Home / News / This is Ireland: Young pregnant woman with septicemia denied abortion, dies
This is Ireland: Young pregnant woman with septicemia denied abortion, dies

This is Ireland: Young pregnant woman with septicemia denied abortion, dies

This is Ireland.  A country with green and rolling landscape, where people are friendly and quaint cottages dot the countryside–where you can get a pint of Guinness and sing in the pubs, and where women die because abortion is illegal.  Though abortion is legal if the life of the mother is in danger, the laws are unclear. As a result, hospital staff at University Hospital in Galway refused to give Savita Halappanavar one.

Savita Halappanavar wasn't a slut. She wasn't looking to have a "good time" and suffered the consequences by getting pregnant. She was young, married, a dentist, and 17 weeks pregnant when she entered hospital complaining of back pain. As it turns out, she was miscarrying. As a result of the miscarriage, severe septicemia set in. Her husband, an engineer, requested termination of the pregnancy repeatedly, only to be told there was still a foetal heartbeat. At one point he was told in response to his request that "This is Catholic country."

Savita spent 2 and 1/2 days in utter agony before the pregnancy terminated and she died. Savita developed the shakes. She vomited continuously until she collapsed by the toilet in the hospital bathroom.  It didn't matter that she was neither Irish, nor Catholic. The Irish Times reports that at least two investigations are under way.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the Health Service Executive had begun an investigation while the hospital had also instigated an internal investigation. He said the hospital extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar but could not discuss the details of any individual case.

Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

. Savita was cremated and laid to rest November 3rd.  Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, in the below video, calls for legislation on medical termination because of this scandal, saying " a pregnancy termination is lawful and can be shown when there is a real substantial risk to the health of the mother. When will you bring forth legislation as promised?"    The reply was that the minister of health had to "read the report and reflect on it."

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • We extend our deepest sympathies to the husband and family of Ms Savita Halappanavar who died from pregnancy related complications.

    It is deplorable that those who want to see abortion available here are exploiting Mrs Halappanavar’s tragic death when the Medical Council Guidelines are very clear that all necessary medical treatment must be given to women in pregnancy. Given this, we welcome the fact that a thorough investigation to establish what went wrong is taking place.
    It is also vitally important to acknowledge at this time that Ireland, without induced abortion, is recognized by the UN and World Health Organisation as a world leader in protecting women in pregnancy and is safer than places like Britain and Holland where abortion is widely available.”

    • In fact, the Medical Council are very clear in this regard that their guidelines state that doctors will be struck off if they don’t intervene to save the life of a mother. The result of the investigation into Ms Halappanavar’s death will make the facts known, and journalists have been rushing to pre-empt those investigations when they are not in full possession of the facts.

      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. “In such situations, you expedite delivery,” one Obstetrician told the Irish Times. Interventions to deal with the cause of the illness are not considered a therapeutic termination of pregnancy, another Dublin-based practitioner told the newspaper.

      Ireland’s ban on abortion does not pose a threat to women’s lives, according to the 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.

      • And yet, a woman died because she was denied an abortion. Thanks for your insights!

        • Deborah_B

          It's a good article and very timely, considering a pending decision from an "expert group" following a UN high court ruling, and considering that all through the U.S. election process, we were told about absolute abortion constantly. I believe that one Republican candidate for senator (who lost), alleged that medicine is so advanced nowadays that women never die because of pregnancy and that they use their health as "an excuse" to have an abortion.

      • This is the problem with the "no abortion unless mother's life is in danger" position – even the doctors didn't know when her life was in danger. And how do you decide *when* a mother's life has been endangered enough? This "pro-life" ethic has been exposed for what it does: it leads medical professionals and "ethicists" to take unnecessary and extreme risks with the lives of women.

        The tragedy in all of this is that Savita *chose* to terminate her pregnancy, but was overruled by doctors whose hands were tied by religiously-inflected law.

        Look at the twists and knots you're tying yourself into as you try to explain this away – and compare that to the blanket, simplistic pronouncement you'd make on your "pro-life" ethics.

    • Spuddie

      Bullcrap. You have no sympathy. Her death was caused because the Irish government values its entanglement with the Catholic Church more than personal liberties of its subjects.

      Bans on abortion do nothing but pose threats to the lives of women. It is not the government's role to make decisions as to whether people have a family.

