Last month, a woman was killed by a medical system steeped in archaic religious superstitions.
In truth, this probably happened to countless women across the globe.
Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when her lower back began to ache. She went to hospital, and learned that she was having a miscarriage. It was progressing slowly, so Savita asked for a medical abortion.
Savita had the misfortune of living in the Republic of Ireland, an anti-choice stronghold.
The hospital told her, “this is a Catholic country”. They refused to do anything because the foetus still had a heartbeat. Savita was forced to wait. She grew sicker and sicker for three days as the thing died inside her, poisoning her body. She was in agony.
The hospital made her wait. The thing still had a heartbeat.
When it finally ended, and they operated, it was too late. It had released too much poison into Savita’s body, and she became sicker still. She died a week after first going into hospital. She died from blood poisoning.
Her death could have been averted. She wanted the foetus that could never have lived removed from her body, but the doctors refused.
They killed her. The lawmakers who make abortion illegal in Ireland killed her. The church with its undue power killed her. It was the so-called pro-life stance that killed her.
When someone says that they are pro-life, remember Savita Halappanavar. Remember how they ignored a sick woman in favour of something with a heartbeat that was inside her and that was killing her. Remember that pro-life will always think of that thing with the heartbeat rather than the woman who will die unless it is removed.
That is what it means to be pro-life.