To be fair, it’s not just in the US women’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is an ongoing political issue. In Ireland, there are no free abortion laws.
This post is much to short to do the complicated and important topic justice, but I wanted to alert you to it (H/T to The Week for putting it on the “10 things you must read today” list)
In late October Savita Halappanavar went to an Irish hospital because her pregnancy threatened her health (she was 17 weeks along) refused to perform the procedure. According to the BBC, medical staffers from the University Hospital Galway told them “Ireland was a Catholic country”. She died on October 28th.
An investigation is now under way, as Mrs. Halappanavar was Indian and the Indian government is getting involved.
Turns out that sadly this isn’t the first time. As the Irish Times reports:
Two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland had failed to provide for abortion in circumstances where the mother’s life is at risk. The decision means Ireland has to legislate but Dr Reilly is facing resistance from within Fine Gael to any liberalisation of the laws on abortion.
Dr Reilly added: “We are very clear on one thing and I am very clear on one thing – we owe it to the citizens of this country and we owe it to the professionals who care for them to give clarity on the law and what is permissible.”
The Republic of Ireland should get their act together. Catholics who wish to have an abortion should have the same right as non-Catholics and non-Irish.