Emma Watson penned an open letter in honor of the woman who was the catalyst for Ireland’s recent referendum on abortion.
Indian-born dentist Savita Halappanavar died following a septic miscarriage in 2012. Her death, which was later ruled to have been preventable had she been allowed to terminate the pregnancy, resulted in the repeal of the country’s ban on abortion.
“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,” Watson began her letter, which was published by PORTER magazine.
“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,” Watson wrote. “A promise to the departed and a rallying call to society, we chant: never again. But it is rare that justice truly prevails for those whose deaths come to symbolize structural inequality. Rarer still is a historic feminist victory that emboldens the fight for reproductive justice everywhere.”
Watson, who reportedly is next set to star in the film “Little Women,” tweeted a link to the letter.
“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,” Watson tweeted.
Watson paid tribute to Halappanavar’s friends and family, describing them as “gracious and galvanizing in their sharing of your memory.”
The actress noted that work remains to advance reproductive rights.
“From Argentina to Poland, restrictive abortion laws punish and endanger girls, women and pregnant people,” Watson wrote. “Still, Northern Ireland’s abortion law predates the lightbulb. In your memory, and towards our liberation, we continue the fight for reproductive justice.”