Ireland's abortion law is under scrutiny after a pregnant woman died of blood poisoning when a termination could have saved her life, according to the Guardian.
Savita Halappanavar was four months pregnant when she went to a Galway hospital with back pain. Doctors realized she was having a miscarriage and decided to let it run its course, after which she spent the day "in agony," her husband told the Guardian.
She asked for a termination, but was refused by doctors who said that they couldn't abort the baby as long as it still had a heartbeat. Halappanavar died from E. coli and septicemia a week after checking in.
Abortion is illegal in Ireland with one exception: when the mother's life is in danger. So it wasn't Irish law that prevented Halappanavar from having an abortion, but rather the doctors treating her.
The story has been taken up by pro-choice activists stateside, who claim similar tragedies are already happening here. "Thanks to the rapid expansion of Catholic hospital chains, in entire regions of the United States the denial of life-saving abortion services is already happening," argues Daily Kos blogger Jon Perr.