Savita Halappanavar, 31, was in severe pain when she arrived at University Hospital Galway last month and asked doctors to speed up the pregnancy termination, The Irish Times reported Thursday.
Her husband said she was told, even though she was having a miscarriage, the hospital couldn't intervene as long as there was a fetal heartbeat.
Instead she was in agony for days because "this is a Catholic country," her husband said.
Halappanavar died, who had been in the hospital for a week, after doctors removed the fetus because they could no longer detect a heartbeat.
An autopsy by the hospital listed the cause of her death as septicemia, a severe infection.
A spokesman for the hospital said the hospital and the Irish Health Service Executive are investigating the circumstances surrounding Halappanavar's death.