Australia Prosecutor Says Practitioner in Botched Abortion Case "Greedy"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Prosecutor Says Practitioner in Botched Abortion Case "Greedy" Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 12, 2006

Sydney, Australia ( — A prosecutor told a jury that an abortion practitioner who has been charged with manslaughter in the death of the unborn child and using a drug to produce a miscarriage was motivated by greed. Suman Sood has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Sood is on trial for botching a late-term abortion in which the unborn baby survived and died hours after birth. She gave the woman an abortion drug even though RU 486 was not approved for use in Australia at the time.

Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi told the jury that Sood put her own convenience ahead of the medical needs of the woman.

He told the jury of nine men and three women to put aside their personal views on abortion and to look at the case on its merits, according to a Sydney Morning Herald news report.

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 previous court hearing, prosecutors said the abortion was illegal because Sood did not properly check the woman’s physical and mental health.

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.

Because the woman was not counseled or questioned as to why she wanted the abortion, Tedeschi said Sood could not have honestly believed that the woman was in any medical danger by continuing the pregnancy.

"From [Sood’s] point of view this patient at 23 weeks wanted an abortion and that’s enough," Tedeschi said, according to the Herald.

He also indicated Sood should have known that the woman would have gone into labor at home because of the abortion drug.

"Sood placed her own convenience and her own money-making over the interests of her patient by administering this drug on the Monday and then sending her home unsupervised until the Tuesday morning with merely a mobile phone number for contact," he said.

Tedeschi said Sood came up with a plan to get out of trouble when things started to go wrong and alleged she lied at several points during the incident.

Philip Boulten, Sood’s attorney, told the jury the case was based on a misunderstanding and that Sood acted within state abortion laws. He said she also had to consider what would happen if the woman was refused a legal abortion.

Sood previously 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.

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.