      • BINGO! That's right and John [no] Mercy doesn't have any sympathy

    • Actually, the UN has called upon Ireland to liberalize its abortion laws. And the Irish Family Planning Association points out that many Irish women seek out safe and legal abortions in the EU – so any health benefits that accrue to Irish women might be doing so *in spite* of rather than *because* of the health regime that Ireland has for women.

      • Deborah_B

        Exactly, Tortuga. I believe you're referencing the 2005 case, where three Irish women who had previously traveled to England for
        abortion brought suit in the European Court of Human Rights asserting
        that restrictive and unclear Irish laws violated several provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case, A. B. and C. v. Ireland,
        was heard before the Grand Chamber of the Court December 2009 and was
        decided on December 16, 2010. The Court held there is no right for women
        to an abortion, although it found that Ireland had violated the
        Convention by failing to provide an accessible and effective procedure
        by which a woman can have established whether she qualifies for a legal
        abortion under current Irish law, which allows for abortion to save a woman's life. The Court's decision is binding on Ireland and all of the member states of the Council of Europe. A government appointed 'Expert Group' is due to adjudicate on Ireland's legal situation late this year … but as Dakota pointed out, a woman has died while they make their decision.

    • The woman could have live and should have lived. That fetus was dying anyway and should have been terminated so the woman could live. That is not deplorable. What is deplorable is allowing such suffering when we have the medical technology to save the woman's life. This who thing with Savita was a senseless death in favour of stupid dogma. It should not have happened. She should have been treated via terminating the pregnancy. Anything else is barbaric.

  • Pingback: Taoiseach awaits pregnancy death reports – BBC News « Contacto Latino News()

  • Peter

    With the abuse scandals and what not this it's another nail in the RC coffin. They held the Irish people hostage to their perverse dogma for centuries. They are finally joining the rest of the world to the truth about Catholicism. Good riddance.

    • It's a shame people have to die in the meantime, isn't it?

      • Peter

        I'm Canadian with lots of Irish friends and most of them have rejected the church. And they say it's happening back home with their friends as well. That's the key, the young. It's happening but like you said it's a shame a young woman had to die.

    • Deborah_B

      And as SNAP has pointed out in some of our interviews with them, the victims of sexual abuse often live out a terrible life riddled with depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and other issues because predatory priests have damaged them forever.

  • Thomas Magnum

    I fail to see how an abortion would have cured this woman from her blood infection. The fetus did not introduce e.coli bacteria into her blood stream. Rather, the miscarriage was the result of the septicemia, which by the way, is a common consequence of abortion. An early diagnosis and intense routine of antibiotics may have saved both lives.

    • Thomas Magnum

      The failure here is the Irish health system, which apparently isn't equipped to run routine blood cultures until after the patient is dead.

      • Spuddie

        And that failure is due to ban on abortions. The law produced a practice mentality where treatment is to be avoided out of fear of harming the fetus.

        The doctors didn't do anything substantial to treat her while she was pregnant. An abortion may not have saved her life. Doctors acting out of fear of legal repercussion definitely killed her.

    • The miscarriage turned septic. Had they removed the fetus, she could have been saved.

      • Deborah_B

        Exactly. A friend of mine who was on our show had a similar experience with a baby that she wanted but that died in the womb and had become toxic … My friend almost died as a result because this was before Roe v. Wade and the doctors were afraid of losing their licenses if they removed the fetus without it being discharged naturally. Fortunately (and obviously) she lived, but it was close. It's not the exact same situation but the basic issue remains the same.

      • Thomas Magnum

        This is medically and scientifically irrational. A simple course of IV ceflaxin and fluid replacement, and controlled blood sugar could have saved her- and possibly the fetus. A living fetus does not "turn septic" and removing a fetus (dead or alive) doesn't cure anything. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of infection- which can start in the urinary tractand spread into the kidneys and blood stream- which is likely what happened given her complaints of flank pain.
        Pregnant women become septic frequently, and when treated approppriately, both the mother and child can have great outcomes.

        I am an ICU nurse- we manage septicemia all the time.

        To use this event to push a pro-abortion agenda is barbaric; especially considering how many women do die BECAUSE of abortions and resulting infections.

        • Spuddie

          You are an ICU nurse who probably never had to deal with a situation where rendering proper, necessary, lifesaving care could result in loss of your license and possible criminal penalties.

