In memory Savita Halappanavar. Reform of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
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We demand 21st Century healthcare provision for the women of Ireland, both North and South.
Last month Savita Halappanavar died in the University Hospital, Galway, after being denied a termination of her, sadly, unviable pregnancy. Despite repeated requests for medical assistance and though experiencing great suffering, she was left to die in agony. This wholly unnecessary and tragic death was entirely preventable, but due to the thoughtless and theocratic legal constraints that exist in Ireland, both North and South (Offences Against the Person Act, 1861), nothing was done. As a consequence of this draconian legislation, Savita's care-providers were left unwilling or unable to provide any semblance of adequate medical intervention.
In our pluralist and, supposedly, modern country, such state condoned negligence is no longer acceptable. Savita is but the latest and most publicised victim of this abhorrent situation. Countless other women have had to resort to illegal terminations, with all the horrific consequences that this entails, or flee the country of their birth to receive adequate help and provision. No more.
Immediate reform of this outmoded, inhumane and ill-defined legislation is essential, if we are to regard ourselves as a modern, compassionate country, both North and South.