Recently, Irish lawmakers backed overwhelmingly a ground breaking law that will allow abortion in limited cases in the predominantly catholic countries. This has happened following an outcry over the tragic death of an Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar after a miscarriage of her. The 31 year old died at Galway University Hospital last October of blood poisoning and subsequent medical reviews indicated that Ireland’s ambiguous anti-abortion laws needed to be clarified.
The bill drafted by the Irish Government has been passed after days of debate and delays in Ireland’s lower house, Dail by a 127 – 31 vote allowing limited abortion rights. The bill authorises a termination when doctors deem that a woman’s life is at risk including some cases of suicide threat.
The Savita case reignited the debate on abortion and has revealed deep divisions in the catholic nations. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his coalition government pushed through the bill despite threats of excommunication from cardinals and bishops. The bill now needs an Upper House endorsement.