          You seem to blithely ignore the circumstances which made an eminently treatable situation into a fatality. The legal situation killed her. No amount of claimed medical knowledge will sugar coat that. The anti-abortion laws created a clinical situation where doctors were more afraid of legal sanction than rendering treatment which would have saved her life. This is legalized malpractice.

          As for women who die from results of abortions, its an irrelevancy to the discussion. How often are such deaths caused due to the reluctance of doctors to treat the patients for fear of legal sanction? Probably none.

          There is a very good reason for pushing a pro-abortion agenda in relation to this incident. If not for the anti-abortion laws, she would have received normal treatment in a reasonable time and still be alive.

        • Interesting. No one is pushing abortion and I am assuming things have changed over the course of 47 years concerning gestational diabetes. I had an aunt who was a nurse and a diabetic during and after she gave birth to a stillborn child in the mid-60s. The baby died, according to her, because it was discovered she was diabetic while she pregnant. After the pregnancy, she was still diabetic, but the baby died before it was born.

          25 years later, I had H.E.E.L.P syndrome with my second pregnancy and even though the dr asked who his father and I wanted him to save if push came to shove we both survived. I wouldn't say it had a good outcome though. My son, born a month early, was very jaundice, had deformed bladder and kidneys, and was Dx with autism (PDD-NOS to be exact) when he 3, because he was severely developmentally delayed. If I had it to do all over again, I'd still make the same choice as I did that night we almost died.

          Personally, I consider not allowing the woman to make her own decisions about the the pregnancy barbaric, esp when what you stated doesn't always have "great outcomes" and fewer women die from abortions than those who die from being forced to carry an unhealthy pregnancy to term.

        • nilvek

          You are a nurse but without a Doctors Degree which means you have
          limited medical education and knowledge….. but your lack of medical
          education is not the real problem which is the church…..the Roman
          Church with its stupid ancient beliefs…..

    • What Diane said. If they had terminated the pregnancy, this would not have happened.

      • Thomas Magnum


        • Spuddie

          No, you are wrong Thomas. If the doctor was willing to see the patient and prepared for the possibility of terminating the pregnancy, she would have received proper treatment in a timely fashion. She died from the doctor's reluctance to deal with the anti-abortion law.

          This would be an open and shut case for a malpractice attorney if said law did not probably absolve them for such inaction.

          • Stimpakistan

            No she died from sepsis. Whether or not that sepsis was the cause of the miscarriage or the result of remains unclear.

            And as far as malpractice goes, they would have to show that the physicians did not follow the standard of care for the treatment of sepsis. Beyond that, everything else would be consequential.

            • Spuddie

              Sepsis which went undiagnosed and untreated by the physician's reluctance to act in a timely manner. You and Tommy keep ignoring the fact that the doctor's reluctance to act turned what should have been an eminently diagnosable and treatable situation into a fatality.

              The standard of care here was to render actual care. The doctor was unwilling to do anything which could terminate the pregnancy. The anti-abortion law was the excuse for such.inaction. .

              • Stimpakistan

                The sepsis treatment began on Tuesday night – the day prior to when she had the D&E. You're acting like the doctors delayed the treatment of the underlying bacterial infection until after the fetal heart sounds stopped. That is not the case.

                • Spuddie

                  That is exactly what happened here. You are lying.

                  Its in the article itself.
                  The consultant said, "As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’."
                  If you have facts to the contrary, please link to them.

                • Stimpakistan

                  See my other post.

                  "As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’." That was in reference to medically inducing abortion (or manual uterine aspiration) — NOT the treatment of sepsis.

                • Spuddie

                  The diagnosis would have been made sooner and treatment rendered more timely if the doctors weren't waiting for a fetal heartbeat to stop.

                  You can't weasel out of that fact. Your other post is the same crap only with an extra article which supports what I was saying.

                • Stimpakistan

                  You have absolutely no proof of that. You have conjecture, speculation and hyperbole. Nothing else.

                • Spuddie

                  I have EVERY news article on the story as proof.

                  They ALL say the delay in adequate treatment was due to the existence of the fetal heartbeat. Unless you have some other source to bring which states the contrary, you are just being a troll here.

                  Even if the sepsis was not caused by the miscarriage, the diagnosis of the sepsis came after delays which have no explanation except a fear of harming the fetus. Concentrating on the sepsis does nothing to change those facts.

      • Stimpakistan

        That is false – or at the best, not known.

