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Ireland must adopt a more enlightened approach to the rights of women

Savita Halappanavar can now be added to the long list of women who have been killed in the name of religion ("Woman refused abortion dies", The Herald, November 15).

The circumstances surrounding her death in an Irish hospital are a shocking demonstration of the brutal consequences of prioritising religious considerations above granting the lives of women the same priority, respect and protection as those of men.

Should the pregnant women of Ireland be forced to flee their country to safeguard their own lives against the potentially fatal consequences of religious interference into their health? Unless and until the Catholic influence on abortion law in Ireland is lifted, the answer is clearly yes.

I can only hope her death has not been in vain, and that it will help put Ireland on a path towards a more enlightened, secular society where women's rights, and by extension their lives, are fully protected.

Veronica Wikman,

63 Malleny Avenue, Edinburgh.

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