Indian woman's grieving father pleads to Irish PM for 'change in abortion law to save lives'
The father of an Indian woman, who died after being refused an emergency abortion in Ireland, has appealed directly to the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to change the country's legislation on abortion.
"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," Andanappa Yalagi issued a personal plea to Kenny during an interview with the Observer.
Yalagi also said that he will take legal action against the hospital to try to prevent future acts of 'inhumanity'.
He and his wife, Akkamahadevi, expressed fury at the way in which Savita Halappanavar, 31, had been treated and revealed that no one from the hospital or the Irish Government had been in touch to express any remorse for the death of their only daughter.
"I want to take legal action against them over the inhumane way they treated my daughter," Yalagi, speaking at his home in the southern Indian town of Belgaum, said.
According to the Guardian, Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway after doctors refused her pleas to abort her miscarried baby and told her that Ireland was a Catholic country and that she had to abide by its laws on abortion.
According to the report, the case has prompted a furious reaction in Ireland and around the world and brought calls for the law to be clarified to allow an abortion to be carried out if the mother's life is in danger.
Even the Catholic Church in India has expressed surprise at the hospital's refusal to permit the abortion.
In their first full interview with the British newspaper, her parents described their heartbreak and devastation at the loss of a beautiful and vivacious daughter.
"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," Yalagi said, of her treatment at the Galway hospital.
"She requested several times and my son-in-law requested, telling them, 'We are not Catholics, we are Hindus, please do the abortion immediately because her life is in danger', but they continued to refuse. She was terribly worried and was in great pain,' he said.
"You would think that for humanity's sake they would have carried out an abortion," he added.