Same Country, different planet: Pregnancy termination in Ireland

We’re not living in the middle ages anymore, or are we? Well you could have fooled me.

I’m from County Galway in Ireland. I attended Galway University and graduated from there in 1991. When I was there we had a referendum on whether or not condom machines should be placed in University bathrooms, this was a nationwide university referendum. Galway was the only university to vote no.

I was so shocked at the time, even as a a good Catholic abiding nerd I knew that it was unfair to impose my ideology on other people, so I voted yes to condom machines. ( I have since changed my Catholic abiding ways) But then again, Ireland was always a bit backward in it’s thinking regarding sex.

I could never understand why the words freedom of choice disturbed people. For me it is a matter of not imposing my ideology on someone else. I am not infallible, and neither is the pope, although he seems to think so.

We have this law in Ireland where a woman can terminate a pregnancy if her life or the baby’s life is at risk. In October of this year, the medical staff at University Hospital Galway acted as if they inhabited the same country as the rest of Ireland, but lived on a different planet.

When Savita Halappanavar, 31, at 17 weeks pregnant asked for treatment at University Hospital Galway complaining of severe back pain, she was informed  that she was having a miscarriage. Halappanavar requested a pregnancy termination, but medical staff told her, “This is a Catholic country,” and until they could no longer detect a fetal heart beat they could not perform the procedure.

Three days after being admitted to the hospital the medical staff removed the deceased fetus and three days later Savita died of septicemia. Now, we do have the law that permits pregnancy termination, but knowing that this woman was having a miscarriage , they still had to wait three days?

Who is at fault here? The medical staff abiding by the strict Irish law, or the government for having a clause that says as soon as a fetus is conceived it is a legal Irish citizen?Talk about having your hands tied behind your back!

I hope this woman’s death will coerce the Irish government to do the right thing and change this law. The teachings of the church in Ireland have permeated every aspect of society; separation of church and state is a MUST!

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One thought on “Same Country, different planet: Pregnancy termination in Ireland

  1. Pingback: :) So proud that Elly is my Cousin! :) « Day One

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