Motion to Legalize Abortion Defeated in Ireland

A motion in Ireland calling for the legalization of abortion has been defeated after anti-abortion activists tried to use the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar to legalize abortion in the country.

Two members of the Irish parliament, Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams, produced a motion that called for immediate changes to the country's abortion laws while urging other lawmakers to consider legalizing abortion completely.

The motion was voted down 90 to 53 in the Irish parliament.

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Other politicians in Ireland are upset that a tragic situation has been used to try and implement measures that would put even more women at risk.

"It does a tremendous disservice to women as well the right to life for Sinn Fein to be rushing forward with this motion when clearly they are unaware of the most basic background facts," Ruth Cullen, of the PLC, said in a statement.

"It is also a disgrace that Sinn Fein and others are continuing to falsely create the impression that Ireland is not a safe place for pregnant women when the complete opposite is the case. Out of 171 countries, according to UN figures Ireland is consistently in the top five, sometimes even first, is terms of safety for pregnant women, much safer than places like Britain where abortion is freely available," Cullen added.

Savita Halappanavar died on Oct. 28 when she was 17 weeks pregnant. The baby, which died earlier that week after its heart stopped, was surgically removed from the 31-year-old mother, but that did not save her as her condition worsened.

The Republic of Ireland has one of the strictest abortion laws in all of Europe, and the heavily Roman Catholic country has outlawed the practice except for cases where the mother's life is directly in danger.

The Irish Health Service Executive's (HSE) National Incident Management Policy has also said it will carry out its own investigation into the woman's death.

"It would be very appropriate that we don't rule anything out here, but there are two reports and investigations going on at the moment," said Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

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