The widower of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died in hospital in Ireland after suffering a miscarriage, has said a consultant told the couple an abortion was not allowed because "this is a Catholic country."
Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when admitted to University Hospital Galway on October 21 last year and died a week later from suspected septicaemia, days after she lost her baby.
The 31-year-old's widower, Praveen, told an inquest that consultant Katherine Astbury twice dismissed requests for a termination and told the couple it was because the foetus was alive.
He said that on Tuesday October 23 last year, his wife requested a termination for a second time.
"Dr Astbury came in. Savita asked her, can you terminate the baby? She said 'unfortunately I cannot. This is a Catholic country, we are bound by the law. We cannot terminate the foetus when it's still alive'," he said.
Halappanavar said his wife cried and told the doctor she was Hindu and not an Irish citizen but Dr Astbury refused. (ANI)