Widower of Woman Denied Abortion to Sue Ireland

November 29, 2012 - 3:34 PM

DUBLIN (AP) — The widower of an Indian woman who died in an Irish hospital after being refused an abortion plans to sue Ireland's government in the European Court of Human Rights.

Praveen Halappanavar confirmed his decision Thursday through his lawyer, Gerard O'Donnell.

His wife Savita died Oct. 28 in a hospital in Galway, western Ireland, one week after being admitted for severe pain amid a miscarriage.

Doctors refused to perform an abortion for three days while the 17-week-old fetus still had a heartbeat. Savita fell gravely ill after the dead fetus was removed and then suffered gradual organ failure. A coroner ruled she died from blood poisoning.

The case has forced Ireland to re-examine its two-decade failure to pass any laws governing when women can receive abortions to save their own lives.