Australia Court Holds Hearing on Abortion Malpractice Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 10, 2005

Sydney, Australia (LifeNews.com) — An Australian court has held a hearing on the case of a Sydney doctor charged with performing an illegal abortion. Suman Sood gave a 20 year-old woman an abortion drug and asked her to come back to her office the next day. The woman gave birth the next morning to a baby who survived about three hours before dying.

Sood, the owner of the Fairfield abortion business Australian Women’s Health, faces one charge of manslaughter and one of administering a drug with intent to procure a miscarriage.

During the hearing, Dr. Robert Gerard Buist, an obstetrician at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Sydney, told the court that the woman was put at risk because Sood gave her improper medical care. He said the woman should have been referred to someone else after asking for the drugs.

Crown Prosecutor Paul Leask told the court Sood gave the woman the abortion drugs and told her to go home after taking them orally and vaginally.

Buist told the court the woman should have been referred to a counselor to make sure she was ready to undergo the abortion.

"We need to be sure that a woman is comfortable with her decision (to abort)," he said, according to an article in The Advertiser newspaper. He also said Sood should have done more to check on the woman’s post-abortion situation to prevent or monitor complications.

"There is the danger of an unattended birth, especially bleeding of the undelivered fetus and placenta," he said. "There is the risk of hemorrhage and infection if the circumstances are not sterile."

Under cross-examination, Sood’s attorney, Phillip Boulten, asked why the woman didn’t take advantage of abortion alternatives. She indicated she talked with her parents about caring for the baby, but they were planning to move overseas to retire.

"I thought about (having the baby) and knew I wouldn’t be able to raise a child," she said. "I was sad about that and then angry. I knew what I had to do."

Leask told a local court the abortion was illegal because she did not inform the woman of her prospects of carrying the pregnancy to term or whether the abortion carried any risks.

The woman was 21 to 24 weeks pregnant at the time — too late for an RU 486 abortion and at the point at which unborn children begin surviving on their own outside the mother’s womb.
Sood only told her the abortion would cost $1500 and asked if she would pay that much. The woman says Sood never explained the abortion procedure to her.

The Advertiser reports the hearing will resume in October.