Husband breaks down during Savita inquest

Husband breaks down during Savita inquest

Husband breaks down during Savita inquest

Praveen Halappanavar, husband of Indian dentist Savita who died after being denied an abortion in Ireland, broke down in tears as he recounted the incidents leading up to his wife’s death, during an inquest which opened on Monday.

Praveen explained how his wife asked twice for a termination as she lay in hospital in excruciating pain and broke down in the dock 45 minutes into his statement. “Savita asked for a termination two times. Savita was in tears. She said she could not take it. The doctor did not come back that day,” he told the hearing.

According to local Irish media reports, the courthouse was packed to capacity for the hearing before a jury of six men and four women. Savita, 31, died at Galway University Hospital following a miscarriage last October.

Praveen said he and his wife had asked consultant obstetrician Dr Katharine Astbury for a termination on October 23, 2012, after learning that she was miscarrying at 17 weeks. Astbury told her that “unfortunately” the foetus was still alive.

The couple again asked for a termination the following day. “She said, ‘unfortunately, I can’t. This is a Catholic country’,” the 34-year-old engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway told the inquest. He said Savita pointed out that she was a Hindu and wasn’t an Irish citizen but Dr Astbury said sorry and walked away.

He then explained the deterioration of his wife’s health which resulted in her death on October 28.

The inquest, which is scheduled for a week, is responsible for establishing the cause of death.

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