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Published: December 2, 2012 5:44 pm to International News

Know the truth: The top 3 things you should know about Savita

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant while in Ireland with her husband. After being hospitalized at the University Hospital Galway, doctors determined that she was miscarrying her child and had a serious blood disorder called septicemia. As most people have heard by now, her story tragically ended on October 28.

When Savita died, the world was unprepared for what was about to unfold. Her story spread like wildfire. But what spread so quickly was a twisted version of her story.  Here are the top three things you should know about what happened.

1. Abortion would not have saved Savita’s life.

The liberal media reported that when Savita went to the hospital, she was refused an abortion. While we do not know Savita’s words, a quick look at the disorder she had reveals that having an abortion would not have improved her chance of living. Septicemia is a “serious, life-threatening infection that gets worse very quickly” – and abortion is not a treatment for it. A quick look here and here reveals that abortion is never a recommended to alleviate suffering from this disorder.

As was reported in the Hindu Times:

Severe septicaemia with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a life-threatening bleeding disorder which is a complication of sepsis, major organ damage and loss of the mother’s blood due to severe infection, is the cause of death in Savita’s case. This is what seems to have happened and this is a sequence which cannot be reversed just by terminating the pregnancy.

The Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health (written by the Committee on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare) stated in September 2012 that:

As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.

2. Savita’s death had nothing to do with the fact that Ireland is a largely Catholic country.

Many news reports stated that Savita was refused an abortion because Ireland is a largely Catholic country. Her husband even told the Irish Times that Savita had been refused an abortion on the grounds that it was “a Catholic country.” What was largely ignored in the reports was that even though the laws of Ireland uphold Catholic teaching that life is to be protected from conception until natural death, Ireland is one of the safest places for mothers to have their children. It’s plain to see this, since the maternal mortality rate is 33 times higher in India, 2 times higher in the U.K., and 3.5 times higher in the United States.

Ireland has some of the best laws for maternal health. Their medical guidelines clearly state that:

In current obstetrical practice, rare complications can arise where therapeutic intervention (including termination of a pregnancy) is required at a stage when, due to extreme immaturity of the baby, there may be little or no hope of the baby surviving. In these exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to intervene to terminate the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother, while making every effort to preserve the life of the baby.

Could Savita have died because she was refused an abortion? Nope. Why? Because in Ireland, they will do everything possible to save the life of the mother even if that includes a “termination of pregnancy.” Since an abortion was not performed on Savita, this must not have been in her best interest. It makes sense, since abortion is not a treatment for septicemia. Emerging reports are showing that Savita was most likely infected with an ESBL E. coli strain – a horrible infection that is resistant to most antibiotic treatments. No matter what happened, we can be sure that all precautions were taken to preserve her life.

3. Abortion supporters are using this story as a ploy to change pro-life laws as they spark protests around the world.

Abortion supporters were tipped off three days prior to the breaking of this story and were thus given time to plan a huge social media campaign. They are using this story to show that Ireland’s pro-life laws need to be changed. Why? Because they claim that Savita died because of them. I already outlined for you how that is not true, so let’s take a look at how this story is being used.

Here we see protesters “shaming” the Irish government for allegedly not protecting women.

Here people are demanding a change in Irish legislation to allow abortion (and to prevent women from dying in the future). But since we all know that abortion never saves the life of the mother, all this campaigning is for naught.

NEVER AGAIN - Legislate now!

Instead of spreading this lie that Savita died from a refused abortion, let’s work together to spread the truth. Savita did not die from a refused abortion. She tragically died from an infection and does not deserve to be used as a political ploy. Her story deserves to be told in its entire truth. Women deserve better than abortion.

About Laura Peredo

Laura, a sophomore Business Management major at Benedictine College, joined the pro-life movement a few years ago, and has been actively defending life ever since. In her 'free time' she enjoys reading about current life and faith issues, writing about them, and having debates about them. She loves her big family, summertime, Catholic memes, babies, and inspiring stories about people who defy the odds against them. Laura plans to devote the rest of her life to defending life through the work of pregnancy resource centers. Follow her blog at: asingledropintheocean.com
View all posts by Laura Peredo

  • Aura Lea

    Thank you so much for this article, Laura Peredo! I am passing it on. The “shameful” things is not Ireland’s pro-life laws but the way pro-abortion groups have been exploiting the tragic death of this poor woman.

    forthelifeofthenation.blogspot.com

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Americans-for-the-Life-of-the-Nation/436499799740055

  • Dee

    I was disquieted to read that Savita’s symptom “back pain” and signs that her cervix was dilating are NOT symptoms of septicemia in the articles you referenced! Could have infection come from the prolonged dilation while she was miscarrying? Was the baby infected also? Was their evidence of toxins in the baby whose heart stopped?

