The tragic death of 31 year-old Savita Halappanavar in Galway, Ireland has led to fresh calls for a review of abortion laws in Northern Ireland, headed by one of the country's leading obstetricians.
Ms Halappanavar died of multiple organ failure on 28th October, after contracting septicaemia as a result of a miscarriage. Doctors at University Hospital Galway denied her a potentially life-saving abortion because the state's strict abortion laws do not allow a termination in such circumstances, and when she presented the doomed foetus still had a heartbeat.
Abortion is still widely outlawed in Ireland on a religious and ethical basis, something that many in the state wish to see changed after this tragic incident.
The situation in Northern Ireland is murky, as the parliament has not passed law on the issue, preferring instead to leave it to the courts to develop law on a piecemeal basis.
Now the country's leading obstetrician, Professor Jim Dornan, has called for the law to be clarified, in a bid to prevent a similar tragic case north of the border in future.
There are around 40 terminations carried out every year by medical staff in Northern Ireland, or roughly one per 40,000 head of population. This compares to nearly 200,000 in England and Wales, or one per 280 head of population. The exact circumstance under which abortion is allowed in Northern Ireland is not made clear.
The country did draft guidelines in 2010, but they have not been completed or published. It is thought the issue is too politically sensitive to be formally dealt with, leading to politicians burying their heads in the sand.
"We need to have that guidance because we have been working on a guidance document that is sitting in an in-tray somewhere and we would love to see it coming out" said Professor Dornan.
"We would like to feel that our Department of Health... are supportive of us" he added.