Ireland’s new abortion law may be named after Savita Halappanavar, the victim whose death fanned the revolution against the country’s anti-woman law. On Friday, May 25th, Ireland voted to abolish one of its most archaic laws prohibiting women from seeking abortion in the country.
In a 70-30 verdict, majority of Irish citizens travelled from all over the world back home to cast their vote to settle the historic debate. The law, known commonly as the Eighth Amendment, was in-keeping with the country’s predominant Roman Catholic faith, which considers abortion a sin. Although many Irish women have suffered from the draconian law, it was Savita’s death in 2012 which called for the law to be abolished.
Savita’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, who spoke to the Irish Times made a plea: “We have one last request, that the new law, that it is called ‘Savita’s Law’. It should be named for her.” Ireland-based campaigners may back the elderly man’s request to name the law after Savita. TogetherForYes, a pro-choice group who had rallied to repeal the law, said at a press conference in Dublin that it will support the move to name the new law in honour of its most well-known victim.
The government of Ireland is yet to respond to the request. Orla O’Connor, who heads the campaign said: “The people have spoken. We were here to repeal the 8th (amendment) and we did.
Savita, who died of sepsis due to complications arising from her pregnancy, was denied an abortion because the foetus inside her registered heartbeats. The hospital authorities refused it on the grounds that Ireland is a Catholic nation, which upholds the rights of the unborn foetus. Her death caused a stir internationally and she went on to become the emblem of Irish women’s long-standing tussle with the country’s anti-abortion laws.