    Also, the aricle I read said the doctors were waiting for the babies heart to stop. Don’t they owe it to both mother and child to safe the baby? How can ignore that they were just waiting for the heart to stop? Could you post an article on how doctors can rescue the child and stop the miscarriage?

    • Laura Peredo

      Dee, Thanks for asking those questions.

      Yes, those are not usually symptoms of septicemia. Savita’s infection was from ESBN E. coli. It would take more research to find out if E. coli would be contracted because of premature dilation – my initial thought is that that would not be possible. What’s most likely is that the infection and her miscarriage happened simultaneously without a cause/effect relationship.

      None of the research I read through indicated whether the child was infected. My understanding is that this was a blood disorder – I do not know if a blood infection can be transferred from a pregnant mother to her child. Since blood can intermingle, my guess is that it could happen. Again, that would take a little more research to find out.

      Since Savita was only 17 weeks pregnant, there is no way doctors could have saved her baby (the only solution for the baby to survive would be for him/her to remain inside Savita). Since Ireland has some of the best maternal health care laws, I believe they did intend to do everything they could do to save both mother and child. They waited for the heartbeat to stop because that was in the best interest of the baby. They had to let the baby be in hopes that s/he would live.

  • ima

    Every female should read this and have a rational response.

    http://possibleandlegal.blogspot.com/

    • Violet

      I wish I could have had a rational response, but now I’m going to be busy all night puzzling over why the government “guarantees” my right to take any type of drugs. :(

      • ima

        That’s the type of change-the-subject response I’d expect from you, Violet. You never let me down. Did you skip the part where I say I will use the word ‘drugs’ so I didn’t have to write alcohol and nicotine over and over? And ‘fetus’ to stand for zygote, fertilized egg, etc.? It takes reading comprehension so I’ll let it slide this time.

        I am still waiting for an intelligent response. This site is supposed to be full of pro-life thinkers who have all the bases covered. You’re on the right side of this issue in every case, correct? Then why can’t any of you discuss this? It should be easy for you to beat down dissenters. You are on the ‘right’ side.

        Still waiting.

  • Dee

    Thank you for your reply.

    I read that Savita went to the hospital the day before she was admitted but was sent home. As a dentist she had to be schooled in the dangers and symptoms of septecmia but her complaint was with the miscarriage and the back pain. The article you suggested we read says anyone would be aware that a person with septecmia is severly ill. Didn’t this fine hospital miss what was happening or is it possible she was not yet infected?

    Pregnancy isn’t an illness, a menstural period isn’t an illness and a miscarriage is what?

    No mention of the septecmia appears in the reports until after the child has died and been surgically removed from Savita. Doctors have told me that it was best to recover at home because people contract resistant infections in hospitals. Had there been other cases of E Coli in the hospital? Was there a failure in infection controll? Isn’t prolonged hostipalization a health risk? If it is a risk how did they balance that risk?

    • Laura Peredo

      Dee,

      I do not know for certain whether they missed the infection. Her miscarriage was the most obvious health issue going on at first. The particular strand of ESBN E. coli she was infected with develops rapidly and can progress without much warning. This happened in the short time she was at the hospital. It’s also resistant to most treatments, which is what makes it so deadly.

      Pregnancy, periods, and miscarriages are not illnesses. Pregnancy and periods are just part of the female make-up and the way our reproductive systems function. Miscarriage is the natural death of a child before birth.

      Nothing I read indicated that she contracted E. coli from the hospital. From what I did read, it seems that she was already infected when she came in. After suffering from such a serious infection, recovering at home would not be a wise choice as doctors are not close by to treat any unforeseen complications. Since Ireland has such high maternal care laws, I seriously doubt that this was a failure in infection control. This infection is deadly, and unfortunately claimed Savita as one of its victims.

