Woman dies after being refused abortion for religious reasons

Savita Halappanavar 
By: Anika Rao 

(Scroll down for video) A woman died after she was refused an abortion for religious reasons, according to reports.

The Indian woman, 31, of Ireland, died of blood poisoning after doctors allegedly refused to perform the abortion, telling her that "this is a Catholic country."

The Irish authorities have launched an investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, who was 17 weeks pregnant and was suffering a miscarriage and septicemia in Galway University Hospital.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, said she asked several times during a period of three days for doctors to end her pregnancy.

Praveen said he was informed that it was a spontaneous abortion, and after a day of severe pain, Savita asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he said, because the fetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, "This is a
Catholic country."

The dead fetus was removed later and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and intensive care unit, where she died of septicemia.

An autopsy performed two days later showed she died of several poisons in her blood. A hospital spokesman confirmed that the health department had launched an investigation, while the hospital had also opened an internal investigation.

Abortion is illegal in the Republic of Ireland because of religious reasons.