        • Spuddie

          We would never know because the doctor never bothered to treat the woman in an adequate fashion out of fear of possibly terminating the pregnancy.

  • And this is why I say Pro-choice IS pro-life and Pro-Life is actually pro-death. Two died, when only one should have died in this case. That fetus was dying to begin with and has the right to die with "dignity", if you want to give it "personhood". In this case, stopping the suffering long before the mother died, so she could live. This whole thing about religion allowing women to suffer is really dangerously stupid, because the woman dies along with that "precious fetus", which was going to die anyway. The woman could have lived if they had just given her that abortion/D&C whatever, instead of allowing the suffering. This whole thing could have been prevented, allowing the woman to live, if not for the stupid Catholics and their dogma.

  • Penny

    There are a lot of people speaking as if they have medical knowledge. It may very well be that this woman would have died even if an abortion had been carried out early on.

    • You don't know that either. Most of the time, it saves a woman's life and technically, it wouldn't have been an abortion, esp since she was already losing the baby.

      • Stimpakistan

        Most of the time women don't develop sepsis.

        • Spuddie

          However it is well know that people who don't receive timely and adequate care in such situations can die. The doctor dithered because he was legally allowed to avoid rendering care under the anti-abortion law.

          • Stimpakistan

            Are you claiming the physicians delayed the sepsis tx protocol until after fetal death?

            • Spuddie

              They didn't give ANY kind of adequate treatment, until it was too late.
              Your question assumes the sepsis was even diagnosed in a timely manner, which it wasn't.

              • Stimpakistan

                How do you know? Do you have access to the after-death report? I don't.

                We do know that she was given IV antibiotics on Tuesday night after she presented with emesis. She had the D&E surgery the following day. She died four days after the D&E from complications of sepsis.

                Anything else you want to speculate on?

                • Spuddie

                  Because unlike yourself, I read the article and are not making up facts to suit the argument. Please link to the source of your assertions.

                  It took her 3 days to die and in that time doctors refused to give any kind of adequate treatment until after the fetus was officially dead. 3 days in which she could have had a proper diagnosis and treatment.

                  You can't weasel out of the most important statement made here:
                  "As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’."

                • Stimpakistan
                • Spuddie

                  I am quoting the original source here. Your article does nothing to support your assertion that she was receiving adequate care. In fact it makes my point more clearly. There were unnatural delays caused by a policy to keep a viable fetus alive at all costs.

                  You are engaging in a strawman argument that I was claiming she did not receive any care. There is a difference between "any" and "adequate" here. The anti-abortion law introduced critical delays in diagnosis and care which killed her.

                  From your own link:
                  "Perhaps terminating the pregnancy sooner would have brought its own
                  complications. They could scarcely have been graver than those that
                  followed the failure to assist Mrs Halappanavar."

                • Stimpakistan

                  You are quoting the authors opinion. Not fact. Your emotions have gotten the best of you on this issue and I find that you are currently incapable of making a logical assessment of the facts.

                • Spuddie

                  You haven't quoting anything. You feel the need to make up your own facts.

                  There is nothing in any news source which claims that the delay in rendering adequate treatment was due to anything other than the reluctance to terminate the pregnancy. Over and over again the quotes used are that "we can't do anything as long as there is a fetal heartbeat". Such delays were fatal and never would have happened but for the anti-abortion law.

                  You have offered no alternative explanation for the delay and have tried to squirm out of having to address it.

                • Stimpakistan

                  What facts did I make up? Be specific.

                  The "we can't do anything as long as there is a fetal heartbeat" quote was in response to the patient requesting an abortion – not to receiving antibiotics.

                  You keep insisting that if she had the abortion prior to when she did that she would not have died. That is speculation and conjecture on your part.

                • Spuddie

                  You are parsing the statement beyond the facts presented and making a purely speculative and unsupported claim that the sepsis was being adequately addressed when she came to the hospital.

                  You are assuming sepsis was being diagnosed and treated from the outset and keeping the dying fetus insider her had no contribution to the situation. There is no basis for any of those assumptions.

                  You are using a set of facts which do not exist.

                • Stimpakistan

                  I never used the words "adequately treated." You can review my posts if you wish. I did, however, mention that she was administered antibiotics before her abortion and that the bacterial infection took 5 days (4 days after the abortion was performed) to kill her after she was started on antibiotics. These are facts and not my opinions.

