Australia Botched Abortion Practitioner Admitted: "I’ve Done Something Silly"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 19, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Botched Abortion Practitioner Admitted: "I’ve Done Something Silly" Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 19, 2006

Sydney, Australia ( — A woman who worked for an abortion practitioner who is on trial accused of killing a premature baby during an abortion using a drug that wasn’t approved at the time told the court that Suman Sood admitted she had "done something silly." Sood is on trial for manslaughter, using unlawful drugs, and producing a miscarriage.

When Sood arrived at her abortion center two days after the botched abortion and found police there, she admitted to her receptionist that she had made a mistake.

Joan Chodat was the receptionist at the Australian Women’s Health Clinic at Fairfield in May 2002 when the botched abortion occurred.

Sood "came behind the reception desk and she said she’d done something silly," Chodat told the court, according to a Sydney Morning Herald report. "She said it very softly, I could just hear her."

Chodat didn’t ask Sood what that was and Sood didn’t tell her.

Two days earlier, Sood had given a woman, who was 23 weeks pregnant, both parts of a two-part abortion drug, which was not approved at the time and isn’t supposed to be given to women so late in pregnancy.

According to the charges against her, Sood also failed to perform a medical examination on the woman and failed to ask her the reasons for the abortion, both required by Australian law.

The woman gave birth to a premature baby boy in the toilet in her bathroom at home and by the time paramedics could rush the infant to the hospital, he was dead.

Sood has pleaded innocent to the charges and denies giving the women the abortion drug.

Nurse Minna Zoretic, a Sood staffer, said she saw the woman on her first counseling date with Sood and indicated the 20 year-old was accompanied by two other people of similar age.

Zoretic said women who were going to have abortions after 16 weeks of pregnancy were given prostaglandin drugs that would prepare them for the surgical procedure. But the woman told paramedics who arrived after the baby was born that she was given abortion drugs.

Meanwhile, Zoretic said the woman was given the proper options counseling but indicated she laughed most of the way through the explanation. She indicated she explained abortion’s risks to the woman and asked her questions from a worksheet the abortion center used in counseling.

The jury was also shown a video of police searching Sood’s abortion center.

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 Morning Herald report.

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.

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 has performed more than 10,000 abortions.