Last weekend, Emma Watson paid tribute to Dr Savita Halappanavar, a dentist whose preventable death following a septic miscarriage in 2012 helped provoke Ireland’s recent abortion referendum, in an article published by Porter.
Savita died on 28 October 2012 at University Hospital Galway, while 17 weeks pregnant.
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. https://t.co/KZWRpp7btO pic.twitter.com/yLDXgcHKyh
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) September 29, 2018
The letter by Watson to Savita opens: “You didn’t want to become the face of a movement; you wanted a procedure that would have saved your life.”
She continued: “Time and again, when our local and global communities collectively mourn a tragic death due to social injustice, we pay tribute, mobilize and proclaim: rest in power. A promise to the departed and a rallying call to society, we chant: never again.”
The actress and activist wrote about not only the national but international impact of Halappanavar’s death, which reverberated in the “fight for reproductive justice everywhere.”
She wrote of speaking to Halappanavar’s family and friends about what kind of person she was – “passionate and vivacious, a natural-born leader.”
Emma Watson concludes the letter: “A note on your memorial in Dublin read, “Because you slept, many of us woke.” That the eighth amendment enabled valuing the life of an unborn fetus over a living woman was a wake-up call to a nation. For you, and those forced to travel to the UK to access safe, legal abortion, justice was hard-won. From Argentina to Poland, restrictive abortion laws punish and endanger girls, women and pregnant people. Still, Northern Ireland’s abortion law predates the lightbulb. In your memory, and towards our liberation, we continue the fight for reproductive justice.
“With all my love and solidarity, Emma Watson.”
The article was concluded with a call to action from Watson which read: “So Ireland repealed the eighth – what’s next? There is still more work to be done. Free, safe, legal and local abortion care is needed across the globe.”