                  You claim that it wasn't "adequate" treatment. You are conjecturing that the removal of the fetus would have eliminated her sepsis. Both those claims are currently unfounded. Maybe a report will come out that says otherwise. The opinions of bloggers on the internet is not proof that she wasn't being treated appropriately and to the standard of care in Ireland.

                  You state that I made the claim that "keeping the dying fetus insider her had no contribution to the situation." I made no such claim. I did, however, state that there is no evidence to suggest that is currently true – or untrue that the public has been made aware of.

                  You have already made your mind on what happened in this case. Fine. That's your prerogative I however, will wait until the investigation is complete and more facts are know before jumping to conclusions.

                  And I'll again ask since you refused to answer. Which facts did I make up? Be specific.

                • Spuddie

                  You are contradicting your arguments. You repeatedly mentioned the antibiotics in response to my assertion that she was not receiving adequate care at the hospital. If you are now claiming she was not getting adequate care, then you have nothing to argue with me about. You are agreeing with me.

                  Also, you are making a strawman point in response to my entire premise. I did not say anything about the abortion itself would have saved her life. I was arguing something different. I was saying, had the doctors been prepared to terminate the pregnancy, they would not have delayed giving adequate treatment.

                  But instead they delayed out of concern for a fetus and avoided lifesaving care until it was too late. Again you have yet to find a source which claims that keeping the dying baby in her womb contributed nothing to the condition. Every news source strongly suggests it was the cause. There is a plausible chain of causality here. You have done nothing to contradict it.

                  "The "we can't do anything as long as there is a fetal heartbeat" quote was in response to the patient requesting an abortion – not to receiving antibiotics."

                  That was made up or at worst misquoted and parsed dishonestly.
                  There is nothing in any news source which parsed out the facts in such a way. The statement, in plain language, in all of the articles where the quote is made, means she was not receiving adequate care while there was a fetal heartbeat.

                  Also, I have yet to see anything which backed up your claims concerning your alleged knowledge in medicine in your discussions with Mriana either.

                • Stimpakistan

                  Ok, you think what I wrote was dishonest, so I'll post the entire quote from the AP article:

                  ""When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning, Savita asked: `If they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy?' The consultant said: `As long as there is a fetal heartbeat, we can't do anything.'"

                  They were responding to the specific request to induce abortion. Are you still confused?

                • Spuddie

                  You keep avoiding the point. The failure to do anything about the fetus delayed treatment to the point where steps taken after the fetal death would prove to be useless.

                  There has been nobody, except yourself is saying the treatment she got during the 2-3 days of waiting for the fetus to die was adequate for her condition. You have been constantly claiming the antibiotics were sufficient. That is not only conjecture, but completely unsupported by anything we know about the events in question.

                  The more logical causal link here is that the delay created the conditions for sepsis to be fatal.

                • In other words, they cared more about the unborn then they did the living.

                • OK if he's confused, that does not matter. Did you ever think the antibiotic IV killed the 17 week old gestational developing cells? Not that they did, but it is possible. The thing is, she was spontaneously aborting anyway, so the drs should have assisted nature and terminated the pregnancy.

                • Stimpakistan

                  No I didn't think that because she would have been placed on broad spectrum
                  Beta-lactam antibiotics. Those effect cell walls and if you remember anything about bio101, humans do not have cell walls.
                  But I fail to see what that has to do with anything. Even if they had given her methotrexate (which would have hurt fetal cells), it wouldn't matter. She was already at the "inevitable spontaneous abortion" stage.

                • I am not talking about cell walls. Human beings are a bunch of cells, including and esp during the first few months of gestation. They are not fully human as we know human beings and look much like other animals during gestation. We in the ninth month, if the fetus makes it to nine months, looks like a chimp prior to birth. Since she was at the inevitable spontaneous abortion stage, then the drs should have went ahead and terminated her pregnancy, helping nature, in order to save her life. Her death was not inevitable, but the death of the 17 week old embryos was. Why let it continue to suffer, since it was going to die anyway? This is the same question we ask when a full fledge human is at the end of their life too. Instead of trying to extend life, delaying the inevitable, we should allow the fetus, the terminally ill, and the agedly ill end life. The difference between the unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly is that the unborn cannot make an educated decision, but the mother can for the unborn, because it is the mother's body and the mother's unborn child, not yours. The elderly and the terminally ill can make the informed decision for themselves. Thus, it's none of your business or anyone's else's business if she and (sometimes) the father decide to end the pregnancy or choose to allow the unborn to die so the mother can live.

