Today is the 4 year anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar. Savita was a 31-year old Indian dentist living in Ireland. She was married to Praveen Halappanavar.

  • On October 21, 2012, Savita was admitted to the University Hospital Galway due to extreme back pain.
  • In the early hours of October 22 her water broke.
  • On October 23, upon being told that the fetus will not survive, she asks for a termination and is told it’s not legally possible in Ireland while there is a fetal heartbeat. She is told ‘this is a Catholic country’ by Midwife manager Ann Maria Burke.
  • On October 24, Savita delivers a dead female fetus.
  • At 1:09am, on Sunday October 28, Savita dies.

Many pro-lifers will say it wasn’t the miscarriage that killed her, it was septicemia and terminating the pregnancy wouldn’t have done any good. Had the hospital aborted the pregnancy as soon as the water broke, Savita would have lived as septicemia doesn’t occur in healthy pregnant people unless the water has broken and the longer the period between the “water breaking” and the baby’s birth, the higher the chance of an infection especially when there is a dying human inside someone’s body.

However, pro-life policies don’t only exist in Ireland. Here, in the US, Catholic hospitals have started to endanger lives based on pro-life ideology. Listen to this story of a woman who’s child was not going to survive and what the pro-life Catholics did to her and her family. Or this story, told by the OB/GYN taking care of her, of a young woman who came to a pro-life Catholic hospital in the US and, in a shockingly similar story to Savita’s, was denied an abortion and how that nearly costed her her life.

Pro-life laws and policies are killing people. Someone’s religion should not impact the way another person gets care. Savita, and many others, die because of pro-life ideas. Either because abortion is illegal, impossible to obtain, or because the people who are supposed to care for you simply refuse to do so. This has to end. We cannot have people die in hospitals fully equipped to care for them and simply refuse to due to their personal political or religious stance or have people nearly kill themselves to terminate an unwanted pregnancy because it’s either illegal or impossible to obtain.

Repeal the 8th

- - - Bit of context for those outside of Ireland - - - 

Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe that doesn’t allow access to abortion because of something called the 8th amendment. Introduced in the 80s, it grants a foetus the same rights as an adult woman. We have had a couple of changes recently to allow for if the woman’s life is in danger, including suicide, BUT those changes have rarely (if at all) been acted on and women have still been forced to carry to term against their will, even in cases of wanted pregnancy with fatal foetal abnormality where the woman knows that the foetus is dead or dying but is forced to wait until she miscarries naturally. For more information, please look up information about “the x-case”, “Savita Halappanavar”, “Ms. Y” and the arrest of a 19 year old in Belfast for purchasing abortion pills)

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I have yet to meet one “pro-life” argument that doesn’t have its roots in misogyny (internalised or otherwise)

Not. One.

Not one that doesn’t shame a woman for either enjoying sex at best or not being able to fight off a rapist at worst. Not one that doesn’t ultimately dissolve into blaming the woman for “getting herself” pregnant in the first place (because you can do that, as a woman. You can just asexually reproduce at will. It’s pretty magic)

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Not every argument leads with outright slut shaming; hell, some even work under the guise of loving women and wanting to protect them (making choices FOR them isn’t protecting them, it’s infantilising them) but it’s there in the margins, and, in my experience, becomes very overt if you question further. You’d be surprised how quickly a “I just believe in the sanctity of life” turns into the oversimplification of “well SHE didn’t HAVE to have sex. She should have thought about that!” when pushed. 

There are a lot of baseless (and often, frankly batshit) “pro-life” arguments, but let me address my current favourites:

But… you’re actually not really loving either of them.

1. Leaving aside the absolute mental and physical cruelty of forcing a woman into a pregnancy that she doesn’t want (doesn’t seem very loving to me), you’re telling the woman she couldn’t possibly know what she wants to do with her own body or life. Silly little woman, you’re being MISLED by all these pro-abortionists who just want your money! You know, they’re right; I’m definitely in it for the money. Every time a woman has an abortion, I, as a “pro-abortionist”, get to re-enact the Scrooge McDuck money-dive from Duck Tales. No one on the “pro-life” side has ever been funded by anyone by the way. Nope, not a bean spent from… overseas. … *cough*

And 2. you don’t give a flying feather if the foetus you’ve forced into being has to go into foster care or be raised by someone who isn’t financially or mentally ready to raise a child. As long as it’s born, that’s literally all that matters, with no concern of the aftermath. Not actually bothering with a tap of support for these women forced into motherhood, despite the rhetoric claiming that there needs to be more for them. What support are you actually offering once the woman has the child? (Judgemental mutterings that she “should have kept her knees together” towards a 14 year old trying to manoeuvre her buggy (pram) on to a bus don’t count by the way)

I wouldn’t exist, therefore I wouldn’t have an opinion.