  • ima

    Hypothetically, suppose an abortion could have saved her life. What should have been done then?

    • Laura Peredo

      In that situation, the doctors should take all measure possible to save both lives. The specific measure needed to be taken would depend on what Savita’s state would have been. But seeing as abortion never saves the life of the mother, that situation is not possible :-) Thank goodness we don’t have to choose!

      • betty

        once you get an infection in your blood its very hard to treat especially if goes along time undiagnosed

      • Mary

        You have been cruelly misinformed. As someone who almost died from a tubal pregnancy that ruptured, requiring major surgery to correct the damage to my organs and stop the internal bleeding, and suffering profound long-term pain and sickness as a result, I KNOW better. Yes, sometimes terminating a pregnancy is in fact necessary to save the life of the mother.

        • Julia

          Termination of pregnancy is a very vauge term, and not what Laura said. Removing the tube in an ectopic pregnancy is not the same thing as an induced abortion. Removing the tube in an ectopic pregnancy is allowed in Ireland’s laws.
          I’m sorry that this happend to you, and I sincerely hope you feel better.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.ham1 Jessica Ham

            Actually, yeah it IS considered an abortive service. Anything which intends specifically to terminate a pregnancy is considered an abortive measure, not just induction of labor. Abortion isn’t limited to elective ones, but also emergency measures as well. Preventative medicine is what enables developed countries to lessen the risk involved with pregnancy, and many of those services are abortive in nature.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

        In other words let the mother die in order to save the fetus.

        • http://twitter.com/ProLifeTweeter ProLifeTweeter

          Are you a troll? Laura Peredo never wrote such a thing.

      • ima

        You seem very thought out on this issue. Wondering what your source is that leads you to conclude ‘abortion NEVER saves the life…’.

        The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a statement saying: “Abortions are necessary in a number of circumstances to save the life of a woman or to preserve her health. Unfortunately, pregnancy is not a risk-free life event.”

        A leading group opposing abortion, the National Right to Life Committee, issued a statement saying that its position is “to allow abortion if necessary to prevent the death of the mother.”

        Joe Walsh himself said “I do of course support medical procedures for women during their pregnancies that might result in the loss of an unborn child.” Implies that even he believes the health of the pregnant woman and fetus are intertwined.

        So, I ask again, what are your sources? You’re much too intelligent to strictly use biased anti-abortion sites and doctors.

        Who are these people saying ‘never’?

        • Laura Peredo

          Thanks for the response, Ima. I really appreciate you challenging the issues I talked about!

          One of the sources I quoted above is the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health (http://www.dublindeclaration.com) which was written by the Committee on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare. Here’s what they said:

          “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

          We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

          We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

          The key concept here is that there is a fundamental difference between an abortion and a medical procedure which could result in the death of the baby. The latter could result in the loss of the baby where an abortion is the intentional killing of the baby. One of the quotes you used actually outlines that perfectly:

          “I do of course support medical procedures for women during their pregnancies that might result in the loss of an unborn child.”

          • ima

            Thanks for the reply. Sorry, but your response is not good enough. And precisely what I didn’t ask for. I said you’re much too intelligent to use strictly biased anti-abortion sites and doctors and that’s exactly what you sent. This group must justify keeping abortion illegal in Ireland. They have a powerful Catholic agenda which completely colors their opinions. Opinions which should be influenced by medicine only. Every doctor must think exactly as they do or will not be hired.

            How do you explain the National Right to Life Committee’s position “allow abortion if necessary to prevent the death of the mother?” You never even addressed that. If this Irish group is 100% correct, why hasn’t this committee adopted it?

            Regardless of this Irish tragedy, pay close attention to what Irish women with money are doing if they want an abortion:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3ZnvyXgv88

            Clearly, this Irish law only affects one group: poor women. Something to be proud of?

            You appear to be showing yourself as a college freshman who is a tad over her head in writing about this topic.

            I’ll give you one more chance. Read this blog and give me an intelligent, non-emotional response.
            I’ll look forward to it.

            http://possibleandlegal.blogspot.com/

          • sarah

            Every country and every person is either pro-choice or pro-life. So whatever their official panel of doctors say about this issue in any country will be biased. So there is no reason Laura must use the statment of of pro-choice people over pro-life people, since both have an interest in the resutls being one way or the other.
            If, for instance, you wanted Laura to use an official U.S. panel of doctors’ findings or whatever, that could be just as much pro-choice biased as Ireland’s panel of doctors’ findings could be pro-life biased.
            You also used an ad hom argument: Laura must be wrong because she is young.