        • I never said that they did. I just said the person didn't know that the woman may have died with an abortion. The fact is, many pregnancies terminate themselves, many before the woman even knows she is pregnant. The vast majority of pregnancies that do make it to term without complications are the ones that appear to be the majority, but if you add up miscarriages prior to the 7th or 8th week, plus those that spontaneously abort prior to the third trimester, and pregnancies with complications and/or deformatives, you will find they outnumber those that make it to full-term without complications. That is cell-division for you. It is not perfect and abortion often saves the mother's life or saves someone from living a life of quantity without quality.

          Sometimes the treatment for an infection or any other condition that mother may suffer, including and esp medications for the mother's mental health and/or physical health, leaves the unborn with deformatives and/or health issues that causes them to live a life of quantity rather than quality. Thus, to deny the woman treatment and/or deny her all the honest and truthful information, in which to make an honest and informed decision about her medical health is to contribute to lives which are more quantity than quality.

          Another thing… IF she were allowed the option to either terminate the pregnancy (which includes early delivery of the baby and not necessarily killing the baby) then treatment of the infection would have been much easier for both mother and child. For example, the dr involved with my last delivery induced labour a month early. People often do not view this as a termination of pregnancy, but the truth is, that is what it is. The gestation time of my last child was terminated a month early so that we could survive or at least I could survive, but they made every effort to save us both, even though the focus was mostly on myself.

          Any time a dr induces labour, prior to the 9th month of gestation, that is a termination of the pregnancy. It aborts any further process of the fetus gestating within the mother's uterus. Abortion IS a termination of pregnancy, BUT that does not mean anyone necessarily dies when a pregnancy is terminated. People have this idea that "abortion" means someone dies and in most cases that is true rather is a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or an induced one. To induce labour is to terminate the pregnancy, thereby stopping gestation. I was 8 months along, in false labour at first, then went in real labour, and the dr still induced labour. This saved my life and since it was the 8th month, they managed to save my son's life too, but our lives would not have been saved without terminating the pregnancy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001892/ (see treatment, which involves termination of the pregnancy, AKA "delivering the baby as soon as possible, if at all). This process saves the mother's life and potentially the baby's too, but not always the baby. Without doing this, both mother and child die.

          Since the woman was miscarrying anyway, as the article stated, it would not matter is the dr terminated the pregnancy. The pregnancy had gone wrong already and to encourage it or give her a D&C, which they often do with miscarriages, would have helped her in that respect, because the baby was going to die anyway given that the mother was miscarrying at 17 weeks. This process would have saved her, esp since the dr could have treated her better, with more powerful antibiotics.

          This is not a twist in the definition of the word abortion, because the word infers/means that a pregnancy was/is terminated. The same thing occurs when a dr induces labour in order to save one or both lives- it terminates the pregnancy.

          So get this people… IF the dr had induced labour after the sixth month because the woman was ill, the baby would still have less of a chance of living than the mother, but more of a chance than at 17 weeks gestation. Since the pregnancy was 17 weeks and nature was trying to abort the pregnancy anyway, then the best thing to do is to help nature, by terminating the pregnancy, so the mother can survive. Any thing else is bogus excuses to keep the mother from terminating a pregnancy that was doomed without medical assistance to help terminate it. Given she was 4 almost 5 months pregnant and nature was terminating it, the best procedure is to assist nature as soon as possible so at least one (the mother) can live, because the baby was dying anyway.

          Oh wait! I forget. Divine Intervention might have saved them both. *rolling eyes* That's bullshit people! Because nature was not assisted in a timely manner they both died. The fact is, terminating her pregnancy while she was spontaneously aborting would have saved her life, even though the baby was dying anyway. She did not have to die and I know this from experience, even though HEELP syndrome is not quite the same thing. Her baby was dying anyway, while mine had a chance with the termination of pregnancy.

          This is not advocating abortion. This advocating saving lives, people. The ER nurse who posted has been brainwashed to believe otherwise and I don't know why, but I can find more nurses who would state the contrary of what he said. To not terminate a pregnancy, that is endangering lives, kills two people and to terminate the pregnancy saves one and sometimes two depending on how far along the jeopardized pregnancy is. So please, get a freaking clue and educate yourselves people and don't allow religious institutions, including religious hospitals, brainwash you into thinking something different, unless you really want to believe that it is "God's will" that two people die. If this is the case, then you have a sorry a** deity who doesn't deserve worship, esp by women.

