Protestors gather outside Leinster House (Irish Parliament building)
 during a demonstration in favor of abortion legislation in Dublin,
 Ireland, on November 14, (Credit: Peter Muhly/AFP)

The Irish government and the Catholic hierarchy there should make clear that they strongly disagreed with the dreadful decision to allow a young mother in a Galway hospital to die because her non-viable fetus continued to have a heartbeat.

There is no other correct decision for them to make. This is not a medical issue, it is a human rights one. It is incredible to think that in this day and age such a death could occur.

The life of the mother was sacrificed in this occasion by waiting for the 17-week-old non-viable fetus to die while she was miscarrying. When she desperately asked for the fetus to be aborted she was told “This is a Catholic hospital.” She later died of sepsis.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist and of the Hindu faith, originally from India, went through two and a half days of dreadful pain while the fetus lived on.

Surely the Catholic Churchand the Irish government need to step in here and say “not in our name”?

The fetus would never have lived, doctors in Galway agreed. The mother was bleeding and leaking amniotic fluid.

In Britain or the US, if it were seen that the mother was in imminent danger, the mother would have been given drugs to expedite the miscarriage.

In Ireland she was told to suffer and bear it and she died as a result.

If it sounds like a terrible plot from an Edna O’Brien novel from the 1950s then it is.

One can only imagine what this lovely young woman and her husband, both emigrants to Ireland, experienced in her final hours.

It is an enormous blot on the country, a throwback to the bad old days when women’s lives in childbirth were considered expendable.

The churchand state need to make it clear that it was not done in their name.

Whether they will or not will tell us a lot about the new Ireland.

 Read more: Thousands gather to protest in Ireland over death of mother due to abortion denial