Clinton’s Savita briefing

Presidential hopeful advised against mentioning Savita controversy during 2012 visit to Ireland

Hillary Clinton was advised not to discuss the death of dentist Savita Halappanavar before her visit to Ireland in 2012, according to her recently-released emails.

The Democratic presidential front-runner was given a detailed briefing from her senior aide Melanne Verveer informing her of the circumstances of the 31-year-old’s death a month previously.

Verveer, who was Clinton’s chief of staff, when advised her to avoid raising the case publicly during her visit as the HSE investigation was not complete at the time.

The inquest into her death eventually returned a verdict of medical misadventure with nine members of staff at Galway University hospital being subsequently disciplined.

In the email exchange, Verveer wrote: “In advance of your trip to Ireland, we wanted to raise a few issues about the case of Savita Halappanavar, the woman who died last month after doctors refused to perform an abortion and waited to remove the fetus until its heartbeat stopped days later.

“This is clearly a tragic case. However, you will want to be aware of the following should you comment publicly.”

Three paragraphs are then redacted by the State Department, which released the correspondence in the latest batch of Mrs Clinton’s emails to be made public in response to the controversy around her use of a private email server for official government business.

Verveer continues by saying that the case had “reopened a decades-old debate in Ireland over whether the government should pass legislation to allow abortion when the life of the mother is at risk”.