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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Abortion is... Pro-life?

I have a feeling that the majority of women who get an abortion are not very excited about it. Abortions, while necessary, aren't an enjoyable process to go through, both physically or emotionally. Yet they are exactly that: necessary. Whether a woman chooses to undergo one for financial, medical, or personal reasons, it is a necessary procedure that unfortunately many women still do not have access to and are denied.
Savita Halappanavar, died at 31 as a result of being denied an abortion.
One instance of denial of a necessary abortion occurred in the Republic of Ireland last year. Savita Halappanavar, 31, was informed that she was having a miscarriage by doctors, and requested the termination of the pregnancy. Halappanavar was denied the abortion, as the doctors believed that she wasn't at risk of dying, as well as abortion being illegal in Ireland at the time. Halappanavar died a week later, due to septicaemia. By the time her life was considerably at risk, an abortion would have been too late to save her. A year later, Halappanavar's widower, Praveen, has now taken legal action against the Health Service Executive (Ireland's health service), as well as the couple's obstetrician.

Earlier this year, Ireland passed a law that would allow abortion on the condition that the procedure would save the mother's life. The legislation was brought up as a result of Halappanavar's death.

I believe that any woman who needs an abortion for whatever reason should gain access to one. In these cases, an abortion is definitely necessary. How is it that the life of a fetus, even a dead one, is still more valuable than that of the woman carrying it? Ireland's steps towards more women's reproductive rights is starting to look promising, no matter how small the steps may be. But in this predominantly Roman Catholic country, the steps will have a lot of space in between them. It's hard to say when any more change will happen.

Personally, I am appalled that the death of a woman with a life, a future, and the promise of a family full of love is the motivation for change. Change should happen to prevent any more women like Savita Halappanavar from dying because the value of a fetus is more than that of a woman.

Adrianna McCain

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