Savita Halappanavar's father calls for change to Ireland's abortion laws

Savita Halappanavar

The father of a pregnant Indian woman who died after being refused an abortion in Ireland has asked the country's prime minister to change the abortion laws to prevent others meeting the fate of his daughter.

In a direct appeal to Prime Minister Enda Kenny, grieving Andanappa Yalagi said altering the legislation would "save the lives of so many women in the future".

Yalagi's daughter Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at Galway University Hospital on October 28 after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.

Her husband Praveen alleged his wife, who was a dentist, pleaded with doctors to perform a medical termination.

Doctors are said to have denied her requests because the foetus's heartbeat was present - reportedly telling her: "This is a Catholic country."

According to Observer, Yalagi added his voice to a growing number of calls urging the Government to reform complex abortion laws.

Addressing Kenny, he said: "Sir, please change your law and take consideration of humanity.

"Please change the law on abortion, which will help to save the lives of so many women in the future."

Yalagi also called on the Indian government to take up the issue with their Irish counterparts.

"We want the government of India to put pressure on Ireland to change the law so that this cannot happen in the future," he said.

Yalagi also said that he and his wife are considering legal action against the hospital and that no health officials or anyone from the Irish government had been in touch with them to express any remorse.

"I want to take legal action against them over the inhumane way they treated my daughter," he said, adding "they are doctors but they were not humane.

"If they had been humane, they would have treated her.

"I do not want this to happen to other people. I am very angry."

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