Emma Watson has penned an open letter to Dr. Savita Halappanavar, who died after being denied an abortion in Ireland six years ago — and whose death proved a catalyst for the country’s legalization of abortion this May. The actress, who came to fame for her role in the “Harry Potter” movies and was most recently seen in “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Circle,” is an outspoken feminist and activist.
“You didn’t want to become the face of a movement, you wanted a procedure that would have saved your life,” begins the letter, which was written for Net-a-Porter. “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.”
Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at University Hospital Galway on October 28, 2012. She suffered from a septic micarriage that took seven days to fully develop, and requested an abortion early on; doctors deemed that she wasn’t at risk of death and denied her request. Her death led to the passage of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013.
“A note on your memorial in Dublin read, ‘Because you slept, many of us woke,'” Watson’s letter continues. “That the eighth amendment enabled valuing the life of an unborn fetus over a living woman was a wake-up call to a nation…in your memory, and towards our liberation, we continue the fight for reproductive justice.” Read the full letter here.
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