termination was lawful.

The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland case confirmed that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution is in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the Court ruled that “no criteria or procedures have been… laid down in Irish law… by which that risk is to be measured or determined, leading to uncertainty…” and held that further legal clarity was required.

In order to address the judgment, and to fulfil a commitment included in the Programme for Government, the Government established an Expert Group, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise, with a view to making recommendations on how this matter should be properly addressed.

The Expert Group, Chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, will report in September with recommendations on a series of options on how to implement the judgment taking into account the constitutional, legal, medical, and ethical considerations involved in the formulation of public policy in this area and the over-riding need for expeditious action in light of the ECtHR judgement.

The Government believes that this is the appropriate forum in which to examine this complex and sensitive matter.

When the Group finalises its report later this year the Government will then decide how to proceed.

Best wishes,
Leo Varadkar T.D.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

Anyone spot that?

The Expert Group, Chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, will report in September

Ok this is either an old stock reply, as it is now November or else the expert group is not reporting back until September 2013 which is far from expeditious. I have written back asking for clarity on this.

Still no reply from Joan Burton or Patrick Nulty.

IF you have still not Emailed your own TDs you can do, in one go here:
http://www.nwci.ie/takeaction/

Legislate for X Action, reply from Joe Higgins office.

On 02/11/2012 17:20, Joe Higgins wrote:
Dear [Sharrow],

Many thanks for getting in touch in relation to this important issue. Myself and my colleagues in the United Left Alliance have been to the fore in pushing for legislation for the X-case. We will continue to pressure the Government to introduce this long overdue legislation. We will continue to raise this issue in the Dail if there is continued delaying tactics in relation to the report of the expert group.
Kind Regards,

Jimmy Dignam
Dail Assistant to Joe Higgins TD
01-6183370
joe.higgins@oir.ie

I got a wonderfully prompt reply, still waiting on replies from Joan burton and Patrick Nulty. I am going to email them again.

Dawn Purvis speaks about the new Maire Stopes clinic in Belfast.

http://www.newstalk.ie/2012/news/first-abortion-clinic-to-open-on-island-of-ireland/

The first ever clinic to offer abortions on the island of Ireland will open in one weeks’ time.

Marie Stopes International is setting up a centre on Great Victoria Street in Belfast.

The not-for-profit organisation operates in 42 countries around the world.

It is one of the leading providers of sexual and reproductive healthcare services in Britian.

The new Belfast clinic will be open to women over the age of 16 including those who travel from the Republic.

Women who attend there will have a consultation and a scan before 2 doctors assess whether they are eligible for an abortion up to 9 weeks into their pregnancy.

The cost of the non-surgical procedure is expected to be around stg£350 (€435).

The director of the new clinic in the city is Dawn Purvis.

She spoke with Breakfast here on Newstalk.

There is a Maire Stopes clinic in Dublin, the will not currently be able to offer the service of medical abortions but they should have information about the services in the Belfast clinic.

http://www.reproductivechoices.ie/

Marie Stopes Reproductive Choices
10/11 Berkeley Street
Dublin 7

Phone: (01) 830 0630
Fax: (01) 830 0629
Email us:

info@reproductivechoices.ie

Marie Stopes Northern Ireland to provide medical abortion.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1010/breaking57.html

The first sexual and reproductive health centre to offer abortion services on the island of Ireland will open in Belfast next Thursday.

Marie Stopes Northern Ireland, based in purpose-built city centre premises on Great Victoria Street, will offer contraceptive options, HIV testing, STI testing and treatment, ultrasound scanning, and medical abortion up to nine weeks gestation.

Anyone over the age of 16 can access the centre, including people from the Republic, and services are available by appointment only. Marie Stopes International, which is a not-for-profit organisation, is the UK’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare services. It has been established for over 30 years, and works in 42 countries around the world.

It will be medical abortions only which means for some women living up there they won’t have to travel to the mainland UK. It’s a start, hopefully we will have similar services here too.

Expert group on abortion rights set up.

Minister sets up expert group on abortion rights
In this section »

DEAGLÁN de BRÉADÚN, Political Correspondent

MEMBERS OF the medical, legal and nursing professions are to sit on a 14-member expert group being set up to address the outcome of last year’s European Court of Human Rights ruling on abortion rights in Ireland.

Minister for Health James Reilly received approval at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting to establish the group. It will be in place by the end of the year or shortly thereafter and will have six months to deliver a report to Government.

The European Court ruled last December that the State had failed to implement existing rights to lawful abortion where a mother’s life is at risk. The court found the State violated the rights of a woman with cancer who said she was forced to travel abroad to obtain an abortion.

