Health chiefs have launched investigations following the death of a woman in an Irish hospital after she was refused an abortion.
Savita Halappanavar, a dentist aged 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.
The woman's husband Praveen Halappanavar, 34, claimed she had complained of being in agonising pain while in Galway University Hospital.
He said doctors refused to carry out a medical termination because the foetus's heartbeat was present. Mr Halappanavar has claimed that following several requests by his late wife for a termination, they were told: "This is a Catholic country."
The woman's death is expected to spark a backlash against the Government for failing to reform health laws to allow abortion if the life of the mother is in danger.
Mrs Halappanavar, understood to be from India but who had been living in Ireland, died after developing septicaemia - an infection in the blood - on October 28.
Left-wing TDs Clare Daly said: "A woman has died because Galway University Hospital refused to perform an abortion needed to prevent serious risk to her life. This is a situation we were told would never arise. An unviable foetus - the woman was having a miscarriage - was given priority over the woman's life, who unfortunately and predictably developed septicaemia and died."
Investigations into Mrs Halappanavar's death have been launched by the Galway-Roscommon University Hospitals Group and the state's health officials.
In a statement, the Department of Health offered condolences to the family. "The department and the ministers extend their sympathies to the family of the patient on their loss," it said. "There are currently two investigations under way and the department is awaiting the completion of these investigations before commenting further."
Pressure has been heaped on the Irish prime minister to legislate for abortion following Mrs Halappavanar's death. But Taoiseach Enda Kenny would give no indication as to whether he would introduce laws allowing women to have a termination in certain life-threatening circumstances.