There is a terrible problem with any government, religion or doctor that would permit a woman to experience a miscarriage, pain and eventual death. This is what happened in Ireland to Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion in Ireland due to strict abortion laws. According to the AP, “Ms Halappanavar and her husband Praveen checked into University Hospital Galway in western Ireland on Oct. 21. Within hours of their visit, doctors determined that Halappanavar was suffering a miscarriage.” However, the doctors did nothing for fear of retribution from Irish authorities if they performed an abortion before the heart of the fetus stopped beating. Although this sound primitives, the same was true in the United States, prior to Roe v. Wade in 1973. Praveen told the irish times that, “Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby.” Praveen continued, “When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy? The consultant said: ‘As long as there is a fetal heartbeat, we can’t do anything.” Two days later the fetus died and on October 28, Halappanavar died of blood poisoning. So instead of one potential life ending, as it did naturally, the mother died as well. It’s a terrible blemish on what is otherwise a beautiful country. No one thinks abortion is a good thing or should be used as a contraceptive method, but religious zealots shouldn’t be making decisions over life and death. Medical decisions are personal and need to be left to doctors and patients. So shame on Ireland for allowing such an antiquated, inhumane law to remain on the books. There were large protests throughout Europe in response to this barbarism. Thankfully there are still decent people who don’t want religious beliefs dictating personal choices and medically necessary procedures. We can only hope this issue will be addressed by lawmakers in Ireland, so Halappanavar didn’t die in vain.