KSCW Chairperson spoke about the "untimely death of Savita and how she was killed with a law on the verge of availing her birthright of becoming a mother."

The Karnataka State Commission for Women (KSCW) will press the Indian Government and other international agencies to fulfil the demand of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar’s family for a public inquiry into her death. Savita died in October in Ireland after being denied abortion.

Announcing this at a protest meeting held for Savita on Human Rights Day here on Monday, C Manjula, KSCW Chairperson spoke about the “untimely death of Savita and how she was killed with a law on the verge of availing her birthright of becoming a mother.” A declaration with several signatures of supporters has been forwarded to the agencies, she said.

Indumathi Rao, Chairperson, Global Partnership for Disability and Development, said Human Rights Day was not the time to celebrate, but to introspect. “Religion-based laws are directly connected to Savita’s death,” she said.

Sheela Anish, president of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, pointed out the irony in the fact that Ireland was reputed to be the island of science and scholars. “Even in many Muslim countries, abortion is allowed, even if circumstantially. But several western countries are still controlled by the Catholic Church,” she said.

Referring to the denial to women to abort in Ireland, she said it is a “complete human rights violation if a woman doesn’t have the right on her body, which is a personal right.”

“Around 7,000 girls from Ireland go to England for a simple process like abortion. In Savita’s case, the doctors should have advised for an abortion. This is a clear case of medical negligence,” she added.

J S Patil, Vice Chancellor of the Karnataka State Law University, who promised the support of 65,000 law students in the State for Savita’s cause, criticized Ireland’s abortion law and said, “Ireland is a tribal community. What sort of a religious law is this?”

Also participating in the programme, Akkamahadevi Andanappa Yalagi, Savita’s mother, said the strong support shown by people towards Savita’s cause was a consolation for the parents. Reciting the writings of poet Basavanna which “speak about the law of humanity,” she said Ireland had not followed this law.