November 20, 2012 by Vicki
The news surrounding the death of Savita Halappanavar horrifies and disgusts me. Savita Halappanar was seventeen weeks pregnant and suffered a miscarriage. The fetus, however, continued to have a heartbeat for three days. The doctor in Ireland refused to grant an abortion until that heartbeat ceased. Consequently, Savita Halappanavar suffered intense vomiting and pain as she was slowly poisoned by the dying fetus in her body. The dead fetus was eventually removed; however, Savita Halappanavar did not survive. I cannot believe that any doctor could so risk the life of a human being. I have not entered into the abortion debate on this blog for the simple reason that I have very mixed feelings about abortion. The Savita Halappanavar case demonstrates clearly why abortion should always be available for medical reasons. The fetus had already miscarried and was dying. Savita’s pain and suffering was completely unnecessary and cruel. I, however, cannot get behind the “it’s a woman’s choice” argument either.
I realize that, according to science, a fetus is not a fully developed human being until three months. I don’t really care. The simple truth is that every fetus is a potential human life. I believe that, in cases like Savita Halappanavar where the mother’s life is at risk, abortion should be a medical option. I also believe that in cases of rape and/or incest, abortion should be a woman’s choice. I do not believe that the government has any business determining whether the woman was raped or not. If she believes that she was raped then she should not HAVE to bring the baby to term. However, I also do not believe that abortion should be treated as a form of birth control.
Abortion as birth control is problematic from a moral standpoint and also a psychological standpoint. From a moral standpoint, abortion removes the potential for life. A tiny spark existed and it was blown out before it could become something more. I have talked with women who have had abortions and they carry the guilt from that abortion for the rest of their lives. Guilt is a horrible burden to place on your shoulders and there are other options such as adoption. Mothers have a natural connection to the life that is growing inside them. To kill that life will impact you and change the way you view your own life.
I am aware of the fact that I cannot judge as I have never been pregnant. I have never had to face those choices. My opinion comes solely from my own gut reaction and it is a confused reaction. I do not believe the state has any jurisdiction within a woman’s body. On the other hand, I do not believe that abortion should be used as birth control. What I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that Savita Halappanavar should not have died. Savita Halappanavar was a young woman in the first bloom of life with hope and dreams of the future. Her life was snatched by a dictum that “We are a Catholic country” and that is the worst crime of all. She was not asking for her child to be killed. She was asking that she be allowed to live. Every human being has the right to life. Savita Halappanavar was denied that right. A glowing fire, that warmed her family and friends, has been rudely quenched and the world is a lesser place for her loss.
For more information about Savita Halappanavar: