On the ten year anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar, Lynn Enright reflects on how she galvanized a nation and how there is more to be done.
by Lynn Enright
27th Oct 2022
Whenever and wherever abortion is illegal, there are horror stories. Stories so grim and so gruesome they make you weep. A tale of a suicidal child forced to carry the foetus of the man who raped her; news reports of a young woman rooting through blood-soaked rubbish before reporting her housemate, who took illegal abortion pills alone, to police. In 2012, came a story so bleak that it changed a nation.
Savita Halappanavar was 31 in October 2012 and she was 17 weeks’ pregnant; it was to be the first baby for her and her husband, Praveen. If you’re carrying a longed-for baby, the 17-week mark is a nice stage of pregnancy. The morning sickness is usually gone and it is around then that you’ll feel the first flutters of movement, a tiny kick here and there.
What's Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum
For Irish women, abortion remains both illegal and taboo. As the country faces a historic referendum, Lynn Enright reflects on a nation’s changing mood, and a past decision of her own.
By Lynn Enright
Tuesday 24 April 2018
I was 31 and living in London when I had an abortion. On a grey morning, I took the Tube to the hospital and afterwards, I got an Uber home. My then boyfriend (who is now my husband) gave me a hot-water bottle and my flatmate brought me a cup of tea. My best friend texted me. “I love you,” she said. It was an everyday abortion but it hadn’t been an easy decision. I’d always wanted children and I’d hoped to be in a situation to have them at 31. But I wasn’t. The website I worked at had shut down the previous month and I was broke. I lived in a rented flat, sharing with two others. And my relationship was young and unsteady on its feet. So I had an abortion. Because it wasn’t the right time. Because it felt impossible to be pregnant, impossible to be a mother.