Ireland to Clarify Its Abortion Laws

Peter Muhly / AFP

Outrage over the death of a woman who was denied the termination of her pregnancy spurned the Irish government to announce on Thursday that it will clarify its notoriously vague abortion laws. Savita Halappanavar, an Indian Hindu seeking an abortion, died after a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy. Ireland, which is largely Roman Catholic, has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, but fails to specify what circumstances constitute a high enough risk to the life or health of a mother to justify a termination, leaving the decision up to the doctors. Following the global outcry over Halappnavar’s death, Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore said, “We need to bring legal clarity to this issue and that is what we are going to do.”