Response of Irish Government To Our Letter Regarding The Death of Savita Halappanavar

On November 20, ASAP signed the International Campaign’s Petition Letter to protest the death of Savita Halappanavar, and sent it to the Irish Government by email. 

We received the following response on Nov. 21. 

From: Doreen Foley PA to Eamon Gilmore TD, Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade

Thank you very much for your email with regard to the case of Savita Halappanavar.   I will bring your correspondence to the attention of the Tanaiste.

This matter was raised with the Tanaiste at Leaders Questions in the Dail last Thursday.

He said “I want to take this opportunity to express my own deepest sympathy to the family of Savita Halappanavar.  This is an appalling loss, which I think has rightly touched the hearts of all of the Irish people.  It is, of course, true to say that we do not yet know the full circumstances of what happened, but anybody who listened to Savita’s husband  yesterday has to be deeply concerned by his very dignified and moving account of what happened to Savita.

This is one of those issues where we are all reminded of our duty as legislators.  It is not a moment for shrill voices.  It is a moment for respect, first of all, for a grieving  family, for dignified discussion and for determined action.

I do not think we, as a country, should allow a situation where women’s lives are put at risk in this way.  We must deal with the issue and bring legal clarity to it…. There have been six Governments in this State since the Supreme Court judgment in 1992 and they have not dealt with it.  This will not be the seventh. “

You can view his speech here –

The Tánaiste’s strong statement has been picked up across a range of media outlets. A selection is included below.

Best wishes

Doreen Foley PA to
Eamon Gilmore TD
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade


Eamon Gilmore calls for ‘legal clarity’ on abortion issue

The Irish Times

Tánaiste seeks ‘clarity’ on abortion after Savita death

Irish Independent

Eamon Gilmore vows Government will act to create ‘legal clarity’

Irish Examiner  

Gilmore: We will not be seventh govt to ignore abortion issue

The Journal

Gilmore: We need to bring legal clarity to abortion issue

Breaking News

Gilmore: We will not be seventh govt to ignore abortion issue


About Shweta Krishnan

Shweta Krishnan was the Communication and Networking Officer For the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership between June 2012 and March 2014. She is a feminist writer with a background in medicine, and has a strong commitment to promoting sexual and reproductive rights for all.
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