The Galway, Ireland woman was believed to be miscarrying, but was told, “This is a Catholic country.”
Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant at the time, eventually developed a life-threatening infection to which she succumbed a week later.
According to Halappanavar’s husband Praveen, his wife asked doctors at University Hospital Galway on multiple occasions over the course of three days to terminate the pregnancy after being told she was miscarrying and the fetus had no chance of survival.
However, as a fetal heartbeat remained present, doctors refused to perform an abortion.
“The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country,” Halappanavar told the Irish Times. “Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.”