Friday, 16 November 2012

Ireland abortion row: India summons Irish envoy

Ireland abortion row: India summons Irish envoy
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 16 (CMC) Mounting public outrage over the death of an Indian woman after being refused an abortion by doctors in Ireland compelled the Foreign Office to summon the Irish envoy and put across the "concern and angst in Indian society about the untimely and tragic death."

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid expressed some of the outrage felt in the country by telling newspersons, “Saving the life of the mother is of prime importance, if you can’t save the life of the child.’’

M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs ministry summoned Irish Ambassador Feilim McLaughlin on Friday and hoped the inquiry into the incident would be independent.

Earlier in the day, highly placed sources had reposed faith in India’s Dublin mission and felt it was "best we should not rush to conclusions."

During his meeting with Mr. McLaughlin, Mr. Ganapathy said India was unhappy that a young life had come to an untimely end and hoped the Indian Ambassador in Dublin would be regularly updated about the probe’s progress and outcome.

The incident took place late last month but came into limelight nearly three weeks later. Savita Halappanavar arrived with back pain at Galway University Hospital on October 21 and died of septicaemia a week later after doctors in the hospital declined to abort the foetus because Ireland was a "Catholic country."

A Foreign Office release said the Irish envoy assured full cooperation and indicated that the terms of reference for the inquiry would be released shortly.

The highly placed sources felt that no matter what the enquiry did, human loss cannot be compensated. Therefore, in order to prevent such a situation from occurring again, the Irish would have to reconsider some issues.

"There is some hope for improvement of their internal arrangements and system," they added in reference to Irish deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore telling his country's Parliament that he was "deeply disturbed by what Savita's husband said. I don't think as a country we should allow a situation where women's rights are put at risk in this way."

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