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Nov 15, 2012 10:31 AM by AP/CS

Irish doctors seek new abortion law after a death

DUBLIN (AP) - Pressure is mounting in Ireland for the government to draft a law spelling out when life-saving abortions can be performed following the death in the hospital of a pregnant woman who was denied an abortion.

Thousands have rallied in London, Dublin, Cork and Galway in memory of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist who died a week after doctors said she was starting to miscarry her 17-week-old fetus.

Despite her pain, doctors refused her request for an abortion for three days because the fetus had a heartbeat. She died from blood poisoning three days after the fetus died.

Irish gynecologists said Thursday they want the government to close a 20-year-old hole in abortion law that leaves them fearing prosecution if they abort a living fetus to protect a woman's life.

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