At 4pm today outside the Irish consulate in Edinburgh, about fifty people came to stand vigil for Savita Halappanavar, to sign Diwali cards for Enda Kenny and James Reilly.
This week Savita should have been celebrating Diwali with her family and with the Indian community in Galway. She and her husband should have been together, mourning the loss of her first pregnancy.
If they had chosen almost anywhere but Ireland to settle and have children, she would have been alive.
Ireland has an abortion rate normal for its population in Europe – it’s just that all legal abortions that Irish women have are outsourced, mostly to the UK. Irish women who have illegal abortions buy abortifacients online, which is more dangerous than a legal abortion but, once accomplished, the woman can (and hopefully, does) go to a hospital to be treated for the aftereffects of a miscarriage. (This is probably the safest method of illegal abortion, if carried out early and if the woman does seek medical help (and get it) promptly afterwards. And of course it’s much cheaper than a trip to England.)