The woman was 17 weeks pregnant when she went to a Galway hospital Oct. 20 with severe back pain. Doctors determined she was miscarrying, at which point she asked for an abortion.
Medical staff would not perform an abortion as long as her child had a heartbeat. The child died Oct. 24 and its body was removed.
However, Halappanavar developed an infection. Her heart, kidneys and liver stopped working Oct. 27 and she died the next day from blood poisoning.
Halappanavar's family and abortion advocates contend that an abortion would have saved her life. An independent inquiry is investigating.
Nic Athuna said after the woman's death "absolutely every media outlet has been screaming for legislation."
"The pro-abortion lobby has been given a huge platform," she added. The controversy has "softened" the Irish people to the idea of abortion legislation because of the repeated insistence that legalized abortion would have saved the woman's life.
"Nobody can say for certain," she said. "Nobody knows yet exactly why that baby died."
However, Nic Athuna said the debate has improved in recent days.
"Gradually, people have been calming down," she said, charging that abortion advocates "created absolute hysteria."
"We're just trying to roll back that propaganda," she said, accusing groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Family Planning Association of using these cases "to further their own agenda in an effort to get the public on their side and get the government to do their will."
"The average Joe on the street eventually does get through the hype and does see the truth," Nic Athuna said. "Hopefully we can overcome that again in time before the government does try to force legislation on that."
(Story continues below)
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She said the government should recognize "the will of the people, which have always been against abortion in three separate referenda."
Irish medical practice, she said, has made the country "one of the safest places in the world for a woman to have a baby."
Ireland "protects and gives dignity and respect to both women and children in our hospitals."
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.