Ireland on Thursday passed a Bill to legalise abortion following a referendum in the country in May on the controversial issue sparked by the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2012 when she was refused abortion due to prevailing laws.
The referendum was resoundingly won by the ‘Yes’ campaign on the question whether the deeply conservative Catholic country should legalise abortion. A large number of women would travel to the United Kingdom, where laws are less stringent.
Halappanavar, a dentist who became an icon of the ‘Yes’ campaign during the referendum, died of sepsis in Galway after being denied abortion during protracted miscarriage.
Her smiling image on posters was one of the prominent ones in the ‘Yes’ campaign, with the words, ‘Savita Matters, Women Matter’. The ensuing law was widely called ‘Savita law’ after her.
Reports from Dublin said the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill will now be given to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law. Indian-origin Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had supported the ‘Yes’ campaign during the referendum.
The bill allows for abortion services to be provided “on demand” up to the 12th week of a pregnancy, in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality or where the physical or mental health of the mother is in danger.
First Published: Dec 14, 2018 20:10 IST
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