Australia Abortion Business Staffer Says Practitioner Forced False Testimony

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 2, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Abortion Business Staffer Says Practitioner Forced False Testimony Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 2, 2006

Sydney, Australia ( — A former member of the staff of a Fairfield abortion business says that the abortion practitioner there "conned" him into giving false testimony in a case about a botched abortion. Suman Sood is on trial accused of killing a premature baby during an abortion using a drug that wasn’t approved at the time.

Richard Allen, who administered anesthesia at Sood’s abortion facility retracted previous testimony he gave to police, saying Sood mislead him into giving it.

Allen told police in June 2002 that he called another abortion business to get a price quote on how much a late-term abortion would cost for a woman who visited Sood’s business. However, he told a court Monday that he had been "set up by Dr. Sood to give this false evidence."

Telephone records show no call was made at the time of the botched abortion to any other abortion business. But records show a call was made weeks later after Sood was informed the court would hold a hearing in the case.

Allen told police he called the abortion facility and the call was always assumed to have been made earlier, not after the botched abortion had already occurred.

"I’ve been used by Dr. Sood to help her out of some trouble … The purpose of the statement was to help her to continue practicing," Allen told the court, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. "I’ve been conned into something that I shouldn’t have done."

Sood is on trial for manslaughter, using unlawful drugs, and producing a miscarriage.

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.

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.