Australia Tries Chinese Man Who Illegally Distributed Abortion Drugs

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 31, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 31,

Sydney, Australia ( — Authorities in Australia began the trial of a Chinese man who was practicing medicine despite not having a certified medical license. Yao Guo Lin, who practices traditional Chinese medicine, was also caught illegally distributing the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, known as mifepristone.

Officials eventually caught Lin in an undercover sting operation when an investigator employed by the NSW Medical Board, filmed a transaction with him at his "clinic" in Haymarket, Australia in September 2005.

The official obtained the abortion drug from Lin even though she was not pregnant at the time.

He never conducted a medical examination on her to determine if she was pregnant or the age of her unborn child before dispensing the drug. The RU 486 pill, which has caused the death of a dozen women worldwide and injured more than 1,100 in the United States alone, can only be used in the early stages of pregnancy.

The NSW Supreme Court held a hearing yesterday in Lin’s case and the 65 year-old Mandarin speaker plead guilty through an interpreter to 31 violations of the Medical Practice Act, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

If convicted on all of the charges, Lin could be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months in prison.

The newspaper reported that the trial became confusing as court officials had difficulty working with Lin, who does not speak English. Acting Justice Jane Matthews was concerned that Lin chose not to have an attorney represent him.

"I wish you had a lawyer appearing for you, Mr. Lin. It is still not too late," Judge Matthews said.

During the hearing, prosecutor Gerard Craddock said Lin tried to pass himself off as a doctor who could do abortions or give women the abortion drug.

He described how Lin received letters warning him he was violating the law and an undercover agent who went by the name of Carla obtained the abortion drug from him.

After giving Lin a faked urine sample, Lin gave Carla pills from a box marked "mifepristone" and allegedly told her: "I must give you some tablets. You’ll take the tablets for three days and then the baby will come out."

Lin told the court that drugs were commonly used in China for abortions and were successful 90 percent of the time. He also claimed that, in China, specialists of Chinese traditional medicine are allowed to call themselves doctors.

Sentencing in the case is expected today.