where the writers are
and ''This is a Catholic country'' - question mark?

It would be so easy to write about my day. To describe the last of the stunningly beautiful leaves on the Sycamore tree and how I watched my neighbour from down the way wheel his barrow by this house. I could write about the cake I baked and how I did not make enough frosting to cover it and how I had to make do. But I can't. I have to write about Savita Halappanavar. 

You have probably never heard of her but let me tell you that she and her husband came to live in Ireland in 2008. Savita was 27, her husband, Praveen, 31. She had trained as a dentist in India and passed the Irish Dental exams last year. Her husband worked as an engineer with an American Company in Galway. They settled in a suburb of Galway. Savita was a 'wonderful classical indian dancer'. She taught Irish children Indian dances. She had a diamond in one of her teeth and the children who admired it were told that they would have to go to India to get that done.

Savita died a month ago in Galway. She was 17 weeks pregnant. She presented at the hospital in Galway complaining of back pain. She was found to be miscarrying. Over the course of a three-day period she requested that the pregnancy be terminated. The request was refused. She and her husband, Praveen, were told ''this is a Catholic country''. She died of Septicaeamia a week later.

Throughout this period, Savita was in agony. On the 23rd October, the consultant reiterated to Savita that this is a Catholic country. Savita replied; (a hindu) that I am neither Irish nor Catholic, but they said there was nothing they could do. That evening, Savita developed shakes and shivering and vomiting. The rest is too painful to write.

Savita's husband took her home to Goa on November 1st to be cremated. 

I hang my head in shame. It is overdue that we extricate the church from the state in this country. Our medieval nightmare has existed for way too long. The nightmare has to stop. I hang my head in shame to be an Irish woman who has for far too long tolerated the dictate of men in white collars in shrines of marble who know nothing. Nothing at all.

I think of Savita tonight. The hospital. The pure desolation of the lonely ward and the lack of answers. The cold shaking of heads and I shed my tears. I wish Savita had never come here. To this prison of a church with bolted doors. And a room full of men who know nothing, nothing at all.

Comments
12 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Heartbreaking.

Painful. Frustrating.  

M

Comment Bubble Tip

Yes, Michael. I feel as if I

Yes, Michael. I feel as if I live in a prison with no bars. m

Comment Bubble Tip

Horror

These are the Draconian measures that some strive to apply in this country as well, to steal away our hard-won liberties, to murder a woman (since refusing life-saving treatment is exactly that) to 'save' a fetus who cannot survive without its host...

The shame isn't yours, Mary, for you take these tragedies within yourself and churn them out for others to see, to witness, to report.  This is what we as writers and artists do.  We record the truth, that others may be aware, that ultimately a window will open and freedom will enter the room.

You have honored Savita here today, dear Mary, and I suspect that her memory will grace your work in future, perhaps when you least expect it.  Now, I too hold her memory and your tears.  M 

Comment Bubble Tip

I cry as I read your words,

I cry as I read your words, Mara. Savita went into the hospital thinking she would be in the best of care and the bloody scrambled church and state got in the way. How can that be right? How can it ever be made right? There was a protest in Dublin tonight. One thousand women. I did not even know about it or I would have been there. I would not like to be a woman of child bearing years in this country. I would never feel safe. mx

Comment Bubble Tip

Rage against...

The truly moral mind screams against injustice, and no, I don't believe any specific injustice can ever be made right.  But those of us who recognize it, we wave our signs and we tie on our marching boots and we scream loudly into the night, and eventually, the war is ended, the law overturned, the greater truth is served.

In this country we narrowly missed having a Republican vice presidental candidate who would have endorsed Savita's tragedy, and in several states bills are now pending to make abortion in the case of saving the mother a crime punishable by death.  These troglodytes emerge from the ooze and wreak havoc upon civilization. 

The numbers of the one thousand women protesting Savita's death will swell --- there are already 1,002 ! March along, dear friend, and I'll march beside you.  Mx

 

Comment Bubble Tip

God but you are a strong

God but you are a strong woman. Thank you for your incredibly emotive and strong words. mx

Comment Bubble Tip

Mary, What a powerful, and

Mary,

What a powerful, and heartbreaking story. 

I remember reading Maeve Binchy's interview years ago where she described why she writes about the 50's-60's in Ireland. She said something close to what Mara said, to give this injustice and pain a voice. To let the world know that it's not right, to deny women care because of the ancient decisions of the men in cassocks and pointy hats (paraphrasing here.)

I'm sickened by your story, and yet, I am posting it for others to read. It's a cautionary tale for us in America. If we weaken or remove our liberty to be free from religion, we could be headed for the same. 

Annette

 

Comment Bubble Tip

We all miss Maeve Binchy,

We all miss Maeve Binchy, Annette. But there are more voices speaking out and so this is a good thing.  I am confident that the situation will change now but look what it took to make the politicians sit up and call women's health a priority. m

Comment Bubble Tip

Sad

Its very sad story of ignorance and negligence in the name of law.I heard it as a news on the TV. "Papa you should write something on it"was my daughter's first reaction." I need not to," I replied for I knew you will surely do it better than me.Death during pregnancy is common in India, but for very different, obvious types of reasons.I understand your concern and rage as you my friend are such a good hearted lady.But you didn't set the rules nor you govern the health department.'SAVITA' means 'SUN' in Sanskrit often used  in Rugveda & Yajurveda.Let this 'SUN' in form of savita light the spark of wisdom in the brains of those who set such rules to swipe away the darkness of old beliefs.

Comment Bubble Tip

Jitu, the entire country is

Jitu, the entire country is appalled at what happened and I wrote about this because I was so angry and upset. I honestly could not believe it when I first heard about what happened to Savita. An enquiry is being held and the report due out in a few days.

I will attend a vigil tonight in Galway for Savita. I will stand there in solidarity for her and the women of the world.

and you know, what really bothers me about this is that these are laws and rules are mostly made by men. What more can I say? 

Yours in friendship,

Mars x

Comment Bubble Tip

Mary, you can say more!

I hear your plea, and I know God feels your heart. These laws and rules have to be examined and rewritten! And it happens one step (one word ) at a time. You have a passionate and powerful (talented) voice to be heard!!!

So do I, and so does all of us have a moral cause we can support.  

Thank you for standing in solidarity for Savita and women of the world. 

God blesses you, Mary. XO

Truly,

Catherine

 

 

Comment Bubble Tip

Nice to see you, Catherine

Nice to see you, Catherine even under these sad and horrendous circumstances. Hopefully, the legislators will sit up and take note of what we have to say! mx