The father of a pregnant Indian woman who died after being refused an abortion in Ireland has urged the country's prime minister to change the country's abortion laws.

In a direct appeal to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, grieving Andanappa Yalagi said altering the legislation would "save the lives of so many women in the future".

Mr Yalagi's daughter Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at Galway University Hospital on October 28 after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.

savita

Andanappa Yalagi said altering the legislation would "save the lives of so many women in the future"

Her husband Praveen alleged his wife, who is a dentist, pleaded with doctors to perform a medical termination.

Doctors are said to have denied her requests because the foetus's heartbeat was present - reportedly telling her: "This is a Catholic country."

In an interview with the Observer, Mr Yalagi added his voice to a growing number of calls urging the Government to reform complex abortion laws.

Addressing Mr Kenny, he said: "Sir, please change your law and take consideration of humanity.

"Please change the law on abortion, which will help to save the lives of so many women in the future."

Mr Yalagi also called on the Indian government to take up the issue with their Irish counterparts.


Sarah Ditum
Pictures & tweets from Dublin unbelievably moving. Mass determination that must be honoured with better, kinder law.

"We want the government of India to put pressure on Ireland to change the law so that this cannot happen in the future," he said.

Mr Yalagi revealed that he and his wife are considering legal action against the hospital and said that no health officials or anyone from the Irish government had been in touch with them to express any remorse.

Speaking at his home in the southern Indian town of Belgaum, he added: "I want to take legal action against them over the inhumane way they treated my daughter."

He added: "They are doctors but they were not humane.

"If they had been humane, they would have treated her.

"I do not want this to happen to other people. I am very angry."

Ireland's ambassador to India met with government and opposition figures in New Delhi on Friday to ease concerns over the death.

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Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at Galway University Hospital on October 28 after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia


The tragedy comes 20 years after a separate controversial abortion case split the country and two years since European judges called for clear direction on when a termination is legal.

The Galway-Roscommon University Hospitals Group and the Health Service Executive's (HSE) national accident
management team announced two separate investigations into Mrs Halappanavar's death, which sent waves through the Irish parliament and caused a 2,000-strong protest on its doorstep when it emerged last week.

Chiefs at the hospital expect to finish its review within the next three months.

Meanwhile, a separate report from a 14-member expert group advising the Government on abortion - in the wake of the European Court of Human Rights ruling - landed on the health minister's desk last week.

The Taoiseach said the Cabinet will examine the expert group's findings before a response is given to the court judgment on or before November 30.

More than 50 members of the European parliament have called on the Irish Government to legislate on abortion following the death of Mrs Halappanavar.

The 53 MEPs from 15 different countries have written to the Taoiseach calling for action.

The letter was initiated by Irish MEP Paul Murphy and MEP Mikael Gustafsson, who is chair of the Women's Rights and Equality Committee.

It comes as plans were outlined for an International Day of Protest on Wednesday with demonstrations at Irish embassies around the world.

Mr Murphy said: "The breadth of support for this letter demonstrates the anger that exists around the world at the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, a death that could have been avoided by legislation on abortion in Ireland. As 20,000 people demanded yesterday on the streets of Dublin - we need legislation now."

On Saturday tens of thousands of people marched through Ireland's capital, Dublin, in memory of Savita.

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  • Ireland abortion row

    A protester during a march in O'Connell Street, Dublin, to demand legislation on abortion after the death of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 17, 2012. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

  • Ireland abortion row

    Candles are left in tribute outside Leinster House in Dublin, after thousands of people marched demanding legislation on abortion after the death of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.

  • Ireland abortion row

    Candles are left in tribute outside Leinster House in Dublin, after thousands of people marched demanding legislation on abortion after the death of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.