So… abortion is cool in the case of not liking someone else’s view point? Not like… rape, incest or concern for the woman’s life or anything, but you’ll allow it if it stops someone from being born that doesn’t agree with you. Okay then, that’s… reasonable…

Okay, putting aside the fact it’s not actually a baby, the foetus doesn’t have a choice because it doesn’t have consciousness. It doesn’t have a choice because it is not in any way capable of making a choice. It doesn’t know what a choice is; it doesn’t know what knowing is. It doesn’t have concepts of life or death or morality. 

It has the POSSIBILITY of becoming a baby, true, but so does every single sperm. So does every egg in a women’s system. ALL of them are POSSIBLE lives. You are valuing the possibility of life over the actual living, breathing, feeling human being in front of you. How on earth is that pro “life”? You’re pro possibility, not pro reality, not pro life.

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If you truly believe that life begins at conception/the soul is formed at conception, then that is your belief and you’re absolutely entitled to it. Everyone’s entitled to their religious beliefs, and if that particular one would stop you from having an abortion then that is completely and utterly up to you!

However, your beliefs do not trump anyone else’s rights. Your beliefs do not dictate how anyone else should act or feel. Your religious beliefs should not dictate law. That’s like me saying “if you don’t leave a chocolate orange outside my house every month, as is dictated in my personal bible, then my unicorn messiah will smite you and send you to marmite hell”. It may be my belief, but your lack of chocolate orange offerings won’t actually cause you harm (nor should it… though you should still leave me offerings just in case)

Originally posted by brigadeiroporn

I am not “pro-abortion”. I don’t believe everyone should get one for shits and giggles or that it’s the only solution to pregnancy complications. I simply trust women’s choices over their own (present, not-a-possibilty-but-an-actual-living-breathing-human) bodies and lives and believe they should have access to all choices, not some.

Repeal the 8th.

We were deeply saddened to hear the news about Savita Halappanavar – a woman who died after being denied a life-saving abortion in Ireland. There are too many stories like Savita’s out there and many countries – other than Ireland – where abortion remains illegal.

Remember Savita and the importance of access to safe and legal abortion in the United States and around the world. Please share this in support.

This beautiful woman. This absolutely stunning, caring, compassionate woman made ONE mistake. She lived in a country where abortion was illegal across the board. 

As a result, her husband buried her. Her family buried their daughter, sister, niece, cousin. 

Because of a country where a fetus comes first, a woman’s safety after, she died. And that’s what antichoicers would have us be here in America. 

A nonviable fetus that was literally dying and poisoning this woman as it did, killed this woman. 

Look at her face. Look at this person. She was a person. She had a life and a husband. Their pregnancy was wanted, but the doctors told her the baby was dying. She was in pain. She died in pain and scared. Ending any chance for future children for her and her husband. Ending all the good she could’ve done in this world. 

When you say there’s no medical reason to terminate a pregnancy, I want you to come look at this life ended by that mentality. I want you to see this woman, not a uterus, not a walking incubator, but a woman. With hopes and dreams and passions. 

She is no longer here because of that sort of law. She is, sadly, the face of why your attempt at passing those laws will be met with strong opposition that swats you down every time. 

Look at her face. Did she deserve to die? 

In medicine there are rarely bright lines. There are, for instance, no guidelines for doctors on the distinction between a medical procedure necessary to preserve a woman’s life versus a procedure that would merely protect her health. Should a pregnant woman sit in a doctor’s office or a hospital bed waiting for her health to decline to the point where her doctor feels that an abortion is inarguably legal, at which point it may be too late?

I can’t believe the X Case happened. I can’t believe the laws didn’t change in response to it. I can’t believe our strict abortion laws killed a woman only three years ago. I can’t believe a woman’s body was kept artificially alive for three weeks after she died because she was pregnant. I can’t believe 6000 women travel to mainland to Britain every year for abortions because they can’t get them here. I can’t believe in Irish Law a pregnant person is seen as little more than a vessel, and not as a human being with any autonomy.

Ran into another guy handing out Pro-Life leaflets outside Maguires when I was getting lunch. On the way in, I directed him to a bin. On the way out, I pointed out another bin, and then asked him if he had any respect for women’s rights or the suffering Savita and many other women went through. From the minute I opened my mouth, he just kept shouting “THE LIFE OF A CHILD. THE LIFE OF A CHILD.”

So articulate. I didn’t stand a chance against someone with such amazing listening and communications skills. 
No trophy 4 u.