          • Stimpakistan

            You are confusing the terms. "Termination of pregnancy" means abortion. Abortions (whether spontaneous or therapeutic) are prior to 20 weeks gestation (some say 23 weeks which is "viability"). Anything after is considered labor. 20-37 weeks is pre-term. Your situation is classified as induced pre-term vaginal delivery, not "termination of pregnancy." FYI.

            • No, I am not confusing the terms. They mean the same thing. It's just the procedure and reasons are different.

              • Stimpakistan

                Let me spell this out very clearly since you didn't get it the first time. Your delivery at 8 months for HEELP was not "termination of pregnancy." It was induced labor. There's a difference and they are not the same thing.

                • Let me spell it out for you very clearly since you didn't get it the very first time- IF I had carried the pregnancy to term (9 months) we would have died. To induce labour at 8 months, ended the pregnancy, which IS a termination of the pregnancy in order to save lives and there was still a chance one of us, namely my son, would have died, esp if complications occurred because we (his father and I) told the dr to save me if complications occurred in which he had to make a choice on who to save. You truly do not understand what was happening during that process and yes, it did end the pregnancy, it's just neither of us died. People get so confused when the baby is the one the who dies, because they want the baby to live while the mother be damned.

                • Stimpakistan

                  Look, I know in your mind you think that induced labor is equivocal to "termination of pregnancy" but that is not the medically correct term. Do you understand what I'm telling you? I don't deny that inducing labor was the correct thing to do with your condition. You are just using the term incorrectly.

                • How do you have a disconnect with the definition of the word "terminate"? To terminate, even with it's Latin origin, means to end. Any time a dr induces labour before nature delivers the baby in the ninth month it IS terminating the pregnancy and even is the woman goes over nine months and nature isn't inducing labour, the dr induces it because that can be a danger too, thus ending the pregnancy. Termination, in any form, of a pregnancy means to end it. To not understand these terms is to deny even what inducing labour means. Inducing labour ends (terminates) the pregnancy, just as abortion (spontaneous or induce) does. Check your Latin and the procedures. Inducing labour DOES terminate (end) the pregnancy and I am not the one confused, even those I'm staying with agree with my usage of terms, when normally they argue things with me.

                • Stimpakistan

                  Then clearly they are not medical professionals. Ask your physician.

                • I can ask my physician and she'd say the same thing too. How do you have so much disconnect with these things? Inducing labour terminates the pregnancy just as an abortion does. Termination of a pregnancy is a termination no matter the procedure to end the gestation.

                • Stimpakistan

                  I'm assuming that you live in Great Britain. Maybe there is a disconnect. But in the United States "termination of pregnancy" (or "termination" for short) means "abortion" — NOT "induction of labor," even though like you stated, technically the pregnancy is terminated.

                  The next time you're pregnant at 8 months, tell them you want to "terminate you pregnancy" and see what their reaction is. Why don't you give your OBGYN a call and ask him or her. I'll wait.

                • ROFL! No, I do not live in the UK and "termination of pregnancy" is an abortion or induced labour, even in the U.S., by those who understand the use and definition of the word "termination". It seems to me you have a total disconnect of the meaning of the word even in medical terminology.

                  The next time I'm pregnant? Now that would be very difficult and would have to be immaculate conception given that I am not in a relationship AND in menopause. So you'll be waiting a VERY long time and even if I weren't, I would have to ask for an abortion in order to live, because the dr said, after delivering my second and last child, 21 years ago, that if I had another child, I would die, less I terminated it. That was a Catholic hospital too and they did not tie my tubes or anything. I just didn't become pregnant again, which is a whole other story.

                • Stimpakistan

                  "Induced labor" is not "termination." Your continuation to confuse medical terms because of your lack of medical training is both annoying and irresponsible to anyone reading your posts.

                  Again, ask you OBGYN if you are still confused about the difference in the terminology Obviously my attempts to explain it to you have failed.

                • OK if you want to believe that, then fine. Live in denial of the definition, even in the Latin, which medical people use often, as well as fear termination then I really don't give a rat's butt, just don't impose your asinine views on others. I also really don't have time to debate you, because I have to be at work in a few minutes.

