Three Years On, We Remember Savita Halappanavar


Today marks three years since the brutal and needless passing of Savita Halappanavar.

Savita came to Ireland with her husband Praveen and made a home for themselves in Galway where she worked as a dentist and he as an engineer.

The couple had always planned to have a baby in 2013 and were delighted when they found out in July 2012 that Savita was pregnant.

On the 21st of October after experiencing severe back pain and after going to the toilet and feeling "something hard coming out" Savita was told by doctors in University College Hospital Galway that her cervix was dilated and that she was miscarrying.

Two days later, Savita was still miscarrying and it was made clear that the life of her foetus mattered more than her own life; she was told when she asked for an abortion that there was still a foetal heartbeat and so an abortion was not possible.

The following day, when Savita again asked for an abortion she was told by a doctor that she couldn't have one as "this is a Catholic country".

One day later the foetal heartbeat finally stopped and Savita delivered a baby girl.

Shortly after this, Savita's health quickly deteriorated and she died in the early hours of Sunday morning. One week after she had entered hospital.

An abortion would have saved Savita's life. Had she have been treated properly and given adequate medical care she would still be alive.

The Irish state's misogynist, anti-abortion laws murdered her.

Her husband, Praveen, received an apology from the HSE for the care, or rather lack of, they gave Savita.

An apology will not bring Savita back.

The Irish state has still not acted to ensure that a tragedy such as this one will not happen again.

Ireland remains a very dangerous place for someone to be pregnant, particularly if you're a person of colour or a migrant, like Savita, like Bimbo Onanuga, like Ms. Y.

Three years ago when Savita asked for an abortion, she asked for the right to choose; for the right to choose dignity, for the right to choose healthcare, for the right to choose to end the physical pain she was in.

The denial of this right to choose resulted in the Irish state choosing to end her life.

Three years on, we remember, we are angry, and we are sorry - we are sorry to Praveen and to all of Savita's friends and family.

Three years on, we say Never Again.