Irish officials said on Wednesday they are investigating two Catholic hospitals that reportedly refused to treat a woman who died after seeking an abortion while undergoing a miscarriage. Savita Halappanavar’s family said she asked several times for her pregnancy to be terminated because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying. Her family says the hospitals refused to perform an abortion because there was still a fetal heartbeat. Halappanavar, 31, died on Oct. 28. An autopsy has confirmed she died of sepsis. Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, said she suffered “in agony” for several days, but a consultant told them that “as long as there is a fetal heartbeat, there is nothing we can do.” Abortion is illegal in Ireland except in cases when the mother’s life is at risk.
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