                • Also, because the general public misuses and misunderstands terms, they often reserve even using the words "spontaneous abortion" for miscarriage. They reserve terminology and use words the general public understands without getting bent. If they said they induced labour, thereby terminate the pregnancy, the general public who does not grasp the broad definition, would get bent thinking the dr "killed the baby" when in fact that was not the case at all.

                • Stimpakistan

                  A "spontaneous abortion" is a "miscarriage." They are two terms for the same thing and they are interchangeable

                  "Termination" and "induced labor" are NOT interchangeable, like you have claimed in your previous posts.

    • Spuddie

      Its not the point. She died from lack of proper medical attention. Period. The anti-abortion law made the doctors afraid to render any kind of normal care out of fear of the legal repercussions of harming the fetus.

  • Rob

    I would have driven her up north! Ridiculous and sad 🙁

    • Spuddie

      Unfortunately the UK is getting a little annoyed over this kind of medical tourism.

      Plus as an immigrant (and probably a visibly pregnant one), her ability to travel internationally may have been somewhat limited.

  • When all the posturing, manufactured hysteria, rabid
    chanting, insidious slogans falsehoods, pretence, lies and abuse dissipate from
    the worlds gutter media, the truth, that there is no medical condition that
    requires the deliberate targeting and killing of unborn children to save a woman’s
    life, remains.

    The fact that Ireland has, consistently over the past 40
    years, one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world bares testimony to
    this reality. In fact the collective maternal death rate of Grenada, Ireland
    and the UAE, where direct abortion is illegal, is less than the maternal death
    rate of the UK alone where abortion is available on demand.

    Unfortunately a lie is spread half way around the world
    before the truth has got its boots on.

    Induced abortion is practiced in Ireland when necessary in
    cases like Savita and why this wasn’t done is currently under investigation.

    It’s always better to establish the actual facts before
    jumping to insidious conclusions! Unfortunately those who reject the belief
    that it is always wrong to deliberately target and kill a defenceless innocent human
    being have no stomach for the truth. However no amount of deliberate deceit and
    manufactured falsehoods can distract
    from it!

    • Peter

      I hope this "investigation" finds the doctor(s) criminally negligent and they are
      charged, prosecuted and jailed. All those making excuses and apologizing using questionable "medical facts" to absolve the physicians and the anti-abortion laws
      are just as bad. Bottom line: the woman died. Someday, someday soon, the Irish
      will remove the yoke and reject this morally bankrupt Catholic Church and none
      to soon.

      • Spuddie

        Probably not, because anti-abortion laws usually have a provisions to protect doctors from such malfeasance.

        • HA! The fact they did not help the woman and allowed her die, when they could have saved her life by assisting nature in terminating the pregnacy, is malpractice.

          • Spuddie

            I am agreeing with you. But I also know how these sort of laws are drafted.

            Whatever Irish medical lobby exists probably would not endorse such a law unless there was some kind of safe harbor for them from litigation for following it.

            • Yes, you are probably right and I find it disturbing that people can twist things in such a horribly barbaric manner that allows a woman to die.

        • Peter

          It will be interesting to see if the husband sues, what an interesting case that will be. I see also that Bono is starting to speak up. They're marching in the streets of Dublin. A revolution often starts with a small spark, let's hope this it.

    • Spuddie

      Your "facts" are rather spurious or weaselworded at best. Very typical for the anti-abortion crowd here.

      Your assertions about medical conditions can be taken with the same level of seriousness that one a certain ex-senator's claims that rape could not result in pregnancy. None, whatsoever.

      Unlike your examples of Grenada and the UAE, Ireland has a higher per capita income, very pourous borders which spurs a growing trade in abortion tourism to the UK and the Continent. Like all anti-abortion laws, they really only affect the poor. Assuming what you say about the UK is true (which is doubtful), you probably fail to note the UK has a greater population density and larger swaths of impoverished communities.

      Just because induced abortion is legal, doesn't mean its practiced nor is a doctor subject to sanction because failure to do so results in death.

      • Stimpakistan

        This isn't really the topic of this article, but I think it shows a lot about you and your comments.

        You are obviously referring to Todd Aikin. I disagree with Aikin on his politics but I have to set something straight, because you seem to be confused about something.

        Did Todd Aikin claim that "rape could not result in pregnancy??

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