Emily Molloy talks about the controversy surrounding abortion in Ireland.
After the opening of the first Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast and the untimely death of Savita Halappanavar, the issue of abortion in Ireland is hard to ignore. [For background, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/savita-halappanavar].
Malta and Ireland are the only countries left in Europe to outlaw abortion, with Ireland only allowing it if the woman’s life is in risk, including that of suicide. However, with the recent death of Mrs Halappanavar – allegedly refused an abortion due to ‘Ireland being a Catholic country’ – the harsh reality of what it takes for Irish doctors to carry out the procedure has become startlingly clear. This year’s Diwali festival in Galway was cancelled to honour the death one of the central women organising the event. There have been several large protests to call for changes in Ireland’s abortion laws since this, but it is a slow moving, if not static, issue. (more…)