DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland has formed an expert panel to investigate why an Indian woman died in an Irish hospital — and whether her life might have been saved had she received an abortion.
The case of Savita Halappanavar has focused worldwide attention on Ireland's two-decade failure to define when abortions can be performed legally to save the life of a woman.
The 31-year-old dentist died Oct. 28 one week after being hospitalized with an imminent miscarriage. Her widow says they asked for three days for an abortion to ease her pain but were refused because the fetus still had a heartbeat. Halappanavar died from internal infections and organ failure three days after the fetus itself died.
The panel unveiled Monday is led by Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, a Sri Lankan-born expert on maternal care.