Australia Prosecutors Ask for Jail Time for Convicted Abortion Practitioner

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 15, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Prosecutors Ask for Jail Time for Convicted Abortion Practitioner Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 15
, 2006

Sydney, Australia ( — Prosecutors asked an Australia court for jail time for an abortion practitioner convicted of doing an illegal abortion when she failed to examine a woman before an abortion and gave her a dangerous abortion drug that wasn’t legal at the time.

Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi told the Supreme Court that a jail sentence was required in the case to "send a clear message" to other abortion practitioners that the nation’s abortion laws aren’t made to be broken.

Suman Sood was found guilty on two counts of causing a miscarriage which resulted in the death of a baby boy. 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 could be jailed for as much as 10 years as a result.

Prosecutors gave Justice Carolyn Simpson cases from the 1970s and 1980s to use as sentencing guidelines since those were the last cases to involve the laws in question.

Sood had also violated a law that required a medical examination before an abortion to supposedly make sure the abortion is in the best interest of the woman.

Tedeschi said the sentence "should send a clear message to other medical practitioners performing [abortions] in NSW that the law requires them to ensure that women receive that proper counseling," according to a report in The Age newspaper.

He said the laws were designed to "prevent women from taking such an irrevocable step unwisely and without due consideration."

Compounding the situation, Tedeschi said Sood wrote up false medical notes to cover up her mistake and lied to the medical board.

Defense counsel Phillip Boulten told Judge Simpson to not put Sood in jail because it would "destroy her" even though Sood’s actions destroyed the lives of others.

"Dr. Sood was, for a very long time, a deeply committed practitioner who cared for literally tens of thousands of people," Boulten said, referring to the more than 10,000 women who Sood did abortions on during her career.

Boulten said Sood had been "extremely devastated by the consequences of her conviction" and was suffering from depression.

No date has been set for the handing down of the sentence.

Meanwhile, Sood is no longer practicing medicine as she voluntarily withdraw her name from the NSW Medical Register a week after she was convicted.

Sood is also under fire from women who say she gave them substandard medical care. Several new complaints have been filed with officials over the way Sood handled abortions done on various women.

The New South Wales (NSW) Medical Tribunal recently started hearings on the complaints but Sood decided not to contest them. Some 11 women who received abortion or other medical care from her since 1998 filed the complaints.

One of the women said Sood treated her in June 2002 even though the abortion practitioner’s medical license was suspended at the time.

Sood, who sometimes does non-abortion medical work, told the woman she had cancer and only two or three months to live. Later, the woman saw a specialist who told her the diagnosis was wrong and that she didn’t have cancer.

Another woman said Sood did an abortion on her but it failed. She returned to Sood’s abortion business to have the abortion completed and Sood charged her for an additional abortion.

The woman told the Herald newspaper she later went to a hospital with severe bleeding and doctors there told her she had fibroids.