Australia Botched Abortion Trial Continues, Paramedic Talks About Baby

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Botched Abortion Trial Continues, Paramedic Talks About Baby Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 18, 2006

Sydney, Australia ( — The trial of an abortion practitioner who is on trial for manslaughter, using unlawful drugs, and producing a miscarriage continues. Suman Sood stands accused of killing a premature baby during an abortion using a drug that wasn’t approved at the time. The court heard yesterday that Sood frequently gave women the unapproved abortion drug.

Sood denies that she gave the woman in the botched abortion case any drugs, but a nurse at her former abortion business told the court that Sood routinely gave women the abortion drug and another to increase contractions.

The court also heard from the paramedic, John Hando, who took the woman to the hospital after she gave birth to the dead baby in her toilet in her bathroom at home. He said Sood gave the woman a drug to "soften her fetus."

Hando said he found the baby face down in the toilet when he came to the woman’s house at 4:30 a.m. He indicated the baby was blue and he did not find a heartbeat or notice any breathing.

He said he took the baby to the hospital, where a nurse cut the umbilical cord and the baby let out a gasp.

"The fetus took a breath. The midwife said words to the effect: ‘It’s alive, quick, get one of the doctors," he said, according to a Sydney Mourning Herald report.

The woman in question was 20 years old and was about 23 weeks pregnant in May 2002 when she went to Sood’s Australian Women’s Health Clinic abortion facility.

With no money and a rocky relationship with her partner she decided to have an abortion.

Sood was the only abortion practitioner to agree to do the abortion and wanted $1,500 AU for it, according to a Courier Mail news report.

Violating the law, Sood allegedly failed to ask the woman why she wanted the abortion, to check that she had thought about other options, and did not examine her beforehand.

After the first visit, Sood directed her to come back two days later for the abortion drugs. She gave the woman two pills to swallow and inserted another into her vagina.

That night the woman felt painful cramps and went to her bathroom.

"I started pushing and one thing dropped out and then another thing dropped out and after that I was too scared to stand up," she told the court, according to the Courier Mail.

After calling an ambulance, the baby boy was determined to have died.

When the woman didn’t return to Sood’s abortion business, Sood called her and asked if she was coming in for the abortion.

"I said: ‘No, I’ve already had the baby’," the woman said. "She asked me: ‘What’s going to happen with the extra $100 that I owed her for the tablets’. I said: ‘I don’t know’. She hung up."

Sood, who has performed more than 10,000 abortions, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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.

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