AceShowbiz - Emma Watson has penned an emotional open letter to a woman whose death in Ireland after she was denied an abortion prompted changes to the country's laws.
Her message to Dr. Savita Halappanavar, who passed away in October 2012 due to the complications of a septic miscarriage, appears in the new issue of Porter magazine - and Emma shared the letter on social media over the weekend, September 29-30.
Dr. Halappanavar's death prompted Irish lawmakers to pass legislation in 2013 that allowed doctors to perform an abortion if a mother's life is at risk, whereas before a baby's life was always prioritised - and in May campaigners successfully won a referendum on the repeal the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's constitution - which prohibited abortion in all other circumstances.
The actress and feminist activist's letter reads: "Dear Dr Savita Halappanavar, You didn't want to become the face of a movement; you wanted a procedure that would have saved your life. When news of your death broke in 2012, the urgent call to action from Irish activists reverberated around the world - repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution."
Although the repeal of Ireland's eighth amendment was signed into law last month, the procedure remains illegal - as it is in Northern Ireland - until further legislation is passed.
Watson, 28, also called Dr. Halappanavar's death a "wake-up call to a nation" but warned there was still much work to do to help women access abortions in Ireland and beyond.
"From Argentina to Poland, restrictive abortion laws punish and endanger girls, women and pregnant people," the "Beauty and the Beast" star adds. "Still, Northern Ireland's abortion law predates the lightbulb. In your memory, and towards our liberation, we continue the fight for reproductive justice."
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As part of their Incredible Women list featuring letters to remarkable changemakers, it was a great honour to be asked by @portermagazine to pay the deepest respect to the legacy of Dr Savita Halappanavar, whose death powered the determination of activists to change Irish abortion laws & fight for reproductive justice all over the world. ••• The planned new legislation has already been dubbed ‘Savita’s law’ by campaigners out of respect for a woman who didn’t want to become the face of a movement, but simply wanted a procedure to save her life. ••• A note on her memorial in Dublin read, “Because you slept, many of us woke.” Yet from Argentina to Poland, restrictive abortion laws still punish and endanger girls, women and pregnant people. Free, safe, legal and local abortion care is needed across the globe. In Savita’s memory, and on today’s 7th Annual March for Choice in Dublin, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who continue the fight for reproductive justice. ✊🏼 #mybodymychoice #freesafelegal #ARCMarch18
In a "call to action" published after her letter, Watson asked fans to donate in to the Abortion Support Network, and Women Help Women charities, which support women with unwanted pregnancies in the U.K. and Ireland and around the globe.