          • carmel350

            here’s something for you to watch, it’s a video on you tube, maybe it will enlighten you about you’re premature idea of what happened to Savita > “Major Discrepancies” in repoting of Savita’s death. Irish Times exposed for sensationalism.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.ham1 Jessica Ham

            LOL Assign it another name if it makes you feel more comfortable. But the fact of the matter remains, the “medical procedures” which you are referring to which make pregnancy less dangerous are preventative services that are abortive in nature. When a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, quite common and truly dangerous to the woman’s health and life, the services rendered to her are ABORTIVE. These services, whether a D&C or methotextrate or even tubal removal, serve one purpose: To terminate that pregnancy. Ergo, no matter what you want to call it, it IS an abortion. Just because it is not elective and is done in a state of emergency, that does not mean that the very definition of what you are doing changes.

      • Troy

        “But seeing as abortion never saves the life of the mother, that situation is not possible :-) Thank goodness we don’t have to choose!” Bullshit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anna.strakele Anna Strakele

        the baby was dead already.

        and since when does abortion not save the life of the mother???? i’ve seen many instances where it does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    You call yourself pro life but here you are wallowing in Savita’s death. You should be ashamed. And Savita should have been given an abortion.

    • Laura Peredo

      Gordon, did you read the article? Abortion would not have saved her life because abortion is not a treatment for blood infections. It’s a tragedy that she died, but blaming her death on abortion does nothing to protect women in the future. What would help them would be to find a treatment for the E. coli strand which is breaking out and killing countless people in Ireland.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

        And allowing them to make their own decisions concerning their health and not leaving it up to a distant, abstract, body of social conservative men inside the government might help too.

        • Julia

          They do allow them to make their own decisions concerning THEIR health. But when they start making decisions to kill their children, then in comes under the government’s jurisdiction. ( and I’m not talking about the mother life-saving treatment, which may have the side effect of harming her child)

          Your talk about not leaving it up to a “disant, abstact, body of … men” is really ironic. Who do you think made the Roe vs. Wade desciscion – a distant, abstract, body, of liberal men.
          Also, women are more pro-life than men,
          And, if your talking about the involved people’s wants not being considered, I notice everyone who supports it being OK to kill pre-born children has alreday been born.

          • JOAN GHALI

            This is the truth…thank you…excellent piece of writing !

          • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.ham1 Jessica Ham

            ROFL. Very loose understanding of legal systems you have there…..

      • Layla

        It never stated that E. coli was the definite cause of her miscarriage. One of the definite reasons of her death was the blood infection as a result of the miscarriage which COULD have been caused by the E. coli. If you research the topic even more, you will find out that the E. coli thought was found after everything started into the light.

    • Elise77

      Who’s “wallowing” in her death? That’d be the people who are capitalizing on it and attempting to paint her as a martyr for a cause that had absolutely nothing to do with her death.

      You know nothing about the medical issues in play. Perhaps educate yourself (maybe start by reading the actual content of the article) before commenting. She was in the process of miscarrying already. Had therapeutic abortion been medically indicated, it would have been carried out.

      You should be ashamed of your ignorance and of the way your fellow pro-”choicers” propagate lies to advance their agenda. Lies hurt women. If you really cared about women you’d be an advocate for TRUTH.

    • Dropofclearwqter

      Ridiculous statement Mr. Duffy.

  • Steve Farrell

    The point that this case should be hammering home to people is that pregnancy is no walk in the park. A woman has every right to make the decision for herself whether she wants to undergo the risks of this often grueling process.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gpedrozar Gabriela Pedroza

      I have been through the “grueling” process three times. One was enough to understand that it is NOT MY BODY. I have been chosen and blessed to be the vehicle of life, one that does not belong to me. And women do not become pregnant by themselves, fathers matter! A LOT!