  • Abortion rights protesters hold candles and pictures in a vigil for Savita Halappanavar outside Ireland's government headquarters in Dublin Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Thousands marched to the spot to demand that the government draft a law defining when abortions can be performed to save a woman's life. Ireland has been shocked by the death of Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of blood poisoning after being denied an abortion in a Dublin hospital last month. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik)

  • Abortion rights protesters bearing pictures of Savita Halappanavar march through central Dublin, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, demanding that Ireland's government ensures that abortions can be performed to save a woman's life. Ireland has been shocked by the death of Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of blood poisoning after being denied an abortion in a Dublin hospital last month. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik)

  • Several thousand abortion rights protesters march through central Dublin, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, demanding that Ireland's government ensures that abortions can be performed to save a woman's life. Ireland has been shocked by the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of blood poisoning after being denied an abortion in a Dublin hospital last month. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik)

  • Abortion rights activists hold candles and display pictures in memory of Savita Halappanavar during a protest rally outside Ireland's government headquarters in Dublin Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Thousands marched to the spot to demand that the government draft a law defining when abortions can be performed to save a woman's life. Ireland has been shocked by the death of Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of blood poisoning after being denied an abortion in a Dublin hospital last month. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik)

  • An Indian man and Irish woman light candles as abortion rights protesters march through central Dublin Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, demanding that Ireland's government create a law defining when abortions can be performed to save a woman's life. Ireland has been shocked by the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of blood poisoning after being denied an abortion in a Dublin hospital last month. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik)

  • Ireland abortion row

    People march down O'Connell Street, Dublin, to demand legislation on abortion after the death of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.

  • IRELAND-INDIA-ABORTION-RIGHTS-RELIGION

    Demonstrators hold placards and candels in memory of Indian Savita Halappanavar in support of legislative change on abortion during a march from the Garden of Remembrance to the Dail (Irish Parliament) in Dublin, Ireland on November 17, 2012. Ireland's tough abortion laws came under fire following the death of the Indian woman Halappanavar after doctors allegedly refused her a termination because it was against the laws of the Catholic country. The Indian woman, who was 17 weeks pregnant, repeatedly asked the hospital to terminate her pregnancy because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying, her family said. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • IRELAND-INDIA-ABORTION-RIGHTS-RELIGION

    Demonstrators hold placards and candels in memory of Indian Savita Halappanavar in support of legislative change on abortion during a march from the Garden of Remembrance to the Dail (Irish Parliament) in Dublin, Ireland on November 17, 2012. Ireland's tough abortion laws came under fire following the death of the Indian woman Halappanavar after doctors allegedly refused her a termination because it was against the laws of the Catholic country. The Indian woman, who was 17 weeks pregnant, repeatedly asked the hospital to terminate her pregnancy because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying, her family said. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman place's candles outside Belfast City Hall, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, for Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year old Indian woman who was 17-weeks pregnant when she died of blood poisoning after suffering a miscarriage in Galway, Ireland, on 28 October. Savita Halappanavar's father, Andanappa Yalagi, said the combination of medical negligence and Irish abortion laws led to his daughter's death. The parents of an Indian woman who suffered a miscarriage and died after being refused an abortion in an Irish hospital slammed Ireland's abortion laws Thursday. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

  • A woman place's candles outside Belfast City Hall, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, for Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year old Indian woman who was 17-weeks pregnant when she died of blood poisoning after suffering a miscarriage in Galway, Ireland, on 28 October. Savita Halappanavar's father, Andanappa Yalagi, said the combination of medical negligence and Irish abortion laws led to his daughter's death. The parents of an Indian woman who suffered a miscarriage and died after being refused an abortion in an Irish hospital slammed Ireland's abortion laws Thursday. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

  • INDIA-IRELAND-ABORTION-RIGHTS

    Demonstrators from India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans against the Irish government for the death of Indian national Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland after doctors allegedly refused her an abortion, in front of the Embassy of Ireland in New Delhi on November 16, 2012. New Delhi on November 16 demanded a 'transparent' probe into the death of an Indian woman in Ireland after doctors there allegedly refused to terminate her pregnancy even though she was miscarrying. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ireland abortion row

    Candles are left in tribute outside Leinster House in Dublin, after thousands of people marched demanding legislation on abortion after the death of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.