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Doctor leading inquiry into Irish woman's death is supporter of legal abortion

Catholic World News - November 20, 2012

The doctor appointed by the Irish government to head an inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar is an avowed supporter of legal abortion.

Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, a former president of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, is co-author of a journal article calling upon countries that bar abortion to “look at the evidence available in favor of liberal abortion laws.”

Arulhumaran will lead an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died of septicemia after a miscarriage. Her husband has charged that she was refused an abortion that might have saved her life, and abortion advocates have argued that her case demonstrates the need for changes in the Irish law barring abortion.Pro-life activists in Ireland have responded that the current law allows for abortion if it is required to save the mother’s life.

The case has also sparked angry criticism of the influence that Catholic Church teachings allegedly exert over Irish medical personnel. But Church teachings, too, allow for medical intervention to save a woman’s life, even at risk to the unborn child.

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