How has the 8th affected the lives of women such as Savita Halappanavar?

Even though she was miscarrying and sick, she was refused a termination because there was a foetal heartbeat.  As a result, she contracted sepsis and died. If doctors had intervened earlier, the issue of sepsis would not have arisen and she would not have died.

In 2010 Michelle Harte, who became pregnant whilst receiving treatment for cancer, was forced to travel to the UK for an abortion whilst severely ill. Although her doctors had advised her to terminate the pregnancy because of the risk to her health, Cork University Hospital refused to authorise an abortion on the basis that her life was not under “immediate threat”.  Michelle Harte died from cancer in 2011.

The 8th also led to grotesque measures to preserve prenatal life after a woman’s death. PP was kept on life support because a foetal heartbeat was present. The family wished to discontinue these measures, but the medical staff felt unable to follow their wishes because of the 8th amendment. PP’s family had to make an application to the High Court so that she could be buried with dignity.

This could happen again. To change this we must vote YES to removing the 8th Amendment.

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