Two Arrested in India After Woman Dies in Failed Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 21, 2011   |   5:05PM   |   Jharkhand, India

Two people have been arrested by local police in southeastern India, near Bangladesh, after a woman died in a failed abortion Sunday night.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Girish Pandey told the IBN news network, which has a relationship with CNN, that Sabatina Toppo, the head nurse of the district hospital did an abortion on the four-month-old baby of 32-year-old Seema Devi, who died following the abortion procedure.

Devi’s husband Lalan Prajapati brought the woman to a private clinic where Toppo did the abortion. IBN indicates Devi’s grandfather lodged a complaint with local officials after the abortion and they arrested both Toppo and Prajapati on charges of operating an illegal abortion business, causing the death of Toppo and killing a female unborn child. Abortions are legal in India and sex-selection abortions are prevalent in this nation where cultural preference is for boys over girls — especially in rural areas.

The Indian news agency indicates Toppo’s relatives were upset that officials did not act quickly enough and they staged a protest outside of the  Civil Surgeon’s office after no post-mortem was conducted on Toppo within 36 hours following her death from the abortion. Civil Surgeon, Gopal Prasad Srivastav, eventually referred the case to  Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences to conduct the autopsy.

Women in India are frequent victims of failed legal abortions as a woman died in May 2010 from an abortion at a Marie Stopes International abortion business. According to the Republica newspaper, a woman identified as Durga Devi Khadka went to a Marie Stopes center for an abortion of her 10-week-old unborn child. She died at the MSI facility located in Damak Municipality-15 of Jhapa district.

In January 2010, an India doctor was arrested in a newly-reported case of a botched abortion that killed a woman. The Times of India indicated the Vikhroli police recently registered a case of medical malpractice against Dr. Vinod Ganpati Prabhu.

Prabhu did an abortion on a woman who was three months pregnant in April 2006 at the Priya Maternity Home.

The newspaper indicates a panel of five doctors from JJ Hospital investigated the failed abortion and submitted their report to police on December 30, 2009, asking that Prabhu be charged.

Before that, reported on another Indian woman who died from a botched legal abortion recently and was at least the third to die from a legal abortion and have her case make the Indian media.