Savita Halappanavar giving me strength to fight for justice, says husband

The husband of an Indian dentist, who died after being refused an abortion in Ireland, has credited his departed wife for the strength to continue his fight for truth.

Savita Halappanavar died in hospital on October 28 last year from suspected septicaemia.

"It's not easy to sit there in the court to see all the proceedings. I believe I'm getting that strength from somewhere to look forward. I suppose I believe it is coming from Savita. She was that type of a person, " The Irish Times quoted Praveen Halappanavar (31) as saying.

The preliminary hearing of inquest has begun. "She was always there for me so I'm getting the strength from that," he added.

He said that doctors at Galway University Hospital refused to carry out an abortion 17 weeks into her pregnancy because a foetal heartbeat was present.

Praveen said they were told Ireland "is a Catholic country."

At the inquest into Savita's death yesterday, the Coronerfor Galway city, Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin, promised her husband that her inquest will be transparent and open to public scrutiny.

He offered his condolences to Savita's husband and vowed to conduct the hearing with solemn respect, dignity and courtesy to him and to the memory of his "beloved Savita".

Dr MacLoughlin said: "It is my duty as coroner to ensure that the inquiry shall be independent, effective and prompt - that the procedures are open, transparent and accountable and are subject to public scrutiny."

He also added that her next of kin would be involved to an appropriate extent.

Dr MacLoughlin urged all sides involved in the hearing to respect the functions of the court after medical records stating that Savita had requested an abortion were leaked last night.

The family's legal team had previously said that medical notes they had seen did not record the request for a termination.

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