by Steven Ertelt
February 3, 2006
Sydney, Australia (LifeNews.com) — An abortion practitioner in Australia, who is standing trial for a botched late-term abortion in which the unborn baby survived and died hours after birth, appeared in court Thursday. The trial will begin in July.
Suman Sood, the former owner of the Fairfield Women’s Health Clinic abortion facility, is the first abortion practitioner to be charged with the manslaughter of an unborn child in more than 34 years.
Sood was arraigned in the New South Wales Supreme Court on the manslaughter charge and one count of administering a drug with intent to procure a miscarriage, according to a report in The Advertiser newspaper.
The abortion drug RU 486 is not approved for use in Australia, though members of Parliament hope to change that soon.
Sood, who is free on bail, pleaded not guilty to both charges.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Graham Barr said the trial would be held in July and a pre-trial hearing would be conducted in April, according to The Advertiser. The judge said bail would continue.
Sood, who has performed more than 10,000 abortions, gave a woman an abortion drug in May 2002 and asked her to come back to his office the next day.
The woman went home and gave birth to a baby in the early morning hours while using the bathroom. The infant boy lived only five hours before dying.
At a court hearing back in August, prosecutors said the abortion was illegal because Sood did not properly check the woman’s physical and mental health.
In August, Sood claimed she didn’t perform the illegal abortion but referred the woman to another abortion facility and told her the abortion could not be performed legally in New South Wales.
The woman was 22 weeks pregnant and that’s long after the abortion drug is supposed to be used and after the legal limit for performing abortions in the Southeast province.
Sood’s claim appears in an affidavit she filed weeks after the disputed 2002 abortion took place.
Sood moved to Sydney from Adelaide in 1992 and has since sold the Australian Women’s Health Clinic and runs just one abortion business now.