THE PRO LIFE Group, Youth Defence, has said abortion campaigners are rushing to exploit the case of Savita Praveen Halappanavar to “further their own agenda” and insisted that her death was not caused by Ireland’s ban on abortion.
The campaign group said that its thoughts and prayers were with the Indian woman’s family and insisted that there were “very clear” Medical Council guidelines which state that doctors will be struck off if they don’t intervene to save a mother’s life.
The group was responding to the news of the 31-year-0ld dentist’s death at the University Hospital Galway last month after she suffered a miscarriage over two days.
Today’s Irish Times quotes her husband as saying that his wife was repeatedly refused a termination.
Savita later developed septicemia and died. The matter was raised in the Dáil this morning where there were calls for an independent inquiry into the case separate to two investigations already being carried out by the HSE and the hospital.
Youth Defence said that journalists – whom they did not identify – had been “rushing to pre-empt those investigations when they are not in full possession of the facts”.
Its statement said: “According to the information that is available, it seems that a delay in administering antibiotics may have been the cause of the septicaemia which tragically led to her death.
“Experts commenting on the case have made it clear that in such cases the main concentration of the medical team treating any woman in this situations would be on maintaining her health.”
Youth Defence went on to say that Ireland’s ban on abortion does not pose a threat to women’s lives citing “Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who care for Irish women every day”.
“In fact, without abortion, Ireland is one of the safest places in the world for a mother to have a baby, according to the United Nations,” the statement said.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute added: ”It is very sad to see abortion campaigners rush to exploit this case to further their own agenda.
“The tragic loss of Savita Halappanavar’s life was not caused by Ireland’s ban on abortion. We need to ensure that mothers and babies are best protected; and abortion is not part of best medical practise. It is medieval medicine. ”
In another statement issued a short time ago, Senator Ronan Mullen said that it was “regrettable” to see people using the case “as an argument for legislating for the Supreme Court decision in X.”
He also pointed to Medical Council guidelines which he said meant that Savita was entitled to the treatment she needed.
Mullen said that there needed to be fairness to the medical staff involved in the case and that people needed to await the outcome of investigations that have been set up.
He said: “According to medical council guidelines, widely accepted medical practice and Irish law, a woman in Ms Halappanavar’s situation is entitled to the medical treatment she needs.
“This is true regardless of the existence of a foetal heartbeat or whether her unborn child might die or already have died.
“A primary issue in this case may have been the diagnosis and management of infection. But there would be no good legal or ethical reason why an induced delivery could not have taken place, once the medical situation called for that.”
He continued: “It’s regrettable that some people are seeking to use this tragedy as an argument for legislating for the Supreme Court decision in X.
“There is no legal impediment to offering all necessary medical treatment to pregnant women. Notwithstanding this tragedy, Ireland still ranks as one of the safest countries in the world for pregnant women.
“On the other hand, legislation for the X-case decision would, among other things, introduce abortion on a mental health ground that is unjustifiable on any reputable medical basis.”