The programme for government pledged to “establish an expert group to address this issue, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise with a view to making recommendations to Government”. As required under the procedures of the court, the Government submitted an action plan last June, outlining its intention to set up the expert group.

Also at yesterday’s meeting, Taoiseach Enda Kenny received approval for the establishment of an interdepartmental committee on European engagements as a subcommittee of the Cabinet.

Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton is expected to play a prominent role on this committee, which will monitor and co-ordinate the Government’s involvement with EU institutions.

Finally.

Sister of Mercy excommunicated for being well merciful.

This is insane.
Those that ruined lives are still being protected by the roman catholic church, while those who are seeking to save them are being excommunicated. Is the church really that much of an old boys network?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985072

Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure,” and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was “close to 100 percent.”

The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.

“They were in quite a dilemma,” says Lisa Sowle Cahill, who teaches Catholic theology at Boston College. “There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make.”

But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.
Documents
Church Q&A On Abortion, Sister Margaret McBride And Excommunication
Catholic Hospitals Fact Sheet About Abortion

The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy.

“She consented in the murder of an unborn child,” says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

Ehrich adds that under canon or church law, the nun should be expelled from her order, the Sisters of Mercy, unless the order can find an alternative penalty. Ehrich concedes that the circumstances of this case were “hard.”

“But there are certain things that we don’t really have a choice” about, he says. “You know, if it’s been done and there’s public scandal, the bishop has to take care of that, because he has to say, ‘Look, this can’t happen.’ ”

A Double Standard?

But according to the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer, the bishop “clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated.” Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a “gross inequity” in how the church chooses to handle scandal.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in 2003
Enlarge Roy Dabner/AP

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, shown here in 2003, declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in 2003
Roy Dabner/AP

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, shown here in 2003, declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.

“In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook,” Doyle says.

Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.

“Yet in this instance we have a sister who was trying to save the life of a woman, and what happens to her? The bishop swoops down [and] declares her excommunicated before he even looks at all the facts of the case,” Doyle says.

Ehrich agrees that sexual abuse can’t be tolerated. But he says neither can McBride’s actions.

“She said, ‘Yes, you can kill that unborn child.’ That’s a heinous act. And I’m not going to make a distinction between what’s worse. They’re both abhorrent,” Ehrich says.

Ehrich says the nun can be admitted back into the Catholic community by going to confession and repenting. McBride still works at the hospital in another position. Whether she is allowed to remain in her religious order, Erich says that is up to the Sisters of Mercy

Someone you know has had an abortion.

IFPA Launches Campaign for Safe and Legal Abortion in Ireland
http://www.ifpa.ie/news/index.php?mr=111

Between January 1980 and December 2004, at least 117,673 women traveled from Ireland for abortion services in Britain. There are no statistics to account for the number of women who travel to other countries for abortion services

http://www.ifpa.ie/abortion/iabst.html

These are not faceless numbers.

This is your sister, your friend, your work college, your aunt, your mother, your girl friend, your ex girl friend, the person you see on the dart, luas, bus every morning,the girl in the newsagents, or checkouts or the girl that was giving you the eye the last time you were in that bar.

Every one of them made that very hard choice, made even harder by having to travel and in years gone by not being able to get information.

And then you have those that could not get the money together.
Who say they love their kid but wished their life could have been different but they did not have the money for flights ect.

Ideally every act of conception should be one that both people have planned but life doesn’t work that way, esp with the lack of education and of cheap contraception in this country.

So we ignore the big taboo.
Women don’t tell their stories.
They don’t share why they full of relief, guilt,sadness and happiness twice a year, usually the date of their termination and that date the child would have been born.

Being in the enviable position of having to think about an abortion is hard.
Having to make that choice is hard.

Having to make an appointment to get information or a referral is hard.
Keeping that appointment and talking out loud about your choice is hard.
Booking flights and traveling over, knowing that the mid morning flights
carry other women like you and the air stewards can spot them is hard.

Having to get into a taxi and give the name of the clinic and seeing the look of sympathy or shock, hard.
Facing the dr and the counselor in the clinic in the UK and having them ask
you if you are sure even after you have traveled all the way there is hard.
Traveling home, telling no one, having to go through the mental , emotional, hormonal and physical aftermath of a termination and most people not knowing what is up with you and you can’t tell them is hard.

Having this topic bandied about by people who have never been through it is hard.
Seeing pro lifer nuts on the streets of our city condemning so many women is hard.
Having it used as a political foot ball is hard.
Having it said that it is political foot ball is hard.
Having people make moral judgment about who would or could have a termination is hard.

And they say we DON’T punish women for having abortions in this country don’t make me laugh.

Being able to be there for a friend and travel with them and offer solace
and waiting for their call or text on those two days a year is hard also
but nothing compared to what they have been through.