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Ireland says won't be rushed into decision on abortion right

Saturday, 17 November 2012 - 4:32pm IST | Place: London | Agency: PTI
Assured India that an independent medical professional will assist the enquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Ireland has said it will not be rushed into an immediate decision on right to abortion even as it assured India that an independent medical professional will assist the enquiry into the death of an Indian national who was refused termination of her pregnancy despite miscarrying.

Indian Ambassador to Ireland Debashish Chakravarti met deputy prime minister and foreign minister Eamon Gilmore last evening to convey the deep "concern" of Indian government at the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar.

Expressing the hope that steps would be taken so as not to allow such an incident to recur, the Ambassador also conveyed India's desire for an independent enquiry into the matter. He also requested to be kept updated about progress.

Gilmore extended deepest sympathies of Ireland at the death of Halappanavar and requested that these be conveyed to the family.

He indicated that they were sensitive to the impact of the tragedy on public opinion and civil society and assured that the enquiry being conducted by the Health Services Executive would be assisted by an independent medical expert.

He said the investigation would be completed at an early date and the Irish side would work closely with the Indian mission and cooperate on all aspects.

Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said he is awaiting a report by an expert group on the issue but will not be rushed into an immediate decision on right to abortion.

Kenny said his government would go through the report and indicated it will take its own time in arriving at a decision.

Halappanavar, 31, died in Ireland due to blood poisoning after doctors allegedly refused to terminate her 17-week pregnancy, telling her that it was a Catholic country.

Savita died of blood poisoning after spending three days in pain and agony.

India had summoned the Irish Ambassador in New Delhi yesterday to convey its "concern and angst" over the tragic death of Savita and hoped the enquiry instituted into the case would be "independent".

Kenny was quoted as saying by state broadcaster RTE News that the report of an expert group will be before the Cabinet on November 27, and can be discussed by "everyone else" after it is published.

He said he will not be rushed on the issue of abortion by pressures from any side, according to RTE.

Earlier, Minister for Health James Reilly also suggested the government will take its own time in arriving at any decision as rushing the issue or coming to wrong conclusions could have "disastrous" consequences into the future.

He admitted that right to abortion had long divided opinion in the Catholic country, but said his government was determined to deal with it as a sensitive issue.




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