Australian woman charged with crime after aborting 28 week old baby

By Grace Carr, DCNF DCNF

A 28-year-old Australian woman who became pregnant in 2015 has been charged with trying to kill her child, an Australian court announced Monday.

After contacting multiple clinics in the Australian province of New South Wales (NSW), the woman could find none that would agree to provide her with an abortion because her pregnancy showed no abnormalities. It’s a crime to abort a child in NSW per its “The NSW Crimes Act 1900” and doing so is punishable with up to ten years in prison. Further, supplying “any drug or noxious thing, or any instrument or thing whatsoever” with the intent of aborting a child is punishable the by five years in prison. A doctor can, however, lawfully perform an abortion if he determines the woman’s life is in danger.

After searching for some time, the woman found a man — named of ‘Patrick’ according to the court — who told her that “termination was possible up to 30 weeks and he would send her pills for the payment of $2,000,” Magistrate Geoff Hiatt said in a public statement Monday. “Thereafter on 2 September 2015 she received a package originating from South Africa which contained a blister pack of ten pills each containing 200mg of misoprostol, a hormone type substance,” Hiatt said according to Buzzfeed News.

After taking the under-the-counter abortion drugs however, the woman felt extremely sick and had to be taken to Blacktown Hospital where medical staff determined that the baby was suffering excruciating distress and needed to be delivered immediately. Doctors performed an emergency caesarean section in an effort to save the child, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Hiatt initially charged the woman with trying to induce a miscarriage in July and reaffirmed parliament’s law holding people “criminally responsible for unlawful acts towards a foetus causing either a miscarriage or an abortion” by making the news public on Monday. “In essence, protection for a foetus from the time of conception through all stages of pregnancy to the point of birth,” is the law’s primary concern, Hiatt added according to Buzzfeed.

A bill to decriminalize abortion in NSW was put forward in May by the Green Party, but it received only a 35 percent support rating from members of parliament.

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