      • Steve Farrell

        Gabriela, my wife went through the process twice. But not because she was forced to: she made the choice that we were ready to have kids.
        A woman’s body doesn’t stop being her own.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

        Of course, when the facts disagree with the conservative mentality just blame the media for being biased and lying. That song is soooooooo played out. Perhaps it’s just time to admit the right wing message stinks.

        • Laura Peredo

          John,

          In reality, the media has lied about this case (and countless others). If you can show me otherwise, I would be happy to edit the article. And if anyone can prove that my message “stinks” I would be happy to reconsider my stance on life issues.

          • carmel350

            Laura, you are correct, here is proof, this video is on you tube, “Major Discrepancies” in reporting of Savita’s death. Irish Times exposed for sensationalism.

        • carmel350

          Check out this video on you tube, “Major dicrepancies” in reporting of Savita’s death. Irish Times exposed for sensationalism. This a a tell all story right from the horses mouth (reporter)!

        • carmel350

          here’s a video on you tube for you to watch if that is how you truly feel, “Major discrepancies” in reporting of Savita’s death. Irish Times exposed for sensationalism.” Read that and weep!

  • Pingback: What really happened to Savita? | My Drop in the Ocean

  • peach

    Savita went into the hospital suffering a miscarriage, not septicemia. She developed septicemia after having been denied an abortion. You know what one of the treatments for a miscarriage is? Abortion. And it’s done to prevent infection. Because that’s what can happen when there’s a dying fetus inside you. An abortion wouldn’t have cured her of septicemia, but it could have prevented it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.r.brewer.3 Joseph Reese Brewer

      I would read the article again if I were you. It stated that the e.coli infection is what caused the septicemia and also caused the miscarriage.

      • Layla

        Actually, no where does it say that it was e.coli was the DEFINITE cause of the miscarriage. It says it was a possibility that arose after her death.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dozerfleetprod David Stiefel

      You know full well that there are other ways to save a mother’s life that are less likely to backfire and result in death anyway than abortion.

      Your thirst for the innocent blood of unborns is very telling.

      An E. coli infection like that does not result from a dying baby, but from other outside forces. And that’s what happened here. If anything, a botched abortion would have only ACCELERATED her death!

      • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.ham1 Jessica Ham

        What a knee jerk and dispicable reaction you posted. That tells me one thing, that you are NOT an individual who should be making public policy that effects the general populace! “Your thirst for the innocent blood of unborns is very telling” ?!?!?! What exactly did you expect to prove by saying that to this person? TOTALLY uncalled for and out of line to the extreme. You have effectively shown yourself to be incapable of having a rational and reasonable discussion about this subject by saying such a thing.

  • ima

    I’m talking to all the carefully thought-out people reading this blog who have the time to watch this one minute video, and are then willing to make the case to all of us that the Irish abortion law affects all women of childbearing age and not just the poor.

    Looking forward to some challenging answers.

  • JaniceMabel

    Thank you Laura for telling us what happened. As a survivor of DIC when I hemorrhaged in childbirth…I know it is rare to survive. I went without BP and my husband was told I wouldn’t make it and he should phone relatives. I bled out after vaginal delivery and only an emergency hysterectomy could save me. Finally after huges amounts of the wrong kind of blood, I was transfused with fresh frozen blood with the clotting factor that was missing. I stablized and then was transferred by ambulance to a big city hospital and ICU. Three days later they took out the “packing” and I never recovered my pituitary function..and .but I am still alive 27 years later and happy grandmother of 9.

  • http://twitter.com/nayanmipun nayan mipun

    Dec 5, 2012, Great that you all wrote this topic. So, what about pro lifers protesting against those who are using Savita’s case for pro abortionist propaganda? Pro lifers should come out to protests in Ireland as well against these pro abortionists protesters.

  • ima
  • JOAN GHALI

    Thank you Laura…you are speaking WISDOM and the TRUTH ….Excellent pieces of writing !

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.ham1 Jessica Ham

    For anyone who is interested, here is an article regarding the subject discussed here. One which has been done by actual medical professionals and the researched published in medical journals to be regarded by peers. I value the information within it and its accuracy more than I can ever put my trust and faith in a college freshman who has had little to no schooling regarding this subject most likely:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636458/

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.strakele Anna Strakele

    she was dying of sepsis because the fetus was disintegrating in her uterus, causing infection. she was being poisoned by her fetus.