Health authorities in Ireland have launched an investigation into the death of pregnant Savita Halappanavar.

The woman was in her 17th week of pregnancy when she passed away due to septicaemia last October.

Halappanavar was 31-years-old, it’s believed she was miscarrying when she was in hospital. Her husband explained that Halappanavar asked for an abortion when she was in relentless pain.

The husband explains that when they made the request for an abortion he was told: “This is a Catholic country.”

Allegedly, doctors removed the dead foetus a number of days after its heart had stopped beating.   A week later Halappanavar died of septicaemia.

Anti-abortion protesters have been out in force in Ireland since news of Halappanavar’s death. The law states that abortion is illegal, apart from if the woman’s life is in danger.

The European court of human rights ruled in 2010 that laws needed to be implemented to enable women to have an abortion when the pregnancy puts their life at risk.

Pro-choice campaigner Rachel Donnelly explained that Halappanavar’s condition should have been dealt with in a routine manner. “Yet Irish doctors are restrained from making obvious medical decisions,” she told The Guardian, “by a fear of potentially severe consequences.

“Pregnant women will continue to be unsafe in this country.”

Pictures: Getty.