BY | November 17, 2012

New Delhi, (IANS) Amnesty International Saturday slammed Ireland over the death of an Indian woman, saying the country must ensure that its domestic law and policy on access to abortion is in line with international human rights law.

The organisation has written to Irish Minister for Health James Reilly following the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar in an Irish hospital after doctors refused an abortion.

Amnesty said that the tragic case of Halappanavar illustrates a gap in Irish law and policy on the most basic human rights level – that is a woman’s right to access abortion where her life is at risk.

“International human rights law is clear about the right of a woman to access a safe and legal abortion where her life is at risk,” said a statement issued by the organisation.

“Successive Irish governments have failed in their duty to provide the necessary clarity on how this right is protected and vindicated, leaving women in Ireland in a very vulnerable position. Government must offer this clarity without further delay,” it said.

Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist, died in a hospital in Ireland after doctors refused to abort her foetus on grounds that “this is a Catholic country”.

Halappanavar arrived Oct 21 with back pain at Galway University Hospital in Ireland where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks. She died of septicaemia Oct 28.

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