Pregnant Indian woman's death flares up abortion debate in Ireland

Dublin, Nov. 15 (ANI): Ireland's strict anti-abortion laws have been criticized after an Indian woman living there died after being refused an abortion last month.

Savita Halappanavar, 31, who was 17 weeks pregnant, went to a hospital on October 21, complaining of back pain.

Her husband said that the doctors who examined her told that she was having a miscarriage, but denied her an abortion even though she was in extreme pain.

Halappanavar died at the hospital, leading lawmakers to call for an investigation into what role abortion laws may have played in her death.

"They knew they couldn't help the baby. Why did they not look at the bigger life?" her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, said.

According to CNN, Halappanavar was told that the pain would be over in a few hours, but kept delaying the abortion and Halappanavar remained in terrible pain.

Doctors at Galway University Hospital said that as long as the heartbeat could be felt, the law prevented them from carrying out the abortion, the report said.

Halappanavar died of septicemia, or a blood infection, after three days in the hospital, it added.

The death led to protests, and top Irish lawmakers are asking whether the law needs to be changed.

In Ireland, abortion is legal if the mother's life is at risk, which is different from her health being at risk, the report said.

The hospital expressed sympathy to Halappanavar's husband, but noted in a statement that 'the facts of this tragic case have yet to be established'.

The hospital is conducting a review of the incident, as it does will all unexpected deaths, the report added. (ANI)